Baking on Friday: Key Lime Tart

Earlier this morning I blogged about the dessert I'm making to take to a friend's house tomorrow, and I promised to come back and show you how it's done.  This is such a simple recipe.  I like it because it can be made two days ahead.  It takes about an hour to make, from start to finish, and then it needs another couple of hours to chill in the refrigerator.  It would be fine to make it the same morning you want to have it for dessert as well.

The recipe was published in our local newspaper, the Oregonian, but it first appeared in the April, 2007, issue of Everyday Food.  I'm not sure Everyday Food is still in publication, but it is a Martha Stewart publication.  You start with 9-10 graham crackers.

Break those up a little and put them in a food processor along with two tablespoons of granulated sugar.

Pulse them to fine crumbs.

Then add half a stick of melted butter,

And pulse again until they are well combined.

Dump that into a 9-inch tart pan with a removable bottom.  If you don't have a tart pan, a spring form pan will work too.

Press the crumbs into the bottom and up the sides of the pan.

Bake in a 350°F. oven until crust is fragrant and lightly browned.

Now, you'll need 3/4 cup of fresh lime juice from about 4-5 fresh limes.  I use regular limes.  I can't tell the difference in taste from Key limes, and you don't have to juice so many!  I'm not usually a snooty baker, but in this case, fresh really is best.  Use the bottled stuff if you must.

Also, I'm not much for small appliances that sit around not doing much work, but in this case, I make an exception for my electric juicer.  I love the electric Citristar juicer that I have.  It's relatively inexpensive.  It fits easily into my cabinet, and it is dishwasher safe.  All of the components come apart and can be washed on the top rack.  When you need a lot of juice, it's a great time saver (not to mention a wrist saver). I juiced the limes in less than a minute.

Now, in a medium-sized bowl, mix one can of sweetened condensed milk.  (Pause here a moment to admire the ratty cuffs on my favorite comfy sweatshirt.  It has a lot of mileage on it.  Not to mention food splatters.)

To that, add your freshly squeezed lime juice.

Then add four egg yolks

One half cup of granulated sugar,

and a pinch of table salt.

Whisk until smooth.  For good measure, I like to dip my finger into the bowl and run my fingertip across the bottom just to be sure the sugar and salt are dissolved.

Then pour it into your baked crust.

Then put the whole thing back into the oven for about 25 minutes.

Bake it until it is set around the edges and just slightly jiggly in the middle.  After it's baked, cool it completely at room temperature, and then refrigerate it until it's set.  About two hours should do it.  Then enjoy it when you're ready.  If you're not using it right away, cover it and refrigerate it for up to two days.

One thing I love about a tart is that you can't mess up the crust.  It always looks pretty when you cut it with its ruffled edge.  Now, I can't cut mine yet because I'm not using it until tomorrow, but here's the image from the Martha Stewart website.

You can garnish it with  little lime zest curls.  I like to serve it with a little dollop of whipped cream.  Yum.  Here's the recipe.  My thanks go to Sandra Rose Gluck for creating this yummy dessert.

Key Lime Tart

Recipe By:  Sandra Rose Gluck, Everyday Food
Servings:  8

9 to 10 graham crackers (2 1/2 by 5-inches each)
1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons granulated sugar (divided)
1/4 cup  unsalted butter -- melted (1/2 stick)
1 can sweetened condensed milk (14 oz.)
3/4 cup fresh lime juice
4 egg yolks
Pinch salt

Optional Garnish:  Lime zest curls or whipped cream

Preheat oven to 350°F.  In a food processor, pulse graham crackers and 2 tablespoons sugar until fine crumbs form.  Add butter.  Process until combined.  Transfer to a 9-inch tart pan with a removable bottom; pat into bottom and up sides.  Place on a baking sheet, and bake until crust is fragrant and slightly colored, about 10 minutes.

Meanwhile, in a medium bowl, combine condensed milk, lime juice, egg yolks, remaining 1/2 cup sugar and salt.  Whisk until smooth.  Pour mixture into crust (warm or cool is fine).  return to  oven.  Bake until filling is set around edge but still slightly loose in center, 20-25 minutes.

Cool completely at room temperature, then refrigerate until chilled, at least 2 hours.  To store longer, cover and refrigerate up to 2 days.

Edited to add:  If you object to my use of regular limes in a "Key" lime tart, check out the Key Lime Smackdown I conducted later in the year here and and the Final Showdown here.

8 comments from clever and witty friends:

Diane Wild said...

Thanks. The guild is getting this next Thursday. I can make it Wed. Yay.

Needled Mom said...

Yum...thanks for the recipe.

Cheryl's Teapots2Quilting said...

Sounds good. My youngest loves key lime anything.

Lynda Halliger-Otvos said...

Dearest Barbara, those are not key limes you have shown in the picture. There is a huge difference in the outcome of the Key Lime Pie if one uses Key Lime Juice. I believe you can get Nellie and Joe's key lime juice at the whole foods, berkeley bowl type establishments. And for sure Mail Order from their own website. (forgive my inability to link; i am tossing dirt into my hair in supplication)

Happy Weekend.

Dana Gaffney said...

Blasphemy using those limes in a Key Lime dessert, :). Down here everything is Key Lime and everybody used to have at least one tree (citrus disease and hurricanes have wiped out a bunch). Next time someone gives me a bag of them I'll check with you and see if you want them. You can try another taste test.

AlessandraLace said...

I will try this recipe. thank you. Alessandra

quiltzyx said...

You're going to be having some yummy desert!

Vivian said...

This sounds delicious and something simple and new to try for family and pot lucks. I may even try it this weekend!