Winter is peak citrus fruit season and I could not be more excited. I absolutely love to cook and bake with lemons, limes, oranges and their exotic cousins, pomelos and kumquats. Right now, of course, I am in Florida, which is citrus country.
One of my best finds at the Saturday farmers market in downtown Naples was Rangpur limes. This unusual citrus fruit looks like an orange lime but it isn’t even a lime at all. It is actually a cross between a mandarin and a lemon. The fruits are seedy as hell, so be forewarned that it’s a chore to juice them. However, the zest and juice of the Rangpur lime are wonderfully floral and slightly smoky. Those people who are familiar with Rangpur limes likely associate them with Indian cuisine; and in fact, the fruit originated on the subcontinent and did not arrive in the US until the 19th century.
You can use Rangpur limes as you would any citrus fruit, which is to say in marmalade, in jam, in a curd or even in baked goods. Rangpur lime juice is a favorite in cocktails, especially with gin. And that may well be the fruit’s highest use. Tanqueray even makes a special Rangpur lime-infused version of its iconic gin.
You can also buy a Rangpur lime syrup, but a 5 oz. bottle will cost you $15. That’s pretty spendy. I spent a total of $5 for my five Rangpur limes and made a pint of delicious syrup that I used to create Rangpur lime gimlets and gin and tonics at a small dinner party my mother hosted this past week. So, if you can find Rangpur limes, it is worthwhile to treat yourself to some.
To make a Rangpur lime gin and tonic, simply add a tablespoon of Rangpur lime syrup to your usual mix. For the gimlet, mix 2 oz of gin with 2/3 of an ounce of Rangpur lime syrup. Shake with ice and pour into a martini glass. (If that gimlet is a bit strong for you, add freshly squeezed lime juice to taste.) If cocktails are not your thing, Rangpur lime syrup tastes wonderful mixed with sparkling water or as a sweetener for iced tea.
Zest and juice the Rangpur limes. You should have ½ cup juice.
Combine the water and sugar in a small saucepan and bring just to a boil, stirring to dissolve the sugar.
Add the Rangpur lime juice and simmer for a few minutes until thickened.
Stir in the zest and allow to cool to room temperature.
Store the syrup in a glass bottle or pint jar.
Use in cocktails, mix with club soda or use as a sweetener for iced tea.
Original article and pictures take http://www.westoftheloop.com/2014/12/30/rangpur-limes site