Botanically known as Citrus glauca, Desert Lime is a citrus fruit that has been used by Indigenous Australians for millennia: It is used to make jams, tarts, and jellies. It is also used to make juice by grinding it into seasoning powder due to its unique piquant lime flavour.
In Australia, Desert Lime is now being more commonly used in dressings, marinades, chutneys, pickles, and preserves, brined peeled, candied products, liqueurs, flavoured butter, cordials, and syrups. The flavour is bitter, a bit like lime, with an addictive citrus ring to it
According to healthline, it is rich in Glycosides-- a skin healer that is used to repair injured skin cells. It also helps in the absorption of vital ingredients which keeps the skin in good health. Desert Lime is used in making sunscreen to help block UV rays that could damage the skin.
As an antioxidant, Desert Lime is an immune booster helping the body to fight illnesses. It contains coumarin, an anti-fungicidal, and furanocoumarin that helps in skin regeneration with anti-aging properties.
100g of dry weight Desert Lime contains;
Desert Limes are found in South West Queensland, New South Wales, and Flinders Ranges of South Australia. The tree is tolerant to heat, frost, salinity, and drought dropping its leaves as an adaptive feature. While it is usually thorny at a young age to protect itself from grazers, the thorns disappear as the plant ages. It produces heavy fruit under favourable conditions.
Desert Lime does exceptionally well in gardens when;
- It is positioned to grow under the full gaze of the sun.
- Planted in mound fertile soils
- Foliar fertilizer is sprayed after blooming
- If potted, a well-drained pot is preferred
Desert Lime flowers in August but the fruits ripen in December. With a flower to fruit period between 10-12 weeks, it is the quickest of any citrus species.
Homemade Vanilla flavoured Meringue Tart is a perfect dessert for Summer! Although meringue tarts are fairly traditional, the Vanilla and Desert Lime’s unique piquant flavour is a tangy combination, don’t want to miss out on! In a few easy steps and all the right ingredients, this recipe Meringue can be done by anybody.
150g Cake Flour
90g Vegan Butter (Nuttelex)
60g Caster Sugar
Pinch of salt
Makes 4 tarts.
- Pre-heat oven to 160 celsius (fan-forced)
- Sift flour and sugar and add with other ingredients into a stand mixer with a paddle attachment on a low speed, until a dough forms.
- Flatten the dough slightly, wrap in cling film, and place in the fridge to chill for 30 minutes.
- Dust your work surface with flour and roll the dough out, about 5mm thick.
- Place your tart tin face-down on the dough and leaving a 1.5cm border, cut around the tin.
- Place dough in the tin, form around the sides and trim off excess around the top and dock the bottom with a fork.
- Put a piece of baking paper in each formed shell and fill it with baking beans (or dried chickpeas or rice) to blind bake.
- Place in the oven for 10 minutes, then remove the baking paper and beans and bake for a further 15 minutes.
600ml Soy milk (Almond and Oat also work)
130g Caster Sugar
- In a small bowl, combine the cornflour and a small amount of the milk to create a slurry, ensuring there are no lumps.
- In a saucepan, combine all ingredients including the slurry, and cook on medium heat for a few minutes whilst whisking, until it starts to thicken.
- Once thickened, turn down to low heat and ladle the custard into the tart shells right to the very top (if you turn off the heat, the custard will start to set).
- Place in the fridge to cool down for 30 minutes
Aquafaba from 1 tin of chickpeas (Aquafaba is the water leftover from a tin of chickpeas. Strain them off and collect the brine in a bowl).
100g Caster Sugar
5g Cream of Tartar
10g vanilla bean paste
- The aquafaba has to be reduced down 175 grams, which requires continuous weighing while it’s cooking
- On a set of scales, place a small saucepan and set to zero grams, and add in the aquafaba and the sugar.
- Place the saucepan on low heat and let simmer. Keep weighing the saucepan periodically until the mixture decreases to 175 grams.
- Put the mixture in a bowl and place it in the fridge for 10 minutes to cool down.
- In a small bowl combine the cream of tartar and a small amount of the aquafaba mixture to create a slurry, making sure there are no lumps.
- Combine the aquafaba and cream of tartar mixture in a stand mixer with a whisk attachment and beat for approximately 10 minutes at a medium to high speed until the volume has increased and looks glossy.
- Add in vanilla and beat for a further minute.
- Meringue can now be piped or spooned onto the tarts and torched if desired.
- Keep refrigerated.