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Lime Cordial

I have a thing about preserves.  I can see the sense in climates where it snows and for several months there is no fresh food, but in my climate it seems like make-work.  Why eat bottled peaches when there are fresh pears?  Why eat frozen peas when there are fresh beans?  Especially given that preserving uses not just work but also fuel and often salt and sugar in quantities too great to be really healthy.

There is a permaculture saying that “the problem is the solution” – as in: you don’t have a surplus of snails – you have a deficit of ducks.  Perhaps a surplus of fresh produce is really a deficit of trade/barter/gift partners? Producing community is more important for living well in lean times than a well stocked cellar.

I see preserves more as condiments than food, and this is the rationale for lime cordial.  It is not actually for cordial but for use in salad dressings and marinades through early summer when fresh citrus fruits aren’t available.  It is because I refuse to buy  imported lemons no matter what the recipe says!  This recipe works for lemon or lime cordial, but limes have a shorter season when fresh ones are available.

The Recipe

Sterilize a 750 ml bottle and its lid by boiling for 10 minutes or pressure cooking for 5, or (given that it is probably too tall for your pots!) baking in an oven for 15 minutes (in which case you will probably need to boil the lid separately because it is likely to have plastic in it).

In an enamel or stainless steel pot, bring to the boil 1½ cups of lime juice, 1½ cups of water, 3 cups of sugar, and the finely grated rind of the limes.  You will find it easier to grate the rind before you juice the limes. You can use any kind of sugar.  I tend to use brown or raw sugar for everything, but it will make your cordial a darker colour and a richer flavour than refined white sugar.

Boil for a couple of minutes, just to dissolve the sugar well.

You need the mix and your sterilized bottle to be a similar temperature – otherwise the bottle will crack. I find the best way to do this is to let both cool slightly before bottling your cordial.


{ 10 comments… add one }
  • Maureen | Orgasmic Chef September 18, 2012, 5:52 pm

    Heard about this today from Celia and I can’t wait to try it.

  • molly October 30, 2012, 10:17 am

    Hi Linda
    Will this keep in a cool spot or does it need the fridge?

  • Linda October 30, 2012, 10:28 am

    Hi Molly,
    it keeps for ages and ages – I’ve never actually figured how long but at least a year – out of the fridge unopened. Once opened it does go off eventually – it develops mould on the surface – but like jams or cordials, the sugar and acid preserves it for a very long time.

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