I bought a couple little bags of little limes, last week, at which time the Bat asked me what I intended to do with them. When I say "little limes," I mean approximately the size of cherry tomatoes. These are not your typical bartender's limes, but closer to key limes (see pic above. That's not a giant lemon, just a regular one, slightly smaller than a baseball). They require some work to juice, since they won't fit into the average citrus juice press. Natch, the Bat was not volunteering to sit all afternoon squidging the little things on one of her gadgets.
I knew that ahead of time. I did some warm-up exercises before I started, today.
Now, you already know the big downside to itsy bitsy citsy... er, um, citrusy things. You're going to have a sore arm, stiff fingers, and a very angry wrist. The upside is, you get a lot more zest per tablespoon of juice. All those little guys have a touch more surface area than one or two big guys. This means, when I got going, I had plenty of extra zest to put into a little tub and pop into the freezer for a later occasion. Plus, some of those peels went down the garbage disposal, making the kitchen smell like... well, like lovely, lovely limes.
Meanwhile, I had, from my two pounds of limes, a little over 1.75 cups of juice and about five tablespoons of zest, and I was ready to roll. So I fixed me up a mess o' curd.
2 cups granulated sugar
1/2 cup butter
1 1/2 cups fresh lime juice
2 Tablespoons lime zest
4 eggs, well-beaten
Place double boiler on high heat. Put sugar, butter, lime juice, and zest in upper level, stir until butter melts.
In a separate small bowl, thoroughly beat the eggs (but not so they're frothy), then whisk two tablespoons of the hot lime mixture into the eggs, stirring to blend well.
Reduce heat to medium until water is just simmering. Gradually add the egg into the lime mix, whisking constantly. Cook in top of double boiler until the mixture thickens and coats the back of a wooden spoon (about 20-25 minutes).
Ladle into clean jars, put lids on them, allow to seal*, and refrigerate when cooled to lukewarm. Best if eaten within a few days.
*the bat taught me the basic trick to sealing foods into a jar... make sure the jars are absolutely clean, still warm. Put fresh new lids into simmering water, allow to stand a few minutes to soften the rubberized seal. Using a canner's funnel, fill your jars with what it is you're planning to preserve. Make sure the rim of the jar is clean. Using tongs, take lid from hot water, place carefully over the top of the jar, then clamp it down with a screw-on canning ring. (At this time, you may also wish to put them through a hot water bath, for greatest degree of canning safety, if you're not planning to refrigerate or to eat within a few days). If you've done it all correctly, as it cools you will hear a little "ping" or "pop" from the creation of a vacuum seal. If it doesn't seal, just pig out or pop it in the fridge.