There I was, mid-Saturday morning and I was watching Ina Garten on the Food Network. She was making desserts. She was making me hungry. As luck would have it, I was scheduled to attend a little get-together that evening and I don’t like showing up empty-handed. The perfect excuse to make that yummy looking lime tart. Yeah, because I needed an excuse.
I think I was drawn to it because it reminded me of a lemon pie my sis would make when we were growing up. Much like Ina’s, my sister’s pie was topped with meringue. I still don’t love meringue. I don’t enjoy the consistency of it. Or the fact that the sugar starts sweating syrupy beads after you put it in the fridge.
The other similarity was a pie crust, except Ina used a sweet pastry. I saw her mix and knead and refrigerate and roll the dough. It wasn’t happening. More work than I wanted to do on a lazy Saturday mid-morning. So, I tweaked and it was a hit. Instead of Ina’s involved pastry, I used the recipe for my favorite sweet crust. I suggest making the filling first, that will allow it to cool before filling the tart shell.
1 stick butter
1/4 cup confectioners’ sugar
1 cup flour
If your butter is soft enough, you can mix this by hand, I ended up putting all of it in the mixer. Combine the butter with confectioners’ sugar, then add flour; mix well. Pat out on tart pan, it may be kind of thin, but don’t worry, it will work out.
Once you’ve spread the dough all the way up the sides of the pan, cut out a piece of foil paper and rub with butter or a bit of oil. Press the greased foil onto the crust, then fill it with baking beads or beans. This is called blind baking; it will prevent the crust from bubbling up because there isn’t filling in it. Bake at 350° for about 15 minutes, or until lightly browned. Remove the foil, prick with a fork a few times and return to the oven for another 5-8 minutes. Remove from the oven and allow it to cool.
1 stick butter, at room temperature
1 1/2 cups sugar
4 extra-large eggs
3 extra-large egg yolks
2 tbsp finely grated lime zest (4-6 limes)
1/2 cup freshly squeezed lime juice
1/8 teaspoon sea salt
1 tsp almond extract
2 tbsp cornstarch
In your mixer, cream the butter and sugar until it binds together–about 3-4 minutes (I used the egg beater of my Kitchen Aid). Slowly add the eggs and yolks, 1 at a time, and then add the lime zest, lime juice, salt, almond extract and cornstarch. Don’t worry, if it looks curdled, but make sure you’re using a spatula to release any bits that are not picked up by the mixer’s beater.
Pour the mixture into a small saucepan and cook over medium-low heat for 8 to 10 minutes, until thick, stirring constantly with a wooden spoon. When it begins to thicken, switch to a wire whisk and cook over low heat for a minute or two, whisking constantly. Don’t allow it to boil! Pour into a bowl, place plastic wrap directly over the filling and cool to room temperature.
Yield: 3 cups
Once the shell and filling have cooled, pour the filling into the tart shell. Top with whipped cream and strawberry coulis, if desired.
For whipped cream: Add 3/4 cp of chilled heavy whipping cream, 1/2 tsp vanilla extract to your mixer’s bowl. Whip at medium high speed and slowly add 3 tbsp white sugar. Beat until soft peaks form. Spread this whipped cream over the top of the filling.
After I covered it with cream, poured about 3/4 cp of strawberry coulis into a baggie, snipped the tip and piped it over the cream in a circular pattern.
Then I used a toothpick to drag the coulis through the cream. I realized I should’ve stayed closer to the surface, I seem to have pushed the toothpick a bit too deep.
It was still pretty. See?