We used to have a kaffir lime plant sitting on our windowsill for many years, but it never flowered and never fruited. While the leaves that we occasionally plucked were fragrant and added a wonderful aroma when thrown into a chicken curry, we were always curious how the fruit tasted.
Turns out, kaffir limes need enough space to grow and flower, which clearly our windowsill didn’t offer. Good thing our friend ML has a large garden and she was kind enough to offer us a couple from her precious harvest.
Of all the fruits in the citrus family, I’d say that the kaffir lime is probably one of the ugliest. It’s lumpy, wrinkly and doesn’t look particularly appetising. The rind is quite thick and the fruit itself doesn’t yield much juice. Its redeeming quality though, is that the zest is very flavourful and makes a wonderful ingredient for desserts.
Which was what The Wife did one weekend afternoon. Since the kaffir limes were quite small, she bought an additional lemon to provide reinforcements. The first thing she made was muffins, half using lemon zest and the other half using kaffir, and ran a blind taste test on me to see if I could tell the difference.
I took a bite and said: “Scones?” and immediately failed. To me, muffins are supposed to be moist and fluffy, but these were slightly hard and crumbly. Clearly I took the wrong test and was guided back to focus on comparing flavours.
While both muffins had the citrusy tang, the lemon one was gentler while the kaffir one was bolder, similar to how the leaves smelled but a bit toned down. I preferred the kaffir
scone muffin, proving that even when a fruit is ugly, it can still make good desserts.
Since the muffin tray only fit six and there was some batter left, she baked the remainder in a small cake tin and whipped up some whipped cream with a splash (or two) of yuzu liqueur. It went quite well with the muffin/cake and gave it an even stronger scone feeling.
There was still quite a lot of the whipped cream left over, so she froze them to make yuzu ice cream. Sort of.
The truly amazing thing was that when we had them for dessert the next day, the first flavour that came to both our minds was: “Rum and raisin!” I have no idea why frozen whipped cream + yuzu liqueur + honey + lemon zest = rum and raisin ice cream, but it did somehow.
So, if you ever find yourself craving for rum and raisin ice cream but don’t have any in the freezer, you know how to whip some up.