Over the 4th of July weekend, I decided to take on lime curd, one of the fillings for Amy’s wedding cake. I used this filling in vanilla cupcakes with fresh blackberry buttercream frosting. We picked the blackberries straight from the garden at my grandfather’s. (I had to send a helper to pick a second batch because some people, ehem, ate my first batch!) I spent the holiday at his beach house with family, Christian, and of course, Miss Daisy.
Click on the picture to see the video on Youtube!
It was a great weekend filled with family, beach, boardwalk, paddle-boarding, fishing (for the men), fireworks, s’mores, and good times all around. I even played flip cup with my brothers for the first time; you know, to prepare them for college and all (they grow up so fast)! It was a classic, perfect 4th of July at the beach. 🙂
Back to the curd: Lime curd is tricky to make when your instructions are vague and not so useful. The part that I did wrong was that I didn’t heat it up long enough for the sugar to actually melt, so you still had grains of sugar in the final product. I understand it now, but at the time, that didn’t even occur to me. Moreover, the recipe called for heating the mixture in the microwave. TERRIBLE DECISION. Not only did my sugar not melt, but it overflowed the bowl and left me quite a mess in the microwave. After reading more recipes, I learned a better way is to heat it over low heat until it starts to thicken. 😦 Don’t worry though – I’ve modified the recipe below to what I believe will be better. I’ll test it out soon and let you know how that goes with all my modifications.
Mine turned out a little too liquidy, but I attribute that to not melting the sugar granules…and maybe a little too much lime juice…(but I DID follow the recipe!)
It was also REALLY strong, which was good for the little dollop I put in the cupcakes, but I think a little subtler taste might improve it. I think this may also be achieved once the sugar melts, and I may add less lime.
After I assembled all components, I tried to teach Christian how to ice a cupcake. He semi-succeeded. 😛 I just told him practice makes perfect, and considering who he’s living with, he will have plenty of chances to practice.
The blackberry frosting was so delicious. I kind of just made up the recipe based on a classic buttercream. My one suggestion is just make sure to not put ANY water in until the blackberries are in, because they add a lot of moisture on their own.
For the curd, I used a slightly different recipe, but I plan to use this one from Alaska From Scratch next time. Based on the problems I had with mine (too strong, too liquidy, too grainy), I think this recipe should solve those. In the end though, the final product was fresh and delicious with the surprise lime curd filling! And everybody ate them, so I guess they weren’t half bad…
When you look at the recipe and the ingredients, curd should be pretty simple to make and not mess up (whoops…), but I guess I’m super talented like that. Maybe I just got a little too much sun or ingested too much salt water at the beach. Or maybe it was just the carefree feeling in the air that caused me to poorly execute a rather simple recipe. I’ll keep you posted on how attempt two goes. I won’t add it to my recipe page until I make a successful curd though…
- 3 eggs
- 3/4 cup sugar
- 1/4 cup key lime juice, freshly squeezed
- 1 teaspoon key lime zest
- 1 tiny drop Wilton Leaf Green food coloring gel (optional)
- 4 tablespoons butter
- In a saucepan, whisk together the eggs and sugar until well combined. Whisk in the key lime juice, zest, and gel food coloring (I used the tiniest tip of a toothpick of gel, just to give the curd a subtle green tint. Completely optional. If you don’t use, the curd will be a creamy yellow with flecks of green from the zest).
- Turn the heat on to medium low and stir the mixture briskly and constantly until warmed through. Add the butter a little at a time until it melts into the mixture and becomes smooth. Continue cooking and stirring until the curd begins to thicken and coat the spoon. Pour the curd through a fine mesh sieve to strain. Pour curd into a jar or other tightly sealed container and refrigerate up to two weeks. Spread onto scones or biscuits or use as a filling for desserts or donuts.
Blackberry Buttercream Frosting
- 1 cup unsalted butter (2 sticks or ½ pound), softened (but not melted!)
- 3-4 cups confectioners (powdered) sugar, sifted
- ¼ teaspoon table salt
- 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
- 1 cup blackberries (I forgot to measure how much blackberries I used – my bad!)
- water as needed
- Puree blackberries. Sieve mixture to remove seeds if you want. (I did not because I was lazy and no one complained.)
- Beat butter for a few minutes with a mixer with the paddle attachment on medium speed. Add 3 cups of powdered sugar and turn your mixer on the lowest speed (so the sugar doesn’t blow everywhere) until the sugar has been incorporated with the butter.
- Increase mixer speed to medium and add vanilla extract, salt, and blackberry puree and beat for 3 minutes.
- If your frosting needs a more stiff consistency, add remaining sugar. If your frosting needs to be thinned out, add water a few drops at a time. (Buttercream turns from too stiff to too thin very quickly! I’ve learned from experience many a time!)