There's a hierarchy of hard-to-find fruit in the grocery stores around here. Key limes are right up there at the top, along with figs. Meyer lemons and rhubarb used to be as well, but in recent years have become more readily available (yay!). If I come across one of these elusive items, I can pretty much guarantee you I'm going to buy them in mass quantities, even with absolutely no plan about how I'll use them.
So, a few weeks ago when I spotted key limes during an early weekend shopping trip, it felt very much like I'd found a pot of gold! Several bags went into my cart and when I got home I happily set about figuring out what to do with my special finds. It's impossible to think of key limes and not at least consider making pie, but I really wanted to go down a less obvious path.
Tomorrow you'll find out where I ended up with my key limes but here's a hint: it involves this key lime curd. I don't know about you guys, but I think citrus curd is one of the most delicious things on this planet. It's even harder for me to keep a spoon out of than the usual suspects like a jar of peanut butter or salted caramel sauce!
This key lime curd is equal parts sweet and tart, and absolutely irresistible. Best of all, it's ridiculously simple - just 4 ingredients and about 15 minutes is all it takes to whip it up, and from there, the world is your oyster. Spread the curd on toast or muffins, fill cake, cookies or tarts, incorporate it in ice cream, the list goes on and on. Just be sure to save some for tomorrow's recipe - you're not going to want to miss it! :)
Key Lime Curd
adapted from Meyer Lemon Curd (original recipe via Gourmet, December 1999)
1/2 cup key lime juice
3/4 cup sugar
2 large eggs
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, cut into 4 pieces
In a medium heatproof bowl, whisk the lemon juice, sugar, and eggs together until well combined. Add the butter and set the bowl over a saucepan of simmering water. Cook, whisking almost constantly, until the curd has thickened enough to coat the back of a spoon and registers 160 F on an instant read thermometer. Strain through a fine-mesh strainer into a second heatproof bowl. Allow to cool slightly, then press a piece of plastic wrap against the surface and store in the refrigerator. The curd will keep for a week.
Makes about 1 1/2 cups