No, finger limes are not made from real fingers (thanks for Facebook comment, Mayer). This rare and tiny lime, nicknamed the “caviar lime,” is a very special citrus fruit unlike anything you’ve had before. Not only is a finger lime only 3-inches in size but inside you will find round pearls of citrus that pop on your tongue like caviar. In short, they are so cool!
Here you are looking at a finger lime next to a standard lime. Amazing, isn’t it?!? If you are wondering where you can buy finger limes, check out the Gilt Taste produce section. The funniest part was that I didn’t realize how small they were when I ordered them and when the box came, I received 60 teeny-tiny limes in a small box.
Finger Lime Cupcakes
makes 24 cupcakes, adapted from the Key Lime Cupcake recipe in Bon Appetit Magazine
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 cups self-rising flour
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted margarine, room temperature
2 1/2 cups sugar
1/2 cup finger lime caviar + fresh lime juice
2 Tbsp finely grated lime peel
1/2 tsp green food coloring gel
1 1/2 cup buttermilk (or soymilk +2 Tbsp lemon juice)
2 cups whipping cream
2 tsp vanilla extract
1 package vanilla pudding powder
I preheated the oven to 350 degrees, lined muffin pans with pretty paper liners and set them aside. Then I got to the daunting task of removing the caviar pearls from the limes. Wow, even as I type this, my mouth is watering just thinking about the intense citrus flavor. I sliced each tiny lime in half and spooned out the pearls until I had around 1/4 cup. Since I had a little bit of room left in the measuring cup, I squeezed fresh lime juice from some regular limes to reach the full amount. I set that aside until I was ready to add it to the recipe.
I whisked the flours together in a medium bowl. Then, in a large mixing bowl, I beat the margarine until smooth. I added the sugar and beat to blend. One at a time, I added the eggs.
I then added the lime pearls and juice, lime peel and food coloring.
Just note that when you add the limes and food coloring, the mixture may look curdled.
I beat in the flour mixture in 3 additions, alternating with the buttermilk in 2 additions.
I scooped 1/3 cup of batter in to each liner and baked the cupcakes for 20 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in to the center came out clean.
The cupcakes sat for 10 minutes then I transferred them to a wire rack to continue cooling. You want the cakes to cool completely before frosting them, otherwise it will just melt. I’ve seen it too many times on Cupcake Wars on The Food Network. To make the frosting, I just whipped the cream, vanilla extract and vanilla pudding powder until light and fluffy. So simple and delicious.
Of course I had to try a cupcake before frosting it. I was worried about the flavor of the lime, since I’ve never had a citrus cupcake before. It was perfect! The cake was soft and fluffy and the flavor of the lime was pronounced but not too strong. And it was very very green!
Once the cupcakes were cool, I piped on the whipped cream frosting and added some lime zest over the top. The kids didn’t love the fresh lime zest so you can skip that part if you want to, but I thought it looked pretty. You can also add some graham cracker crumbs as garnish. That would be delicious as well. Just have fun with it.