Finger Lime crystals are probably the most intriguing food ingredient I have ever come across and I am finding wonderful new ways to use them by experimenting and adding them to as many dishes as I can.
So what does the finger lime add to a dish?
Whilst most descriptions of this fruit’s flavour talk about it resembling lime, the ones I have grown are somewhat tarter, so I would rank it as a cross between a lime and a lemon. And there are lots of dishes that can be enhanced by this flavour.
The most amazing thing about this fruit is its texture- it is firm, smooth, cool and crisp all at the same time and when chewed on there is a delightful crunch, which results in a burst of fresh lemony lime flavour that is quite unique to anything I have ever consumed.
It is stunning as a garnish and as a topping on other food. The pink fruit I have look like shiny little crystals sparkling in the light so they are very visually appealing as well as adding interest to a dish.
So all in all an interesting ingredient that can liven up a dish and have all your family and guests wondering what this new ingredient is.
Here are some of the ways I have used the crystals and what my family and I thought of it.
As a topping on oysters, with a light vinaigrette – very swish and the crunch really highlights the creaminess of a good Sydney rock oyster- My first experience of Finger Limes was at Tetsuya’s restaurant in Sydney, used in exactly this way, though my vinaigrette is not quite the master piece experienced then.
As a garnish on a light flavoured white fish. I have tried it on Ocean Perch and John Dory and the crunch and the citrus flavour enliven the subtle flavour of these fish.
I was also really impressed with it as a topping on a baked cheesecake they crisp sharp citrus flavour compliments beautifully the rich creaminess of the cheesecake.
I have also added it to champagne and other cocktails where a citrus flavour is needed and again it is the wonderful texture this fruit adds to everything that makes it take an ordinary drink to a sensational experience.
Last week I added them to a prawn and avocado salad, with great results. I used a few mixed leaves and some avocado gently coated with a splash of olive oil and lemon juice and then added the finger lime crystals over the top. It was just sensational, the crispness of the finger lime and the creaminess of the avocado was such a great combination.
I think I am developing a theme here anything rich and creamy with the crisp and crunching tartness of the Finger limes- what a combination.
I have been using the fruit for about three weeks and have also give a dozen or so away but still have 35 fruit left to use. Although I am completely enamored with this fruit, it is not something I will use in huge quantities, so I would like to preserve them somehow.
Back to Mr Goggle and I found a number of references that talked about freezing the fruit. So I tried, as they suggested, freezing the fruit whole and then thawing them at room temperature for a couple of hours.
It has certainly worked with little or no loss of their flavour or texture. This means I have enough fruit to last me till the following year harvest which it fabulous.
Why not have a look at some other ideas for cooking with and preserving the fabulous culinary wonder – here is a reference I found in my internet travels to give you some further inspiration.
And I would love to hear any feedback on your favourite way of using and preserving Finger Limes.