Make Ahead

Key Lime Curd

May  1, 2015
3 Ratings
  • Makes 2 cups
Author Notes

This recipe is simply the Genius Recipes lemon cream using key lime juice in place of the lemon juice. It pairs particularly well with a slice of toasted coconut quick bread. —Alexandra Stafford

What You'll Need
  • 1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons Key lime juice
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • Pinch salt
  • 1/2 to 1 cups butter
  1. Pour water to a depth of about 2 inches into a saucepan, place over medium heat, and bring to a simmer.
  2. Combine the lime juice, whole eggs, yolk, sugar, and salt in a stainless steel bowl that will rest securely in the rim of a saucepan over, not touching, the water. (Never let the egg yolks and sugar sit together for more than a moment without stirring; the sugar will cook the yolks and turn them granular.) Place the bowl over the saucepan and continue to whisk until the mixture becomes very thick and registers 180° F on a thermometer. This will take 10 to 12 minutes. If you don't have or trust your thermometer, don't worry. It should thicken to the point that your whisk leaves a trail through the curd.
  3. Remove the bowl from over the water and let cool to 140° F, stirring from time to time to release the heat.
  4. Meanwhile, cut butter into pieces that are 1 tablespoon each. When the lime mixture has cooled a bit, leave it in the bowl if using an immersion blender, or pour it into a countertop blender or food processor. With the blender running, add the butter 1 tablespoon at a time, blending after each addition until incorporated. Taste the curd after you have added 1/2 cup of the butter. If you like the taste, stop adding butter. If you think it needs more, continue adding butter by the tablespoon until it tastes right. (I've been using 1/2 cup butter total.) The curd should be pale yellow, opaque and quite thick.
  5. You can use it immediately, or pour it into a storage container with a tight-fitting lid and refrigerate for up to 5 days. To use after refrigeration, if necessary, gently heat in a stainless steel bowl set over simmering water until it has softened, whisking constantly.

See what other Food52ers are saying.

  • Jassy
  • Melanie
  • Alexandra Stafford
    Alexandra Stafford
  • Joanne thacher
    Joanne thacher
I write the blog alexandra's kitchen, a place for mostly simple, sometimes fussy, and always seasonal recipes. My cookbook, Bread Toast Crumbs is available everywhere books are sold.

8 Reviews

Joanne T. May 17, 2020
Any instructions for using this curd with a pastry crust as a pie? Would you make the curd first then add it to the prebaked crust or just mix the ingredients for the curd and add to prebaked crust. I have never made a key lime pie but I have made this curd and given it to several friends who keep telling me to make a pie with it.
Deana April 9, 2020
This has been my go-to key lime curd recipe for a while now. It has not failed me yet. I love this one, and have used it for different things...cake filling, dip for shortbread, pie layer (coconut) this stuff!
Kat May 29, 2017
Could you use this curd as a filling for pie?
Alexandra S. May 29, 2017
Yes, absolutely!
Jassy May 3, 2016
Could you recommend a general number of key limes you might need for that much juice? I know it varies but just to get in the ballpark.
Alexandra S. May 3, 2016
Jassy, it was so long ago that I can't remember precisely. It was a lot, as I recall, but I also was juicing an entire flat-rate box worth, which a friend had sent me, and I think I got over 2 cups of juice. I would estimate 15 to 20 . Hope that helps!
Melanie May 11, 2015
I don't use an immersion blender, just a wire whisk. Quickly stir in each tablespoon of butter until desired consistency and taste. Same results and much less fuss. Yummy.
Alexandra S. May 13, 2015
one less (big) utensil to clean! I like it.