Ben’s Windfall Lime Pickle

This windfall lime pickle is a prime example of preserving your harvests. I encourage you to eat fresh produce during their particular growing season and then their (hopefully made by you) preserved cousins off season. The mass produced commercial versions just don’t compare.

It’s important to use very ripe limes.  I use the ones that have fallen from the tree, or are about to, that have a yellowing skin and lots of juice :).

These are the sweetest, using under ripe limes will give you a pickle that is very tart.  I wash the limes in a weak vinegar:water solution prior to using, to make sure they are clean and not going to contaminate the pickle (because they have come from the floor and I have dogs).

To sterilise the jars,  I put them through the dishwasher and then boil them in a pot of water.  If the pickle isn’t ready when the jars are, pop them in the oven (no plastic lids) on very low to keep them hot.  You should put hot pickle into hot jars for two reasons.  One, because you won’t thermally shock and crack the jars and two because as the jar and mixture cool they will form a vacuum, meaning the pickle lasts longer.

The recipe:

You will need

  • 30 limes, washed and diced into ~1cm blocks (skin on)
  • 10-20 small chilis, sliced (add to taste)
  • 2 tsp turmeric
  • 2 tbsp salt (sea salt preferred always)
  • 4 tbsp oil (olive or sunflower work best)
  • 2 tsp fenugreek
  • 2 tsp aniseed or fennel (I use fennel seed)
  • 2 tsp garlic seed
  • 2 tsp chilli flakes
  • ~10 cm ginger grated
  • 4 tbsp raw brown sugar
  • 2 tbsp vinegar (i use apple cider or brown malt, but also you can use white wine)


  1. Combine limes, chilli, salt, turmeric into a glass or ceramic bowl, mix and leave at room temperature overnight.
  2. Heat oil in large pot, add fenugreek, fennel seed, chilli flakes, ginger, garlic powder and cook off to release flavour (2-3 minutes).
  3. Add lime and chilli mixture, mix well and let it simmer and then turn the heat down for about 20 minutes, or until the lime softens and the mixture thickens.
  4. Add in the vinegar and sugar, mix well and cook for about 5 minutes.  The vinegar acts as a preservative.
  5. Let the mixture cool slightly, then add to hot, sterilised jars.  Seal jars, and place into a cool, dark spot for ~1 month to let the flavour develop.

Cleaning the limes:


Leave the mix overnight:


The finished product (we cracked into it early):


Hope you have more patience than me,

Ben 🙂

Here are some additional preserving food ideas and more from Ben: 

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