Saturday 12 March 2011

finger lime & elderflower gin fizz

Jonas is giving me a hard time about not blogging enough.

He’s right, but it’s hard at the moment because I’m really busy with TWO intensive writing projects and an exciting recipe project that all suck my time and energy like a black hole.

It will be worth it in the end, but for now my blogging might be a little infrequent and I hope you’ll bear with me. I will be back to full time in April.

But something I just can’t wait to talk to you about is the crazily massive box of finger limes I received from Fred and Janet Durham at the Australian Finger Lime Company.

I have written about finger limes before, but for the uninitiated these gorgeous little beauties are native to Australia and therefore a food source to the Australian Aboriginal people for thousands of years.

European settlers weren’t so bright, and cleared so much land for cattle grazing that they almost wiped out these amazing citrus fruits. Luckily some trees remained in National Parks and people like the Durhams have been able to resurrect the numbers to turn them into a viable commercial crop.

If you ever have a chance to taste a finger lime, do not hesitate. You will be amazed.

When you cut a finger lime, the tightly bound cells of citrus burst out like caviar. They come in very pretty colours like vivid pink, electric yellow and bright green. Perfect for delicious, decorative touches on both sweet and savoury dishes.

The generous box the Durhams gave to me was so big I had to freeze some for later, but that’s fine since the limes retain the perfect caviar interior even after freezing. It makes them perfect fruit to stock up on during their short season, then freeze and enjoy throughout the year.

I love finger limes mixed into gin drinks, but you could easily put them into custards and creams, use where you would have used lime or lemon juice or zest, make them into jam or curd like this company (they ship internationally).

This recipe is close to my heart because, like the Glögg Summer Punch I made at Christmas last year, it’s another marriage of Sweden and Australia, just like my husband and I.

It also ticks off a 2011 Food Challenge to use more native ingredients.

Finger Lime & Elderflower Gin Fizz

Anna's very own recipe. Makes 1.

2 parts gin
1 part finger lime syrup (see below)
½ part elderflower syrup
1 tablespoon finger lime caviar
Soda water

1. Fill a shaker with ice, then add the gin, finger lime syrup, elderflower syrup and finger lime caviar. Shake it like a polaroid picture.
2. Pour into an ice filled tumbler, top with soda water.
3. Stir and serve.

Finger Lime Syrup

Anna's very own recipe. Makes approx. 350ml.

1 cup sugar
1 cup water
¼ cup finger lime caviar (approx. 4 large limes)

1. Bring the sugar, lime caviar and water to the boil, then stir to dissolve all sugar.
2. Reduce to a simmer and bubble away for around 5-10 minutes until reduced to your preferred thickness.
3. Remove from heat, bring to room temperature and then chill.
Note: Use as a cordial with soda, in a cocktail or drizzled over yoghurt or ice cream.

This, with finger limes as the theme ingredient, is my contribution to Weekend Herb Blogging hosted by Winnie from Healthy Green Kitchen.

For other exciting finger lime recipes, check out these:

Finger Lime Caviar Butter
Finger Lime Martini
Finger Lime Vinaigrette
Lemon & Finger Lime Curd
Mango, Finger Lime & Coconut Cream
Malaysian Finger Lime & Chicken Curry
No-Cook Finger Lime Tart
Sardines w Tomato Purée & Finger Lime
Smoked Salmon and Goat Cheese on Rye w Finger Limes
Tuna Tartare w Avocado & Finger Lime


  1. I love finger limes! They're so different from any other fruit. I made a finger lime curd and that disappeared so quickly!

  2. lorraine - i know, they taste so different to other limes. almost like kaffir but then somehow with a sort of candy edge to them. hmmm, not sure that's the best description but i'm sticking to it.

    your finger lime butter is linked above :)

  3. This is one fruit I've been trying to get my hands on for a few months now. I absolutely adore it. While I'm not a huge fan of gin, the finger lime martini is right up my alley!

  4. This drink looks like a fab way to use finger limes. I wish I could get them in the UK. They are such a fun way to tart up so many dishes.

  5. I would love to try finger limes!

  6. I've been wanting to plant one of those trees here, and believe am close to finding a source. Such a unique fruit, and what a good way to put them to use.

  7. Best reason I have been given for coming to Oz. I got hooked on Japanese citrus but these look like fun. Fancy chefs use liquid nitrogen to get the caviar citrus effect, and all we need is a commercial crop. Send some to NYC purveyors, ok maybe i should try theses before I rave about them

  8. They look gorgeous and have never used them before, but always been meaning to try. You'd never think those strange avocado looking things would harbour such cute little pearls! Good luck with the writing too!

  9. john, maria & trina - whereabouts are you? email me or DM me on twitter and maybe i can share some of the limes in my freezer

    vix & barton - i know they've started exporting and promoting to the UK and US (in small quantities) so keep a look out

    claudia - you're braver than me. everything i try to grow dies straight away!

  10. I have an unopened bottle of gin sitting in my freezer, all I need now is some finger limes. I love them but never thought to put them in a drink before... great call!

  11. Oh wow these limes look amazing! If only you could get them outside Australia, I'd love to have a go with them. Alas, I'm in Canada. I just discovered your blog today and am going to make your chorizo/chickpea soup for a dinner party tomorrow night. I'll let you know how it goes!

  12. Hi I grow fingerlimes commerically call me +61412036503, twenty different types in production. email


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