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Lime Tart(lets)

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  • Williams-Sonoma Tartlet Baking Set
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Lime Tart

Have I mentioned I love lime? Most anything with lime becomes my favorite. This Lime Tart (the original author called them Key Lime Tart – but he was using Persian lime rather than Key lime) has got a full, sweet lime flavor, something so lacking in many lime recipes.

Ingredients

Tart Shell
3/4 cup (1.5 sticks) unsalted butter at room temperature
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 egg
Pinch salt
(If you are making tartlets, do yourself a favor and get a tray of pre-made tartlet shells at the grocer or use a specialized tartlet pan set for building and baking)

Filling
4 limes at room temperature
1 1/2 cups sugar
1/4 pound (1 stick) unsalted butter at room temperature
4 extra-large eggs at room temperature
1/8 teaspoon salt

Preheat the oven to 350° F.

In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, mix the butter and sugar together until they are just combined. Add the vanilla. In a medium bowl, sift together the flour and salt, then add them to the butter-and-sugar mixture. Mix on low speed until the dough starts to come together. Dump onto a surface dusted with flour and shape into a flat disk. Press the dough into a 10-inch-round or 9-inch-square false-bottom tart pan, making sure that the finished edge is flat. Chill until firm.

Butter one side of a square of aluminum foil to fit inside the tart and place it, buttered side down, on the pastry. Fill with beans or rice. Bake for 20 minutes. Remove the foil and beans, prick the tart all over with the tines of a fork, and bake again for 20 to 25 minutes more, or until lightly browned. Allow to cool to room temperature.

Remove the zest of 4 limes with a vegetable peeler or zester, being careful to avoid the white pith. Squeeze the limes to make 1/2 cup of juice and set the juice aside. Put the zest in a food processor fitted with a steel blade. Add the sugar and process for 2 to 3 minutes, until the zest is very finely minced. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, cream the butter with the sugar and lime zest. Add the eggs, one at a time, and then add the lime juice and salt. Mix until combined.

Pour the mixture into a 2-quart saucepan and cook over low heat, stirring constantly, until thickened, about 10 minutes. The lime curd will thicken at about 175°F, or just below a simmer. Remove from the heat and set aside.

Fill the tart shell with warm lime curd and allow to set at room temperature. Once set, refrigerate until ready to serve.

For serving, I like to add a small swirl of whipped cream and a very tiny sprinkle of ultra fine lime zest or sprinkle of green sugar.

Adapted from and thanks to Smitten Kitchen and Ina Garten-Food Network
 
Making Your Own Tartlets
Williams-Sonoma Tartlet Baking SetThe tart shell recipe above makes a fantastic crust for a full or maybe 4 mini tarts. However making these into tartlets is a time consuming and frequently frustrating process. Having the right tools makes it far easier. I’ve found nothing beats this Williams-Sonoma Tartlet Baking Set. Along with the fluted pan, it includes a circle cutter and most importantly a fluted tamper. The combination makes it much less a chore to build pan after pan of perfect tartlets. As of this writing, about $30.
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