Lime and Key Lime SelectionChoose brightly-colored, smooth-skinned, firm fruits that feel heavy for their size. Avoid those with blemishes or decayed spots and those that look shriveled and feel soft.
Although small brown areas on the skin (known as scald) will not affect the flavor or juiciness of the lime, a dry and shriveled skin will indicate an inferior fruit way past its prime.
Persian limes are generally available year-round, with peak season from May through August. Be sure to wash limes thoroughly before using for zest.
Lime and Key Lime StorageWhole limes can be refrigerated up to ten days in a plastic bag. You may find they last up to several weeks, but be aware that the flavor will be greatly diminished the longer they are kept. When the end of a lime's storage life is near, the skin becomes pitted.
Lime slices or wedges should be bagged and refrigerated up to five days.
Lime juice can be frozen, but not the whole fruit. Put the juice into ice cube trays. When frozen, pop them into a plastic bag, seal, and store up to four months in the freezer. For future recipe accuracy, you may wish to measure the juice into the ice trays before freezing.
Grated lime zest can be frozen in a sealed plastic bag.
Lime Cooking TipsIf you have no access to Key limes for some of these recipes, try substituting half lime juice and half lemon juice for the required amount of Key lime juice. It will not be the same, but it will be closer than using all Persian lime juice.
Avoid using an aluminum pan when cooking with limes, particularly when making desserts. The acid reacts with the aluminum which can impart an off-flavor and a grayish color.
Try substituting limes in your favorite Preserved Lemon recipe for a delightful change.
For those on a salt-free diet, try using a bit of lime juice as a replacement seasoning.
More about Limes and Lime Recipes:• Lime Selection and Storage
• Lime Substitutions, Measures, and Equivalents
• What are Key limes?
• What are Persian limes?
• Key Lime Pie History and Heirloom Recipe
• Lime History
• Lime Recipes
Persian Limes and Key Limes Photo © 2007 Peggy Trowbridge Filippone, licensed to About.com, Inc.
|•||Key Lime Cookin'|
|•||A Squeeze of Lime|
|•||The Great Citrus Book|