I was making this recipe from Andrei Lussman the other day, but I was having some issues with one part of it:

Finely chop the remaining half of lime and cook gently in a separate pan to release the fruit sugars, until caramelised.

However, after having chopped the lime it mostly resembled lime juice with some chunks in it, and leaving it on the heat it just reduced until it was a very sour mix. Turning up the heat a bit, it looked like it might start to caramelize a bit, but mostly just in a thin film which stuck to the bottom of the pan. Adding a little bit of water and vigorously stirring made it release from the pan, but it still didn't have any sweet taste, just condensed lime-flavor.

I ended up with a very sour glob of semi-solid lime remains, which really didn't work well with the rest of the recipe.

Does anyone have some experience with caramelizing lime, and if so could you explain in some more detail than Lussman how to do this in order to achieve the desired result?

  • 2
    It isn't really clear (to me at least, with no understanding of what the expected result is) whether it is mostly lime peel, pith, or pulp that should be finely chopped. They would cook (and taste!) differently.
    – Erica
    Commented Sep 24, 2018 at 12:00
  • 1
    @Erica I read "the remaining half of lime" to mean the flesh of half the fruit, especially as I don't think it makes much sense to "finely chop" the peel or zest, but I could of course be mistaken. Do you think I should copy the rest of the recipe into my post as well, to give more context?
    – eirikdaude
    Commented Sep 24, 2018 at 12:05
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    I read this instruction as meaning something like "make a quick marmalade without adding sugar", which would use the entire fruit, peel, pith, and all. I have no idea if the peel might actually caramelize in the juice from the fruit, but I've also never heard of this technique before. It certainly seems like a strange thing to do to me.
    – senschen
    Commented Sep 24, 2018 at 12:58
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    I think you already have the bit that's confusing -- it just says "half of lime" without helpful information on what all that entails! Hopefully somebody who's cooked something even vaguely like this can weigh in :)
    – Erica
    Commented Sep 24, 2018 at 18:29
  • 1
    I don't know about caramelizing specifically, but if you put a cut lime or lemon on a hot grill, you can develop some extra sweetness. It might be easier to heat slices rather than finely chopped bits, as the juice will be trapped in the slices. (the little sacks of juice will either burst on their own, or they might act as a tiny little pressure cooker ... fructose doesn't have to get all that far past the boil)
    – Joe
    Commented Dec 12, 2018 at 19:51

1 Answer 1


Use a sharp knife that can chop the lime without squeezing and drawing any juice from it.

Sprinkle a tiny bit of honey or sugar if the lime decides it doesn't want to caramelize at all. It will balance the sourness of the lime as well.

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