During the winter months, citrus is at its peak. While lemons and oranges may get the most attention, I’m a particular fan of lime – a wedge squeezed over roasted cauliflower or a curried soup is divine. And when I’m sick, my mom likes to slice a Key lime in half and squeeze it into boiling water with honey, then rub the cut lime around the mug’s rim. Those little mesh bags of Key limes can be daunting, but there are so many ways to make use of them, especially in the bleak midwinter.
Named after the Florida Keys, Key limes are smaller and seedier than the big green Persian limes you may be more familiar with, with a higher acidity, a headier aroma and pale yellow colour. They tend to be rounder and yellower – about the size and shape of a golf ball, or smaller. You can often find bottled Key lime juice in grocery stores, and it’s well worth seeking out – it has a unique flavour that’s not as harsh as regular bottled lime juice. It too has a yellowish hue, and is more opaque than Persian lime juice. It’s worth picking up a bottle, if only to use in gin and tonics – oh yes.
Key lime pies are likely the most popular vehicle for Key limes; but this divine layer cake, with its tart lime filling offset by billowy drifts of sweet, marshmallow-like frosting, is like Key lime pie in cake form. Perfect if you’re looking for a wintry birthday cake that’s like lemon, but not. You can find the recipe over at Gourmet Live!
Photo courtesy of Gourmet Live