At the bottom you will see the finger limes. They are the newest thing (almost) in haute cuisine and an oz native. Inside them are tiny beads of citrusy taste. Like the microbeads that they are trying to ban at the moment, except these are naturally occurring and fully edible. They look and feel like caviar and are tremendous fun.
Except for trying to figure out what to do with them.
Real chefs put a dollop on a plate for garnish which is OK. But a dollop here or there is not going to use up a tree full of fruit. Hubby adds them to drinks where they promptly sink to the bottom or stick to the side of the glass. They’re nice when you can get a mouthful of them. And they DO NOT dissolve.
One good use of them is in tabouleh which is traditionally made with cous cous balls. So the lemony balls fit right in and keep the nice lemon taste in the salad which is normally added with the lemon juice.
So today I decided to make a batch of lemon cheese (or lemon butter or lemon curd, depending on your nationality) and I added what seemed like a huge amount of finger lime balls into the batch when I cooked it. It took 90 minutes to cut open the little fruit and scrape out the flesh. If you were to look real close, you’d be able to see a hint of the little green balls in the yummy. I’m fairly happy with it because they stay in one piece while you’re cooking and they keep the burst of tart lemon taste in the lemon cheese which can tend to be really too sweet.
So that was fun and worked. Just a note about bottling the lemon cheese. These are old jam jars which are cleaned well and kept for jams. I sterilize the jars in the oven while I’m cooking the jam so they are heating for quite a while. Then I take them out of the oven and bottle the batch straight away. So you are putting quite warm jam into quite warm bottles. While yelling and blowing on your finger tips, put a double layer of greaseproof paper over the top of the bottle and put the lid on tightly. So the unsterilized lid never touches the jars or the batch. When the whole thing cools down, it creates a bit of a vacuum seal which helps to keep the jam good.
Lemon cheese contains whole egg so I refrigerate it at all times. But with a fruit jam, sauce or something that doesn’t contain protein, I can use the warm bottling method and some things keep for a year on the shelf with no cool storing. Some last for longer. Always use your own judgement when you should eat something and unlike me, it’s often nice to label with date of making so you don’t die from 5 year old jam. But honestly, I haven’t killed anyone ever….with jam.