Makes 6 pickled limes
Pickled limes add a sharp citrus kick to recipes. As the rind softens, it releases a bitter note than permeates throughout the lime. The insides break down as they set in the salted water, so the texture becomes rather mushy. Use a sharp knife when slicing to preserve the beautiful lime shape.
Cambodian pickled limes are easy to make but take a little time – you’ll probably need start two weeks ahead. Hot and sunny temperatures are necessary to dry out the limes quickly. When we made them, temperatures were floating around 104 (with a heat index of 111F). I may have set a world record for time to dry out six limes. Two days!
NOTE: You could also use small key limes for this recipe.
Special thanks to Karen Coates of Rambling Spoon whose post Ode to a Grandmother inspired this recipe.
water, as needed
Dry a bunch of clean, fresh limes in the sun. Rotate as needed to get all sides dry.
I put them on my driveway, because it is the sunniest part of the house. My neighbors love me.
Here they are after just one day! What a heat wave we had!
The side that sat in the sun all day was brown. I can’t get over how cool they look. And the warm lime scent is pretty awesome too.
The next day I rotated them to do the other side. That night, when I went out to check them, I couldn’t believe my eyes – they were done!! Normally, if you aren’t living in an inferno, this process takes about a week. You’ll know they are done when the skin becomes a smooth tan color.
Now for some pickling fun. This was my first time. Boil a small pot of water.
Add a palm full of salt.
And place the limes in a big, clean glass jar. You’ll probably want to wipe them off since they outside world isn’t so sterile. Dust and spiders and all that stuff.
Cover with the boiling salted water. Be careful
They look like a science experiment, don’t they? I love it! And so easy…
Cover at least one week, until the limes are soft. This is the perfect time to take a family vacation to Virginia! Or you know, wherever. That’s just what we did!
Although the boiling water makes things sterile, I still refrigerated them. I’m paranoid like that. I’m not sure exactly how long they’ll last, but I’d suggest using them up in a month or so.
The acidic punch tastes great in Chicken and Pickled Lime Soup, or muddled up with some seltzer water and sugar.