Lime Tart

Little things can make me very happy. And what are little things to other people are sometimes really big for me. Like this new tart tin I have. I’ve been looking for a rectangular tart tin for some time now, and whenever I found one the price was enormous. So a lovely friend ordered one for me from the US. The little tart tin makes me happy, and her doing this as a favour to me is a big thing for me.

I received the tart tin Friday this week, and I already knew what would be the first thing I would make in it. A few years ago I found a lemon tart recipe in my favourite magazine, Living at Home, and have been making it a few times a year ever since. I made a little adaptation, though, by using limes instead of lemons, and by adding grated lime zest to the dough.

Saying I don’t like making short crust pastry is an understatement, and describing it as a pain in the neck won’t do, so please excuse my language, but to me it’s a pain in the butt. For this post I used the original recipe’s instructions and made the pastry myself, and while doing it – sticking to all the instructions, cold butter etc – the blasted dough crumbled at any attempt to handle it. But I did this for you, so I hope it’ll be appreciated. 😉

Lime Tart

Short Crust Pastry
200 g flour
50 g fine sugar
120 g cold butter
pinch of salt
1 egg yolk
zest of 1 lime (use 1 of the 5 from the lime cream)

Lime Cream
1 vanilla bean
5 organic limes
200 g sugar + 4 tbsp extra
125 g cream

For the pastry, combine all ingredients with the hook attachment of your mixer, then proceed with your hands to make a smooth dough. Cover in cling film and refrigerate for 30 minutes.

For the lime cream, scrape the vanilla seeds from the bean. Wash limes under hot water and pat dry. Grate the zest of 3 of the limes, then juice 4 of them. Put the 5th one aside for later use.

Beat eggs and 200 g sugar until creamy, then add vanilla seeds, lime juice and zest, and cream. Heat oven to 200°C / 400°F (180° / 350°F fan oven).

Butter a tart tin. Roll out dough, place in tin pulling the dough up to the edges. Prick bottom with a fork, place baking paper on top, fill with baking beans and bake blind for 10 minutes. Remove baking beans and paper, and bake for another 10 minutes.*

Reduce oven heat to 160°C / 325°F (140° / 275°F fan oven). Pour lime cream into the tin and bake for another 25 – 30 minutes on lowest shelf. Leave tart to cool.

Cut the lime you put aside earlier into thin slices. Bring 4 tbsp sugar and 6 tbsp water to a boil, add the lime slices, and let cook for 5 minutes. Remove lime slices, place on a plate and leave the liquid to cook until it becomes syrupy. Carefully brush the tart with the sirup, and decorate with the lime slices (which are edible if you use organic limes). [The tart needs to be completely cooled before brushing it, otherwise – as unfortunately I know from experience – the surface layer will come off.]

*I skipped this step because with my dough not being very pliant and willing, I didn’t have enough left to make adjustments in case the edges shrank during baking. I just poured the lime cream onto the dough, and everything turned out fine. If you do this, baking time changes as follows: bake for 10 minutes at 200°C / 400°F (180° / 350°F fan oven). Then reduce heat to 160°C / 325°F (140° / 275°F fan oven) for remaining 25 – 30 minutes baking time.