Saturday, September 27, 2008

Lime tart

There was a time - come on, you remember it - when the Hostess believed Ina Garten could do no wrong. Then there was the unappealing nature of the remarks regarding her recipe for Eli's Asian Salmon (Ina and Eli don't know asian salmon, yo - was the message). And then my own trip, fall, correct her recipe/ get back up with one of her creations. Knowing what I do now though, common sense and some experience corrected before I blindly ground four limes worth of pith into this lime tart. J'dore lime tart, I don't need an unshod contessa with $10 cake mixes to muck it up for me, or even a freaking princess in Manolo's (hey, Marie Chantal!). If you are following the original recipe be warned: Not enough sugar and you should never, never ever, zest with a vegetable peeler (Blushing Rule #9) and a food processor, unless, that is, you enjoy bitter, angry, mean, desserts. In that case, invite no one and consume solo.

Lime Curd Tart
adapted from The Barefoot Contessa Cookbook
Serves 8

Shortbread pastry shell:
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
Pinch salt

4 limes at room temperature
1 1/2 cups sugar
1/4 pound unsalted butter at room temperature
4 large eggs at room temperature
1/8 teaspoon salt

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Butter a 9" fluted tart pan with removable bottom.

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. Transfer to a board dusted with flour and roll out with a rolling pin to a shape large enough to fill the tart pan. Chill 1 hour.

Butter 1 side of a square of aluminum foil to fit inside the tart and place it, buttered side down, on the pastry. Fill the foil with pie weights. Bake 20 minutes then remove the foil and pie weights. Prick the bottom of the tart shell 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 microplane. 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 and process until combined. 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 allow to cool to room temperature.

Fill the tart shell with warm lime curd and refridgerate until set: At least 3 hours though more is best. Serve once set with sweetened whipped cream and blueberries.

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