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Key Lime Custard Tart

Fully baking or partially baking a crust (also known as blind baking) before adding the filling can prevent a soggy crust. Use heavy-duty aluminum foil to line it, or fold regular aluminum foil to create a double thickness. For the weights, use small ceramic or metal weights, dried beans or rice. The crust may be cooled, covered and stored at room temperature or up to overnight.

To make whipped cream, in a large metal bowl, combine 1 cup well-chilled heavy cream, 1 tsp. vanilla extract and 2 Tbs. confectioners’ sugar. Using an electric mixer, beat on medium-high speed until soft peaks form.

Ingredients:

  • 1 butter cookie dough disk (see related recipe at left), at cool room temperature
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 1 tsp. grated lime zest, preferably from Key limes
  • 1/2 cup fresh lime juice, preferably from Key limes (7 or 8 limes)
  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup heavy cream
  • Whipped cream for serving (optional; see note above)

Directions:

Partially bake the crust
Put the dough disk between 2 large sheets of parchment paper and roll out into a 12-inch round about 1/4 inch thick. Fold the dough round in half and transfer to a 10 1/2-inch tart pan with a removable bottom. Unfold the round and ease it into the pan, patting it firmly into the bottom and up the sides. Trim the edges to form a 1/2-inch overhang. Fold the overhang back over itself and press it into the sides of the pan. Freeze for at least 30 minutes or up to overnight.

Preheat an oven to 375°F.

Line the crust with aluminum foil and fill with pie weights. Place the pan on a baking sheet and bake for 10 minutes. Remove the foil and weights and continue to bake until the crust is set and lightly golden, about 5 minutes. Transfer the pan to a wire rack and reduce the oven temperature to 350°F.

Make the filling
In a large bowl, whisk together the eggs, sugar, lime zest and lime juice until smooth, about 1 minute. Whisk in the flour until incorporated. Whisk in the 1/4 cup cream until blended. Pour the filling into the partially baked crust.

Bake the tart
Bake until the filling looks set when you gently shake the pan, about 30 minutes. Transfer the pan to a wire rack and let stand until the top feels cool to the touch, about 1 hour.

Remove the tart from the pan, cover and refrigerate until cold, at least 3 hours or up to overnight. Cut the tart into wedges and serve topped with whipped cream. Serves 8.

Adapted from Williams-Sonoma Food Made Fast Series, Desserts, by Elinor Klivans (Oxmoor House, 2007).