Prep 25 mins
Cook 30 mins
Another Ina Garten winner. I have adapted this from her FoodTv show. This is such a refreshing treat. For more of her recipes, see "The Barefoot Contessa Cookbook." She is very inspiring! Pay particular attention to her ingenious method of getting lime zest. So much easier, even in the world of microplanes.
- 3⁄4 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
- 1⁄2 cup sugar
- 1⁄2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 1 3⁄4 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 pinch salt
- 4 limes, at room temperature
- 1 1⁄2 cups sugar
- 1⁄4 lb unsalted butter, at room temperature
- 4 extra-large eggs, at room temperature
- 1⁄8 teaspoon salt
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees 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. (Note: I prepared my pan with a little baking spray, just to be sure it wouldn't stick.).
- Butter 1 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, 1 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 degrees F, or just below a simmer. Remove from the heat and set aside.
- Fill the tart shell with lime curd and allow to set at room temperature. Once set, serve immediately or refrigerate until ready to serve.
I make this using lime rind but using bottled key lime juice in small individual serving bowls with no crust and it is absolutely delicious. As sugarpea remarks, it is smooth, creamy and velvet in texture. Excellent recipe
I made the filling only for a kind of key lime pudding. I used half the sugar and butter as my family likes it tart. I especially appreciated the processor technique of mixing the sugar with the lime zest and then adding the eggs one at a time. I liked that the entire egg was used, not just the egg yolks. It works so beautifully. I added the butter after cooking. This recipe creates a lovely-colored, smooth-textured pudding of just the desired thickness. My entire family of key lime lovers devoured their parfaits and declared this a 27* winner.