Thursday, January 29, 2009

Eggless Lime Curd (Quick Lime Spread)

The inspiration for this recipe truly belongs to Chellu. When he realized that I could not eat the traditional lemon curd since it contains eggs, he wanted to make one that I could enjoy too. Sweet!

Chellu and I checked a couple of recipes; but none seemed encouraging until we came to Bryanna's Lemon Curd recipe. We had to make some changes - we had no lemons, soy milk, etc. We did have lots of lovely homegrown limes that a friend had brought over. Chellu wondered why we could not use the limes and make lime curd instead? Why not indeed! Since Chellu was determined to go forth anyway, go forth we did because I did not want to pour the proverbial cold water on his culinary adventure.

WOW! the Lime Curd turned out scrumptious. It is so easy to make too. In addition to using it as a spread (like jam/jellies) of course, we used some in the "trifle" that I made - utterly delicious!

We made the lime curd in the microwave oven. You may cook it in a sauce pan over the stove. The recipe as given below uses milk and butter; for the vegan version see Bryanna's post on 'leftovers..., and vegan wedding cake'.

Ingredients:

Green rind from One Lime
1/2 cup fresh Lime juice
1/4 cup water
3/4 cup Sugar
2 Tbsp Corn Starch
1 pinch Salt
1/4 cup Milk, any type
1 Tbsp Unsalted Butter

Method:

Peel or grate only the colorful green part of the lime (but not the white pith) before juicing.

Juice the limes.

Place the lime rind, juice, water, sugar, salt and corn starch in a blender container and process until thoroughly combined.

Pour into a heatproof bowl and cook at high power for 2 minutes in the microwave oven. Remove from the oven and beat well using a wire whisk.

Heat for another 2 minutes or until the mixture boils and becomes clear.

Remove from the oven and beat vigorously with the whisk.

Add the milk one spoonful at a time and whisk thoroughly after each addition.

Add the butter and beat well until all the butter has melted and is incorporated into the lime curd. Let cool slightly. Lime curd will thicken more when it cools.

Pour the lime curd into a clean sterile jar, cover.

Serve warm or cold. Store any extra in the refrigerator.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Lime Scented Vegan Sponge Cake

This lime scented sponge cake is absolutely delicious and easy to bake too. Lemons can be substituted for the lime juice as well as the rind. Without the use of eggs or butter, it is not only animal friendly, but health friendly too :-). Who needs 'heart attack on a plate' for dessert anyway, right :-)?

I used this cake in the "trifle" dessert and it was a huge success beyond my anticipation!

This recipe produces 1 large cake or 2 thin layers for a layer cake.

Ingredients:
  • 1 tsp cornstarch
  • 1/3 cup fresh Lime Juice
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1/2 tsp Salt
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/3 cup Canola oil
  • 1 cup water
  • Lime rind grated from 1 Lime
  • 2 cups unbleached flour + extra for dusting the cake pans
  • 3 tsp baking powder

Method:

  1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.
  2. Lightly coat one 11 by 13 inch OR two 9 inch diameter layer cake pans with a cooking oil spray. Lightly dust the pan(s) with a little flour.
  3. Finely grate the rind (only the green part) from 1 lime (2 if the limes are small) before juicing; you should have about 1 tsp.
  4. Juice enough limes to make 1/3 cup of juice - about 2 limes.
  5. In a large mixing bowl combine the corn starch in the 1/3 cup of lime juice using a wire whisk until slightly frothy.
  6. Add the grated lime rind, oil, water, sugar, salt, and vanilla. Mix well.
  7. In another bowl, combine the flour and baking powder. Stir well.
  8. Sift the flour mixture into the bowl with the cornstarch mixture.
  9. Combine thoroughly with a whisk or rubber spatula just until all is mixed well.
  10. Pour batter into the oiled baking pan(s) and bake for about 20 minutes or until done.
  11. Remove from the oven and let cool completely.
  12. Serve as is, with berries and custard, or fill and frost as you wish - Lime Curd or Vanilla Custard make great fillings.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Vanilla Custard Or Pudding (Eggless)

Vanilla custard is perhaps the easiest of simple desserts. The first time I remember eating custard was when my father made it during our father-daughter cookouts. My father was a man ahead of his times! He would take over the kids and the kitchen every once in a while so my mother could visit her friends, go shopping, etc. Our menu invariably included "half-boiled vegetables" and custard followed by a much anticipated story time. "Half-boiled vegetables" are veggies cooked until tender, yet firm. Father extolled the virtues of eating vitamin-filled "half-boiled" veggies as we gathered around him to watch and 'help' :-). Everything always turned out delicious and we ate everything up.

The custard can be made vegan by using an alternate milk such as soy or rice milk. Also, the amount of corn starch can be increased/decreased to produce a more/less solid custard according to your preference. This recipe produces a soft one, perfect for eating by itself or spooning over fruits, cake, etc.

Vanilla custard is delicious served warm or cool over sliced bananas, berries, etc for a wholesome dessert. One of our favorite childhood desserts was fruit salad served with custard and vanilla ice cream.

6 Servings
Ingredients:
  • 3 Tbsp Corn Starch
  • 3 Tbsp sugar
  • 3 cups any type milk
  • ½ to 1 tsp vanilla
Method:
  1. Combine the corn starch and sugar in a medium saucepan.
  2. Gradually add the milk, stirring well with a spoon or a wire whisk until well-mixed.
  3. Heat the mixture over medium heat, stirring continuously to ensure that lumps do not form.
  4. Bring to a boil, stirring constantly.
  5. Remove from heat and stir in the vanilla. The pudding will thicken as it cools.
  6. Cool a little and serve warm by itself, over fruit or cake.
  7. If you wish to serve it cold, pour into the serving dish, cover, and chill.
Microwave Oven Method:
Making the pudding/custard in the microwave oven makes it very quick and painless. I use a 2 quart Pyrex glass bowl and whisk the custard vigorously after every 2 minutes.
  1. Cook on high (full) power at first for two minutes; whisk well.
  2. Cook again for 2 minutes. Whisk again.
  3. Cook for 2 minutes or a little longer at 70 percent power until the custard comes to a boil and thickens. Cooking at lower power ensures that the custard does not boil over.
  4. Remove and whisk well; stir in vanilla. Proceed as described above.