Lime Curd

This lime curd is a breeze to make and super versatile, great for adding a zing to your breakfast or dessert!

Smooth lemon curd in a jar

Recipe At a Glance

Lime curd may be the lesser-known sibling of lemon curd, but it holds its own with a vibrant, refreshing flavor. This simple recipe uses basic pantry staples and you can effortlessly whip it up for various uses.

If you’re already experienced with making lemon curd, you’ll find the process for lime curd familiar and straightforward. And for those new to curd-making, mastering this recipe will open the door to creating a range of delicious fruit curds.

In short, stick to the instructions, don’t take shortcuts, and you’ll likely perfect it on your first attempt.

If this is your first time making a fruit curd, take a moment to read through the ingredient notes, detailed instructions, and tips. If you’re already familiar with the process, feel free to jump straight to the recipe card.

Ingredients Notes and Substitutes

Lime curd ingredients
  • Eggs.
  • Limes. Opt for ones free of blemishes and discoloration, as you’ll also need to zest half of them. I use regular limes here (the Persian variety), but Key limes work okay, too. Just double the amount, as Key limes are typically much smaller than Persian ones.
  • Sugar. Regular white sugar works best, but powdered sugar or sugar alternatives should be okay, too.
  • Unsalted butter.

How to Make Lime Curd

Note: In this recipe, we use the egg tempering method to make the curd. It’s noticeably quicker than the double boiler technique, though it’s easier to mess up and cook bits of eggs. If you want to go the safe route, use the double boiler technique described in the lemon curd article.

  1. Wash limes. We’ll zest the limes, so we need to remove any impurities and residue. First, rinse your limes under running water. Then, if you’re using commercial limes and want to get rid of (some) pesticides, soak the limes for 15 minutes in 2 cups of water mixed with a tablespoon of baking soda.
  2. Zest. Gently peel off the zest from one of the limes using a microplane, a zester, or the fine holes on your box grater, avoiding discolored or blemished areas. Chop the zest if using a zester and you have long strips of skin.
Peeling off lime zest
Use microplane to scrape off lime zest
  1. Squeeze. Extract the juice from the limes and pour it into a pot.
Extracting lime juice
Squeeze out the lime juice
  1. Prep eggs. Crack the eggs into a bowl, whisk, and stir in half of the sugar. Set aside.
  1. Cook lime juice. Add the lime zest and the rest of the sugar to the lime juice in the pot, stir everything, and cook on medium heat until it boils. Take off the heat.
Cooked lime juice
Add the lime zest, sugar, and juice, then boil over medium heat
  1. Temper eggs. Pour a tablespoon’s worth of the cooked mixture into the eggs while constantly stirring. Repeat with a third of the pot’s contents, then pour the rest into the egg mixture. Continue stirring at all times so the eggs don’t curdle. Pour the warm egg mixture back into the pot and set it on low heat.
  1. Cook. Cook the egg mixture while stirring continously until it noticeably thickens. As it cooks, it typically foams, and that foam tends to disappear soon after the curd thickens. Don’t stop whisking, or the eggs will curdle.
Cooking the egg mixture
Stir the egg mixture constantly as you cook it
  1. Add butter. Once thickened, remove from heat, add the chopped butter, and stir until it melts and blends in.
  1. Cover. Place plastic wrap directly on the curd’s surface to prevent skin formation.
Cover the curd with plastic wrap
Cover the curd with plastic wrap
  1. Refrigerate. Let the curd cool at room temperature briefly before refrigerating it, still covered.
Smooth and zesty lemon curd in two jars

Tips for Making Lime Curd

  • Adjusting Sweetness: Lime curd is quite sweet by design. For a less sweet version, use 1/2 to 3/4 of the sugar called for in the recipe. After cooking, taste and stir in more sugar if needed.
  • Adjusting Tartness: For a stronger lime flavor, especially if you plan on mixing the curd with other ingredients like mascarpone or whipped cream, add more lime zest. Instead of zesting half of the limes you use, zest all of them.
Homemade lime curd in a jar
Homemade lime curd in a jar

How to Use Lime Curd

Lime curd is a versatile ingredient that can add a zesty lime flavor to a wide range of desserts. Here are some ways to use it:

  1. Tart Filling: Lime curd is perfect for filling tart shells. Combine it with dark chocolate ganache, and you have a winner.
  2. Fill Cupcakes or Choux Pastry: You can use lime curd to fill your eclairs, cream puffs, or cupcakes.
  3. On Toast or Scones: Spread it on toast, scones, or English muffins for a zesty breakfast treat.
  4. With Yogurt or Ice Cream: Swirl it into yogurt for a tangy twist, or spoon it over ice cream.
  5. Cheesecake Topping: Use it as a topping for cheesecake to add a bright, citrusy flavor.
  6. Trifle or Parfait Layer: Add a layer of lime curd to a trifle or parfait for a zesty surprise.
  7. With Pancakes or Waffles: Drizzle lime curd over your morning pancakes or waffles for a sweet and tangy start to the day.
  8. Lime Bars: Use lime curd in your favorite lemon bars recipe instead of its lemon counterpart.
  9. In Smoothies: A small amount can add a nice tang to a fruit smoothie. Remember that lime curd is pretty sweet, so you’ll probably want to reduce or remove other sweeteners from your smoothie.
Macarons with homemade lemon curd filling
Macarons with lemon curd filling

Storage

Store your lime curd in an airtight container in the fridge for 3 to 4 days, and use it whenever you need a burst of lime flavor.

Smooth lime curd in a jar

Lime Curd

This lime curd is a breeze to make and super versatile, great for adding a zing to your breakfast or dessert!
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 20 minutes
Course: Dessert, Spread
Cuisine: American
Keyword: Citrus, Fruit Spread, Lime Curd
Servings: 1 cup

Ingredients

  • 2 eggs
  • 2 limes regular (persian) or 3 to 4 key limes
  • 1/3 cup sugar 2.4 oz or 65 grams
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter 1.5 oz or 43 grams

Instructions

  • Wash Limes: Rinse limes under running water. Optionally, soak in a baking soda solution for 15 minutes to remove pesticides.
  • Zest Limes: Peel the zest from one lime using a microplane or zester. Avoid discolored spots.
  • Juice Limes: Squeeze out the juice from the limes into a pot.
  • Prep Eggs: Whisk eggs in a bowl, mix in half the sugar, and set aside.
  • Heat Juice: Combine lime zest, remaining sugar, and lime juice in the pot. Heat to boiling then remove from heat.
  • Temper Eggs: Gradually mix hot lime juice into eggs to prevent curdling, stirring constantly.
  • Cook Mixture: Return mixture to low heat. Stir continuously until it thickens.
  • Add Butter: Off heat, add butter and stir until melted and incorporated.
  • Cover: Place plastic wrap directly on the curd to avoid skin formation.
  • Cool & Chill: Let the curd cool, then refrigerate with plastic wrap on.
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