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This lime curd recipe is ultra-citrusy and thick! It’s the ideal topping or spread for scones, cakes, and more.

Lime curd
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Want a citrusy spread that works for cakes, scones, pancakes, and more? Try this lime curd recipe: a thick, custardy topping that adds major zingy flavor to everything it touches. When it comes to curds you might first think of lemon curd, but this green fruit makes an even more zesty spin. It’s perfect spread on scones, biscuits, pancakes, waffles to add a major pop of flavor. Here’s how to make it!

Ingredients for lime curd

Lemon curd is a citrus spread that originated in England in the 1800’s. Lime curd is a less popular but equally as delicious variation made with lime instead of lemon. Curd is a mixture of eggs, sugar, citrus juice and zest, and butter, which when heated forms into a smooth, thick custardy texture.

Citrus curds were originally eaten as a spread for scones at British tea time, but they work in a variety of uses: as a cake filling, on shortcakes, in tarts, on pancakes, waffles, and French toast, over ice cream, or on toast.

  • Eggs
  • Granulated sugar
  • Whole limes (lime juice and lime zest)
  • Butter
How to zest a lime: microplane & peeler

How to zest a lime

This lime curd recipe calls for 2 teaspoons of lime zest, which is about the amount in 1 medium lime. The best way to zest is not with a zester: it’s with a microplane! It’s a handheld metal plate with sharp holes in it, and it’s faster and more consistent than a zester. You can also use a box grater for the same effect. Here’s how to zest a lime with a microplane (or fine holes on a box grater):

  1. Hold the microplane in one hand, place one end on a flat surface and hold it at an angle.
  2. Hold the lime in the other hand, and drag it down over the microplane holes. Make sure to remove the colored part of the skin only; the white pith can taste bitter and should be avoided.
  3. Gradually turn the lime until all green parts of the peel have been removed.
Lime curd recipe

How to make lime curd

Lime curd is made with the same method as lemon curd. While the idea is quick and simple, it’s notoriously difficult to get perfect. It’s easy to come away with a thin curd or a split curd, due to undercooking or overcooking it. The best way to avoid this? Use a food thermometer. Here’s how to make lime curd (or jump to the recipe below):

  • Whisk: In a medium saucepan, whisk the eggs, sugar, lime juice, and lime zest.
  • Heat: Apply medium heat and cook, stirring constantly and slowly with a spatula, for 2 to 3 minutes until the mixture starts to thicken into a yogurt-like consistency. This happens at a temperature between 160°F and 170°F. Avoid simmering or overcooking, which will result in a lumpy texture.
  • Add butter: Immediately remove from the heat and whisk in the butter until the butter is melted.
  • Chill: Transfer the lime curd to a container and press plastic wrap onto the surface to prevent a skin from forming. Refrigerate for at least 2 hours until the curd is chilled.
Lime Cured Recipe

Troubleshooting lime curd

It’s hard to get lime curd perfectly right, but you can often save it! Here are a few things to do if your curd doesn’t end up thick and glossy:

  • Runny lime curd means the curd has not been heated enough: it must be heated to 170°F in order to thicken. You can “save” a runny curd and thicken it. Place it in a saucepan and use a food thermometer to heat it back to 170°F. Then whisk in another tablespoon or two of butter, which will help it become even thicker when cooled.
  • Lumpy lime curd means the curd was overcooked, causing the eggs to cook and become scrambled. The most important part of making lime curd is cooking the mixture gently so that the eggs do not cook. If you have only small lumps in the curd, pass it through a fine mesh sieve to strain out the cooked eggs. But if the entire mixture is split, you’ll have to start over.

Ways to use it

Once you’ve mixed up your lime curd, there are so many ways to use! We love it with shortcakes as a dessert, or over waffles as a decadent brunch. It’s different from lemon curd and goes well with flavors like strawberries, cherries, and coconut. Here are a few ideas:

Lime curd

More lime recipes

Love zingy lime? Here are a few more lime recipes that use this citrus fruit:

This lime curd recipe is…

Vegetarian and gluten-free.

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Lime curd

Easy Lime Curd


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5 from 1 review

  • Author: Sonja Overhiser
  • Prep Time: 5 minutes
  • Cook Time: 5 minutes
  • Total Time: 10 minutes
  • Yield: About 1 ½ cups 1x

Description

This lime curd recipe is ultra-citrusy and thick! It’s the ideal topping or spread for scones, cakes, and more.


Ingredients

Scale
  • 3 eggs
  • ½ cup granulated sugar
  • 6 tablespoons fresh lime juice
  • 2 teaspoons lime zest (about 1 lime)
  • 6 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch pieces

Instructions

  1. In a medium saucepan, whisk the eggs until smooth. Then whisk in the sugar, lime juice, and lime zest.
  2. Add medium heat and cook, stirring constantly and slowly with a spatula, for 2 to 3 minutes until the mixture starts to thicken into a yogurt-like consistency. This happens at a temperature between 160°F and 170°F: measure with a food thermometer for most accurate results! Avoid simmering or overcooking, which will result in a lumpy texture.
  3. Immediately remove from the heat and whisk in the butter until the butter is melted.
  4. Transfer the lime curd to a container and press plastic wrap onto the surface to prevent a skin from forming. Refrigerate for at least 2 hours until chilled. Store refrigerated for up to 1 month.
  • Category: Essentials
  • Method: Stovetop
  • Cuisine: English
  • Diet: Vegetarian

About the authors

Sonja & Alex

Hi, we’re Alex and Sonja Overhiser, married cookbook authors, food bloggers, and recipe developers. We founded A Couple Cooks to share fresh, seasonal recipes for memorable kitchen moments! Our recipes are made by two real people and work every time.

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1 Comment

  1. Sonja Overhiser says:

    Let us know if you have any questions!