Lime Curd Helper and Lime Curd Paper
I have been intrigued by lime curd since my first day at Gerard Mulot at Paris, where the focus of my work was on preparing the pastry bases. Pastry cream, lemon and lime curd, almond cream, were the staples of the kitchen, and most work would be held up if these items weren't ready, and more importantly, perfect. Since the days of basement boiling all the ingredients together, I have refined my technique somewhat to produce a creamier curd, but to be fair, Mrs. Mulot will always be the "roi" in this and many domains. The following curd is a modified recipe, with long mouthfeel and creamy finish. The acidity is bright. The iota allows it to hold form, be broken, regain form, and provides stability during heat change, including freeze/thaw applications.
Taking a cue from Alex Stupak's contribution to the Alinea cookbook, I was intrigued by the idea of dehydrated lime curd, (for Parisian astronauts?) so I made a thin edible film, or paper from the lime curd with no additions. The iota holds the cream together during dehydration, and helps to keep it flexible at a wide range of temperatures. The sugar and fat content of the curd make for a shiny and tasty paper. A shorter time necessary for dehydration makes sure the acidity stays "in the pants," so to speak.
500 grams lime juice, freshly squeezed (whole fruit reserved)
450 grams whole eggs
400 grams sugar
250 grams butter
4.8 grams of CARRAGEENAN IOTA
1. Bring lime juice to a boil with sugar, mixed with CARRAGEENAN IOTA and whole limes.
Strain out whole limes, add whole eggs, and gently cook over induction, low flame, or a double boiler.
2. When at 82 Celsius (or pasteurized), strain over iced bain mairie (water bath).
3. When lime mix is between 45 and 50 Celsius, emulsify in the cold butter in dice, preferably using a hand blender. (A robot coupe will work nicely as well, though a blender might be a bit agro.)
4. Strain again, and allow to set at 4 Celsius for a minimum of 6 hours, preferably overnight to let the flavors develop.
5. The lendemain, or following day, reserve half of the lime curd for plating, and spread the remaining curd on acetate sheets, previously cut to fit the size of your dehydrator tray. Spread as thin as your heart’s desire.
6. Then dry at 50 Celsius for approximately 6 hours, depending on the precise thickness, and the strength of your dehydrator.
7. Reserve the lemon paper dry, preferably with silica gel.
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