Thursday, May 26, 2011

Key Lime Tart

Ah, vacation. Hope you're not too jealous of my fabulous tan and my oodles of free time. To make it up to you, I'm sharing one of the best desserts I've made in a long time. We're talking about a top contender for best treat of 2011. And it's so easy.
I didn't set out to make a lime tart for any reason other than the thought that, "oh, I've never made a lime tart." That combined with my unabashed love of tarts made this dessert a no-brainer. And it really was. A basic graham cracker crust topped with a sweet, tangy, creamy lime curd - a snap to make and even easier to inhale in one sitting.
I know it must seem like I talk about this for a lot of desserts, so I'm going to do my best to convince you to make this immediately. Like yesterday. Is today too soon? Are limes on your shopping list?
Speaking of limes - let's talk about key limes. Key limes refer to a type of limes, not any sort of preparation. Truth is, I don't know too much more about key limes than before I made this tart. What I bought in the supermarket were labeled "Susie" limes, and after some googling it appears that these are in fact key limes. But you can't trust what you read on the internets. Either way - I'm sure whatever limes you can find will work well.
So have I convinced you yet? Do you realize that you need this in your life immediately? Will you make it tomorrow and mail me a piece and send me e-mails about how this tart changed your life? That is what I am expecting.

Tip of the Day: While non-stick pans are great for many applications, this is not one of them. The constant whisking that is best for making a curd is rather dangerous for the non-stick coating and can cause it to flake off. This is when I stick to my nice stainless-steel pot. If all you have is non-stick, make sure to use a wooden spoon instead of a whisk, and stir quickly and evenly.

Recipe: (adapted heavily from Smitten Kitchen)
1 1/4 cups graham cracker crumbs (approx 12 crackers)
4 tablespoons (1/2 stick or 1/4 cup) margarine or butter, melted
2 tablespoons sugar

zest of 4 limes (about 2 teaspoons)
1 1/2 cups sugar
1/2 cup lime juice (about 3 limes)
1/2 cup (1 stick) butter or margarine, melted
4 large eggs
1/8 teaspoon salt

Mix together the crumbs, butter and sugar until combined. Press the mixture evenly in to the bottom of a greased 9 or 10-inch tart pan. Bake on 350 F for 10 minutes. Set aside.

Mix together the zest with the sugar and set aside.
Whisk the lime juice in with the eggs until combined.
Add in the butter and continue whisking until well mixed.
Add in the sugar mixture and salt and whisk until smooth.
Pour into a medium, heavy bottom saucepan and place over medium heat.
Heat, continually whisking, for about 10 minutes (or until 170 F) until slightly thickened.
Remove from heat, and pour in to the tart shell. Let sit at room temperature for 30 to 40 minutes, then refrigerate for at least an hour before serving.


  1. Okay, you've convinced me--I'm actually trying to think of people to invite over this weekend so that I can make this and not end up eating the whole thing myself!

  2. That's an excellent plan. Wish I'd thought of it myself. Tell me how it goes!


  3. I just read your lovely guest blog...and now popped over here to see one of my favorites! Hubby doesn't like lime anything, so it just makes this even more appealing! I need an excuse to make this lovely dessert~

  4. If it's a store-bought (e.g. Keebler) graham cracker crust do you have to heat up the crust before you pour in the lime mixture?

  5. This is one of the most delicious desserts I've ever had!!! I'm a big fan of citrus fruits. It didn't even need more than 1 cup of sugar.