Lime Curd Tart


One of the things I love about winter is all the delicious citrus that is available. I can easily eat about five Cuties a day and there always seems to be an abundance of lemons and limes coming from friends’ trees. I especially love citrus desserts and previously shared a recipe for one my favorites, Lemon Dream Pie. While I love lemon treats, lime desserts don’t always come to mind for me. So when I came across the following Lime Curd Tart recipe, I felt it was time to give limes their time in the sweet spotlight. This dessert was just dreamy. It was super tart (which I love) and while the recipe asks for a pre-made tart shell, I had a tough time finding one at the store and ended up making a shortbread shell which was incredible. You can never go wrong with buttery, flaky shortbread. And, of course, this comes from my favorite home cook, Ms. Ina Garten. I’ve coveted her first book for nearly a decade and just discovered this recipe. Perhaps it’s time to revisit some of my old favorite cookbooks again.
Lime Curd Tart


Tart Shell:
3/4 cup unsalted butter at room temperature
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
Pinch of salt


4 limes at room temperature
1 1/2 cups sugar
1/4 pound 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 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 it to set at room temperature. Once set, serve immediately or refrigerate until ready to serve.

Recipe courtesy of The Barefoot Contessa Cookbook, 1999

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