We’ve been making lime pickles from the Makrut Limes (formally known as Kaffir Limes) from our tree. There are an awful lot of seeds in the limes. We don’t like to waste anything, and I also had a couple of dozen cumquats I was looking to use. The seeds from the limes are full of pectin, so I simmered them with the pulp that was left after juicing the cumquats. After straining, it made the most wonderful syrup.
The taste is sweet with citrus-bitter, a little like marmalade. It is almost set but now quite – a perfect consistency for toast and crumpets, and also for drizzling over rice pudding, Besan Payasam, icecream and other desserts. It is also a great drizzle over Brussels Sprouts and other veggies before roasting, onto soups, curries, rice etc.
Of course you won’t have lime seeds at your disposal. Make it anyway, just leave the seeds out. Or you can try with lemon seeds or seeds of other citrus. Add just enough sugar to retain the taste but overcome any sharp sour or bitter tastes. (You want to keep a little sour and a little bitter, don’t eliminate it altogether. We are not used to bitter tastes in our cuisines, but they are wonderful when used in the right way.)
Cumquat and Makrut (Kaffir) Lime Seed Syrup
Juice 24 – 36 cumquats and then simmer any retained lime seeds (from using the limes in other recipes) with the pulp from the cumquats and water to cover. Simmer for about 30 mins. This extracts the pectin from the seeds and flavour from the pulp. Alternatively the seeds can been soaked in water overnight.
After straining, add the pectin liquid to the cumquat juice and bring to a simmer on the stove-top. Add enough to sweeten the syrup but leave notes of sweet and citrus-bitter. Simmer on low-medium heat until almost set. Look for for a point at which it can be used like a conserve, or drizzled into and over dishes. It will taste divine, quite a lot like marmalade – sweet, sour, with touch of bitter.