Archive for: lime
When citrus is in season, I do a lot of baking with lemons, but lemons aren’t the only citrus out there and I think limes don’t get used as much as they could be. Limes have a bold, tart flavor to them that makes them a lot of fun to bake with, because even a small amount of lime can have a noticeable impact on a recipe. These Vanilla and Lime Marble Cupcakes have a swirl of zesty lime in the batter that makes the cupcakes bright and perfect for the springtime, without being overwhelmingly lime flavored. They’re moist, fluffy and well-balanced – so they should be a hit with anyone who loves a good cupcake, as well as citrus fans.
The base for these cupcakes is a simple vanilla buttermilk cupcake recipe that is one of my favorites. After making the batter, I took out a portion and added lime zest and a little green food coloring to it, to make sure that you could see – as well as taste – the difference between the two flavors of cupcake batter (and because St Patrick’s Day is right around the corner). The lime is bright and a nice contrast to the mellower vanilla cake, and the cupcakes look very fun with a bright green streak running right through them! I used a vanilla buttercream that I also swirled with a little bit of green to top the cupcakes, but didn’t add lime to the frosting so that the lime in the cupcakes would stand out on its own (although lime-lovers could certainly add some lime zest to the frosting as well!).
To marble two batters together, whether you are using two colors or two different flavors, is to first layer them in your pan and then give them a little swirl with a knife. Layering the batters gives you a nice distribution of color/flavor and a gentle swirl will create a nice pattern. Don’t swirl too aggressively or the colors will become muddled. You could also use this recipe with the Wilton Two Tone Cupcake inserts, which give you a fun way to separate colors and is what I used here (full review coming soon).
Tart and tangy cranberries are often pared with oranges and orange juice, but cranberries actually go very well with all kinds of citrus. I like cranberries with lemon in cakes and quickbreads, for instance, and lime might be an even better match for them. Limes have a bold, tart flavor that is similar to that of cranberries, and as long as you balance the sugar out so that your finished product isn’t overly tart, you will get a combination that is a winner no matter what you are baking.
These Lime and Cranberry Thumbprint Cookies have a great balance of lime and cranberry in a very pretty cookie that is a festive addition to any dessert plate. The cookies start out with a shortbread-type cookie dough that is flavored with lime zest and vanilla. There is no leavening in the dough because you need the cookies to hold their shape during baking, after you make “thumbprints” to fill with cranberry sauce. You can use just about any cranberry sauce for this recipe (I usually use a homemade sauce) as long as it has chunks of real fruit in it. Cranberry jelly, which is more like jello, is not ideal for this recipe.
The cookies are tender and buttery, with a good lime flavor and a bright burst of cranberry in the center. They’re a little bit soft, rather than crispy, which is nice with the cranberry sauce center.
I typically make the thumbprint marks for these cookies by using my finger, dipping it in a little bit of flour in case it gets sticky while I’m working. You can also use the end of a large wooden spoon, if you have one that has a round handle on it, or the back of a half or quarter teaspoon measure. I always eyeball the amount of filling, trying to mound it just over the top of the cookie dough around my thumbprint. Don’t worry too much about getting an exact amount of filling in each indent, just fill up the thumbprint you have made – large or small. It’s more important not to go overboard with too much cranberry sauce, because your cookies won’t have a clean look if the filling bubbles over the side of the cookie during baking.
Refreshing isn’t a word that you often associate with cupcakes, but these Lemon Lime Cupcakes definitely have a refreshing element to them. The cupcakes are bright with both fresh lemon and lime zest, and have a lemon lime buttercream on top. It is sweet, light and surprisingly palate cleansing, for a cupcake. They’re quite different from most cupcakes, as the combination of lemon and lime doesn’t show up that often in cupcake form, and that also makes them a very nice change of pace for those of you getting bored with chocolate and vanilla.
The cake for these cupcakes is very moist and tender, with a soft, tight crumb. The lemon lime flavor comes from fresh zest that is grated into the cupcake batter. Zest – the colored, outer portion of a citrus fruit – is extremely flavorful because that is where all of the intense citrus oils are. . I used one large lemon and one large lime to get enough zest for one batch of cupcakes, but you might want to have an extra lime on hand in case yours turn out to be a bit small. A microplane is the perfect tool for easily zesting your fruit. Don’t skimp on the zest when making these to get the best lemon-lime flavor in the finished cakes – and if you have to cut back, you can boost the flavor with some lemon or lime oil, which you can buy bottled.
The cupcakes are topped with a lemon lime buttercream, where I used the juice from the fruits I zested for the cake to give the frosting a bright citrus flavor. The lemon and lime juice blend well together, and this frosting is one that you could easily use to make a batch of yellow or vanilla cupcakes more exciting. If you find that you don’t have quite enough juice from your zested lemon and lime, and you don’t have any more fruit on hand, you can add a little bit of water to the frosting to make up the difference.
Citrus is in season and the trees – here in Southern California, at least – are bursting with oranges, lemons, grapefruits, limes and other sweet, tangy citrus. Not only do I squeeze oranges to make juice for breakfast, but I find myself making lemonade and lemon bars, generously squeezing limes onto homemade tacos and into all manner of baked goods. The zest from these fruits also makes a regular appearance in my recipes. This Citrus Lover’s Bundt Cake is a cake for anyone who also loves all kinds of citrus fruits because it uses orange, lemon and lime all in one delicious dessert.
Lemon, lime and orange juice are all incorporated into this cake, as well as the zest of all three fruits. They blend together and give the cake an overall citrus flavor, without one fruit dominating the rest. The result is a cake that is tasty and surprisingly complex. The cake has a moist, soft texture and a fluffy crumb, so it’s not too heavy and is a great snacking cake to keep around the kitchen – although it is elegant enough to serve at a brunch or dinner party, as well. The fancier your bundt pan is, the fancier your cake will be. I used my Heritage Bundt Pan for this particular cake.
Freshly squeezed fruit juice is the key to a great cake with this recipe. You’re going to get the most vibrant flavors in both the cake and the glaze with fresh lemons, limes and oranges. You can, in a pinch, use pre-squeezed juice, but try to get the freshest you can and get at least a few fruits for the zest, as that will really punch up the flavor in the cake. I used orange and lemon zest in the cake, where I wanted to make sure that their flavors stood out, but saved the zestier lime zest for the glaze, where it added a little extra brightness without dominating the other flavors. If you want to highlight one fruit over the others, use only that fruit’s juice in the glaze (just orange or lime, for instance), as that will add a nice overlay of that flavor to the whole cake.
Lemon bars are a fantastic treat when you have fresh lemons around. The best bars have lots of real lemon juice in them, after all, not just a few drops of juice or a bit of extract. The same holds true for lime bars, which are simply a variation on lemon bars that feature limes, rather than lemons. This lime bar recipe uses a lot of freshly squeezed lime juice and tempers its tartness with buttermilk, sugar, eggs and vanilla to make a delicious topping for these shortbread bars.
The base of these bars can be whipped in in just a few seconds in the food processor. In fact, the filling can also be whizzed together in just a few seconds in the food processor, so although you might invest a few minutes squeezing and zesting limes for these bars, they take almost no time to throw together. The shortbread base is made by cutting cold butter into a mixture of flour and sugar. This mixture is pressed into your pan and baked until just set, then it is topped with the lime mixture and baked a second time. The beauty of this technique is that you don’t need to wait for the crust to cool before that second baking – just pour the lime filling onto the hot crust and put it back in the oven!
The finished bars have a zesty, lime curd-like topping with a really fresh lime flavor, and a good balance between sweet and tart. The shortbread base is tender and buttery; you definitely get a nice hit of butter in every bite. Dust the tops of these bars with confectioners’ sugar before serving to dress them up a bit, or simply serve them plain. They are good both chilled and at room temperature.