Monday, April 13, 2009

Key Lime Tart

I’m still recovering from the crazed weekend at my house. I’m the holiday hoarder in my family..meaning, I like to be the host for every event. It’s a ton of work but it’s also fun for me.

The highlight of my parties is always the desert. No matter what, the dessert is what I concentrate most of my time on, and this Easter was no different.

My traditional Easter dessert contribution is sugar cookies and carrot cake but this year I wanted to veer from the path a bit. I have recently become a fan of citrus desserts and decided I would go out on a limb and attempt a key lime pie.

I didn’t really have any hiccups besides shopping for the key limes….as they are NO where to be found in Michigan. BUT, luckily, I was out to dinner with my husband on Friday and my favorite server in the world suggested buying the liquid key lime in a bottle. Normally, I would have never purchased a bottled lemon or lime anything because I think fresh is always best, but I found this bottle at a local gourmet market and decided it would be just fine. (I mean what other choice did I have at this point?)

The pie turned out amazing, and was enjoyed by all, including my non-lover of citrus dessert husband.

I think I would reduce the lime juice next time and possibly come up with a way to make the custard ‘fluffier’. All in all I enjoyed this and it was REALLY easy to make.

Key Lime Tart
Recipe derived from Joe’s Stone Crab Restaurant

Graham Cracker Crust
1/3 lb graham cracker (or 1 cup plus 2 1/2 Tablespoons graham cracker crumbs)
5 tablespoons melted unsalted butter
1/3 cup sugar

3 egg yolks
1 1/2 teaspoons grated key lime zest
1 (14 ounce) can sweetened condensed milk
2/3 cup freshly squeezed key lime juice
¼ cup coconut, lightly toasted (I added this)

Chantilly Cream
1 cup heavy whipping cream, chilled
3 tablespoons confectioners' sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract


For the crust:
Preheat oven to 350°F. Get out a 9 inch tart pan. Put the graham crackers in a food processor (or you can put them in a plastic bag and break them up with a rolling pin). Process until the crackers become small crumbs. Add melted butter& sugar and pulse until combined. Press the graham cracker mixture into the bottom of a tart pan, pressing down with your fingers works best and then push the crackers into the sides (you can use the bottom of a measuring cup for some of this as well). Bake the crust for about 8 minutes. Pull out of oven and add the toasted coconut to coat the top of the pie/tart shell. Then set aside while you prepare the filling.

For the filling:

In a stand mixer with the whisk attachment, beat the egg yolks and lime zest on high until they become thick and fluffy and a pale yellow color. This will take about 5 minutes. Then slowly add the condensed milk while the mixer is running. Continue beating on high until the mixture becomes very thick. This should take about 4 minutes. Then lower the mixer speed and add the lime just ONLY until just combined. Turn off the mixer and pour the custard mixture into the prepared pie/tart crust. Be sure to check the beaters for lime zest that is left behind. Bake for 10 minutes or until the filling is just set. Cool on a wire rack then refrigerate. Freeze for 15-20 minutes before serving. Top with Chantilly cream.

Don't cover with plastic when you store this in the fridge --see the plastic marks? oops! Any suggestions?

For the cream: Whip the cream on high until you get soft peaks. Add sugar and vanilla. Whip until you get very stiff peaks. Put in a piping bag and decorate tart as desired.

Coming up next: Coconut cupcakes!


Jeff said...

Dessert is always the highlight of any good meal. Key lime is a great choice and such an amazing flavor.

I see that jar stuff all the time and happy to hear it is good so maybe I can find some non-baking use for it :-)

Sweet as Coco said...

Jeff- Agreed! The jar stuff wasnt too bad. I think I would like to at least TRY finding the key limes so I can at least have a 'control' to compare the liquid to. can be used for other!

Anonymous said...

YUM. I love key lime. Yours look wonderful

Bungalow Barbara said...

Key limes are so tiny, they're a pain to squeeze! I only see them in the stores once in a great while. I usually just use fresh regular limes for a lime pie.

Rose Levy Beranbaum's book "The Pie and Pastry Bible" has a good Key Lime pie recipe -- you beat an egg white and fold it into the filling to lighten it. I made it once and liked the texture a lot -- although my husband said he preferred it the usual way.

Sweet as Coco said...

Thanks Leanne!

Barbara- Its so funny you mentioned that book, because I had it in my hand at the library to see if it had a good key lime recipe as I don't own any good 'pie' books. I may have to try that sounds like what I was looking for. Thanks!