Friday, March 25, 2011


I arrived home from work a week or two ago with half a dozen limes in my bag. A large box of them had appeared in the office - I gather they were brought from Auckland by a visiting colleague who has a lime tree at home. I was instructed to take some limes and turn them into something tasty to bring for morning tea. This I completely failed to do, and the limes just sat in my fruit bowl day after day.

There are no lime-based recipes in the Edmonds book. There are a couple of places (salad dressings etc) where either lemon or lime juice can be used, but there's nothing where lime is the star of the show. I started thinking I could substitute limes for the lemons in a lemon-based recipe. But which recipe? Perhaps I could make a lime meringue pie?

This evening, I finally got around to doing something with the limes: lemon honey (p226) or, more accurately, lime honey. As I already have plenty of shop-bought lemon honey in the cupboard, I thought it would be interesting to see how a lime one would taste.

The limes were of course smaller than most lemons, and I decided that my six limes would yield a suitable amount for a half-recipe. The first task was to grate the rind off the limes, then squeeze out the juice and strain it. When I had the juice and rind ready to go, I melted some butter in a bowl over boiling water, added sugar and the lime juice.

After a few minutes stirring, the sugar had dissolved and the mixture was ready for the next step. I added the rind and a beaten egg. It was soon apparent to me that I hadn't beaten the egg well enough, as stringy bits of white and yolk stared cooking in the hot liquid. I scooped out the worst bits, and hurriedly grabbed a whisk to make sure the rest of the egg was well combined.

All that was left was to stand and stir until the mixture thickened. It didn't seem to be thickening much though, and, glancing at the recipe again, I suddenly realised why: Thinking there were two eggs in the full recipe, I had only put one in. Actually, the full recipe had four eggs, and two was how many I needed for the half.

I got another egg from the fridge and quickly cracked it into a bowl, scattering pieces of shell through the egg, which I then had to pick out. I whisked this one a lot more thoroughly, and when it went into the lime honey mixture, there was no sign of eggy strings.

Now, with the correct number of eggs, it was only a matter of time before the lime honey thickened. For some reason  I expected it to thicken up quite suddenly, like custard, but instead it was so gradual that I could hardly convince myself that it was thickening at all. It got to be a fairly thick liquid, but refused to thicken any further, no matter how long I kept it on the heat. I decided to pour it into the jars, and hoped it would thicken a little as it cooled.

I only got 1 1/2 jars out of my half-recipe, and I don't think I'll have any trouble using them. My lime honey is so tasty! Oddly enough, it doesn't obviously taste like lime as opposed to lemon. It's just tart and citrusy and delicious. I couldn't resist opening one jar immediately and having some lime honey on a piece of toast. I'll have to be careful how much I eat, though - with butter as well as sugar, it's even more fattening than jam!

1 comment:

  1. Holy crap, I've just realised that this was my 200th blog post! That's a lot of writing!


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