Saturday, 16 June 2012

True Blood

Crostatine con una Crema di Limone e Menta, e Limoncelli Sanguine
Lime & Mint Cheese Curd Tarts with "Blood Lime"

Always on the lookout for something new and exciting at the indoor market, I happened upon these little beauties today and just had to have them! But I did it all for you fine people! I saw them... red the sign saying "blood lime" and grabbed a couple of handfuls of these cumquat-sized fruits... and then saw the second sign, saying that they cost €1.50 each! Zoiks! That is more than 4 times the price of regular lime! So I just picked up 3 of them- haha... better to test them first of course... which is exactly what I did!

And without beating about the bush too much my dear reader- I have to tell you... that they are not worth all of that money by any stretch of the imagination... but they are an eye-catcher in any case! I asked if you could eat them peel and all, as is the case with cumquats, but was told "I don't think so". Well I DID, (after using a little trick) and I am still here to tell the tale! And the tale goes like this...

Obviously, there is not enough juice in these lovely little fruit to make them worth cooking with, so I used regular lime to make the cream. First of all, I grated the zest of 1 lime very finely and squeezed the juice, which I then added to a good handful of mint and 1 tablespoon of Stevia. I put these into a small saucepan and added 2 cups of milk and boiled it for 5-6 minutes, until it became infused with all of the flavors. I removed the leaves and added 1 sheet of gelatine and kept stirring until it was completely dissolved.

Once it was cool, I poured the milk into a bowl and added 4 tablespoons of cheese curds, but you can replace this with any kind of cream cheese you may prefer. I whisked it at the highest setting for at least 5 minutes... after which time all traces of "graininess" in the texture become eliminated and you are left with a smooth and velvety cream. If you are happy baking- feel free to make yourself a nice shortcrust pastry bake... but if you are like me, use a pre-made, individual crust and then fill it with the lime cream. Easy!

As for the blood lime- what I did in order to be able to eat the peel, was was to quickly "blanche" the lime first in boiling water that I had sugared pretty heavily, for just 2-3 minutes. This takes care of any possible harmful agents in the peel, goes to soften it slightly and also of course reduces the acidity. And do remember of course that this was purely made for the eye of the beholder and is in no way essential to making this dish! But if you want to use the little "blood" lime, slice it into the thinnest slices you can manage and you should have no problems!

Add the slices as a garnish and chill for 2-4 hours, after which time the cream will have set and the flavors in the cream will have become more intense. Which only leaves for you all to enjoy it! And I sure hope that you do!

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