One of the most exciting crops in our garden this year is our Australian Finger Limes. I’m growing Citrus australasica, var. sanguinea’ Rainforest Pearl’. This is one of the varieties of native citrus that has been developed commercially over recent years.
As this plant doesn’t grow naturally in the Canberra region we have been growing it in a pot so we can place it under the shelter of our trees in winter. It survived last years frosts and below zero temperatures to produce what I think was quite a bit of fruit for a still small (about 1 metre tall) plant. Indeed I pulled off about a third of the fruit that was initially on the plant.
Apart from the interestingly shaped fruit, this plant has very sharp spines!
Like many native plants the finger lime has intense flavours. So you don’t need much to give any dish some real tang.
I made some wonderful, marmalade with finger limes and Tahitian limes a few years ago, so I was prepared to have another go, albeit with a slightly different twist this year.
I used Liana Krissoff’s recipe for Strawberry & Lemon Preserves (in Canning for a New Generation) and substituted a handful of finger limes for the lemons. I had strawberries in the freezer so that part was straight forward.
After cutting up the fruit and macerating it with sugar overnight I had a delightful bowl of deep pink fruit.
From here on in it was basic jam making. It turned out not to make such a large amount and I chose to be contrary and not skim the foam off my jam (because it was such a small amount), hence the pale pink ‘froth’ (now somewhat solid) on the top of my fruit.
I’m looking forward to tasting it during this week.