Blueberries with Lime Sugar & Citrus Confit Recipe

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6 votes | 18153 views

This is one of my absolute favorite berry desserts and comes from Tony Bourdain and Les Halles Restaurant in NYC. I have had the audacity to make just one minor modification to the recipe, but I have no regrets, and neither will you.

We grow blueberries all season long at Walnut Ridge Farm, so there are always opportunities to try new ideas with our fruit. This, however, is a classic dessert, and is so simple, there is little room for maneuvering. And that is the way classics should be.

This dessert can be served with a dollop of creme fraiche, whipped (and I mean whipped, not aerosol) cream, or mascarpone on the side.

But it is another stand alone dish, and needs no accompaniment.

Prep time:
Cook time:
Servings: 4-6


Cost per serving $2.58 view details
  • 1 1/2 pints blueberries (840 grams)
  • 3 Tbsp granulated sugar
  • Juice of 2 limes
  • 1 sprig of mint, leaves only, cut into a chiffonade (ultra-thin ribbons)
  • 1/8 tsp almond extract
  • confit zest of 2 limes
  • 2 limes (you can make this with 1 grapefruit, or 2 lemons or 2 oranges, some other time)
  • 1 c of water
  • 4 oz (112gr) granulated sugar
  • Use a strip zester to get fine, clean strips, or:
  • [Carefully peel the citrus with a paring knife, being very careful to avoid paring into the pith - you only want the zest. This is where a very sharp knife is a must. Now, if necessary,
  • Shave off excess pith (the white stuff - it's bitter) to get as close to the 'skin' of the lime as possible and
  • Cut the zest into very thin strips]
  • Combine the water and sugar and bring to a boil to dissolve the sugar and begin reduction
  • Add the zest strips and reduce the heat to a simmer and cook gently to reduce the syrup. You are "candying" the zest
  • Decant from the saucepan to a cool metal bowl and put the bowl in the freezer witha cool pack to lower the liquid temperature - cool completely and then strain and discard the liquid
  • Your zest strips should be 'independent' and will mix well with the macerated berries
  • [or so ends the original (my modified) recipe. My friend, Michelle M, reminded me to mention that the simple syrup in which the limes are candied, may go on to further serve the kitchen. I will slice lemons very thin, candy them in the lime-infused syrup, and then use the candied lemons to top a strawberry tart, for instance, or as a simple syrup in a summer drink. Recycle...


  1. In a large bowl, combine the sugar, lime juice, and almond extract and stir to dissolve the sugar
  2. Add the blueberries and toss well to coat the berries
  3. Put the coated berries in the refrigerator for an hour or two before serving - this will improve the flavor
  4. Add the mint and lime zest confit and toss well again
  5. Garnish with a top sprig of mint
  6. Serve in a martini glass


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Nutrition Facts

Amount Per Serving %DV
Serving Size 291g
Recipe makes 4 servings
Calories 163  
Calories from Fat 10 6%
Total Fat 1.17g 1%
Saturated Fat 0.29g 1%
Trans Fat 0.0g  
Cholesterol 0mg 0%
Sodium 240mg 10%
Potassium 319mg 9%
Total Carbs 39.93g 11%
Dietary Fiber 4.9g 16%
Sugars 27.63g 18%
Protein 2.09g 3%
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  • A.L. Wiebe
    mmmmm..looks like heaven, with a good dollop of creme fraiche!
    • Stacey Maupin Torres
      This is the best thing I've seen on here yet! I love the idea of mascarpone with it (plain cream is not my favorite). But the blending of the mint with all of those other citrus flavors is so beautiful - better than a mojito! I have a feeling this will be tasted a lot this season - and yes, we can get blueberries all year now! Thank you, Amos!
      1 reply
      • Amos Miller
        March 30, 2011
        Hi, Stacey! Very glad that you took the time to review the recipe. I've always felt that a kiss of almond extract is extremely complimentary to the flavor and aroma of blueberry, so, for me, it is always added to recipes where the blueberry is the star. Bourdain is a brilliant and unique chef and I felt a bit audacious modifying his recipe, but, hey, that is what we do, right? And, Stacey, you might read my reply to Michelle, below, for some ideas on possibilities for the simple syrup in which the lime zest is candied. Thanks, again, for stopping by! - best regards, Amos
      • Michelle M
        I've made this and it's fantastic! Bright, refreshing flavor. Love Tony Bourdain's Les Halles cookbook--no duds yet!

        The first time I made this, I also had a stock going along with some other projects. Too many, really. When it came time to strain the confit...well...I tossed the lime zest and kept the liquid! Go ahead and laugh, Amos. Everyone should!

        edited to reflect that I wanted to rate this 5 stars. Only three were showing.
        I've cooked/tasted this recipe!
        1 person likes this review
        1 reply
        • Amos Miller
          March 30, 2011
          I would never laugh at you, Miss M - mainly because I know that you did something very creative with the lime-infused simple syrup. I like to candy very thinly sliced lemons - lemon & lime are a great match - and then use those candied lemon slices as a decoration on a strawberry torte. I will also use the lime-infused simple syrup in drinks. And there are no duds in the Les Halles cookbook, so don't even worry about it - the book is a classic. Thanks for the review!
        • Amos Miller
          The longer you 'candy' the lime zest, of course, the darker t gets. So keep an eye on it and occasionally taste a piece of the zest to the right 'tooth' - you want some give, not too meaty. I also suggest that the mint chiffonade be added just at serving, to keep it fresh, green & minty. While I get requests for the mascarpone, many prefer a 'side' of lime sorbet or a high butterfat content vanilla ice cream. I recently made the dish using excellent navel oranges for the fruit & the zest - huge hit!
          I've cooked/tasted this recipe!
          This is a variation
          • Elaine
            BEAUTIFUL recipe! Fruit is so good, and mint really adds the finishing touch, too. Thanks for sharing, Amos --- shared on Facebook also!
            Elaine :)
            I've cooked/tasted this recipe!
            • Kristi Rimkus
              I can't wait to try this. We are having a late season so I still have fresh blueberries available.


              • ShaleeDP
                April 7, 2015
                Looks awesome! i like berries.
                • Amos Miller
                  September 8, 2011
                  Thanks, Judee - This is very refreshing! We recently served a large group this dessert and I was concerned that there would be too much 'overage'. We alternated a layer of the berries with a layer of whipped cream, topped with another layer of the berries. The results were that a number of guests ordered seconds on the dessert! There were just enough left for us in the kitchen to enjoy a taste.
                  BE SURE that you really cool down the confit prior to combining with the chilled berries. The individual strips of zest will not stick to one another at all, which will happen if you maintain any measure of warmth to the finished confit. Also add the mint at the last minute prior to plating to maintain both it's color and its zip. Let me know how it turns out for you.
                  • judee
                    September 8, 2011
                    This recipe looks so refreshing and delicious. I always love a good berry recipe.
                    • Suzanne
                      June 18, 2011
                      sounds wonderful!
                      • Patricia Stagich
                        March 29, 2011
                        This looks fabulous Amos! Everything so fresh! I can't wait to try it!
                        • annie
                          March 29, 2011
                          I. Love blueberries this sound so good I never thought of pairing them with lime I really like lime also

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