When I went to central market last week I saw that limes were on sale. Ordinarily limes are really cheap, so limes being on sale really shouldn't have made much of a difference to me. However, the savings of 10 cents (total) made me go a little crazy with the limes, i think i bought 12 of them, though I'm not totally sure about that. When I got home and unpacked my groceries I realized that I now needed to actually USE 12 limes. Justin made guacamole, and that used one. And then I used 4 on this lime tart. I still have a lot of limes to use.
This Lime tart is very similar to the key lime pie I told you about earlier, although definitely a lot more work. But, I did find it satisfying and exciting to use my new tart pan for the first time.
For your tart you'll need:
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
(Smitten Kitchen recommends you add in an egg if your crust is too crumbly and hard to shape, I didn't read that part of the directions so I just dealt with it).
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 a large bowl, mix the butter and sugar together until they are just combined using an electric mixer. 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. The smitten kitchen instructions said to next 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. But, this didn't really work for me because my crust was too crumbly since I didn't read the part about adding the egg. Instead I just put a bunch of the dough crumbles in my crust and pressed them into the pan, it worked just fine! 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. It actually only took like 5 minutes or so for my crust to be brown but then it wasn't done completely through in the corners, so you might try turning the heat down a little for this part. 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 (or in my case, a blender, since my food processor is still at Justin's parents house). Add the sugar and process (or blend) 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 (it took me more like 15 and I had to turn the heat up a little bit to get it to correctly thicken). 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, serve immediately or refrigerate until ready to serve.
Now, just tell me that doesn't look delicious!