Continuing my celebration of peak citrus season, I've recently been working on perfecting a Key Lime tart or pie recipe. I made this a few weeks ago with a pre-made curd and while it was good, it just wasn't blog-worthy until I got a fully homemade version ready. Well, here it is, folks. My "Key Lime and White Chocolate Tart".
Both filling and crust are a variation on other people's recipes, which is quite rare in my kitchen but I'm thrilled with the results nevertheless. The addition of white chocolate is all mine and I really love the way it turns out. The white chocolate cuts the edge off the tartness without making it sweet. If you go for a high quality product, it adds a velvety texture and subtler flavor that is more pleasing at the end of a meal and goes well with dessert wine or coffee. I served it last night at a dinner party I catered (yes!!) and it got rave reviews all around. My suggestions on brands are in the recipe links below.
The curd is a recipe derived from Chez Panisse Fruit by Alice Waters, but I found it on one of my favorite websites. The crust is the same Cream Cheese Pastry adapted from Mitchell Davis that I used recently on my pot pies.
Makes one 9" pie or tart, 8 slices
3/4 c. sugar
1/3 c. cornstarch
1/8 tsp. Kosher salt
1 1/2 c/ water
4 egg yolks, separated
1 T grated key lime zest
2/3 c. key lime juice (about 14-18 limes depending on size and ripeness)
2 T unsalted butter
8 oz. good white chocolate, chopped
1 9" pie crust prepared, rolled out and blind-baked
1. Prepare and bake a pie or tart crust according to recipe and blind-bake. Allow crust to cool completely before continuing.
2. Preheat oven to 350˚F.
3. In a large saucepan combine the sugar, cornstarch, salt and water with a whisk. Turn the heat on to medium and bring to a gentle simmer whisking occasionally at the beginning. As the curd thickens, whisk more constantly.
4. In a second smaller saucepan, add the white chocolate and melt gently on low while the curd is thickening. Whisk during the melting process.
5. When the barely simmering curd is thick and translucent, whisk in egg yolks, 2 at a time very quickly. Make sure not to cook higher than a simmer here, otherwise you'd need to temper your eggs to ensure they don't curdle the filling.
6. Quickly whisk in zest, juice and combine. Then whisk in the butter.
7. Bring curd to a good simmer, whisking constantly. Lastly, slowly pour the melted white chocolate into the lime curd and whisk to incorporate.
8. Immediately remove from heat, and pour into your crust. Bake at 350˚ for 15 minutes. Remove from oven and let cool slightly.
9. Cover the pie with plastic wrap and press the plastic directly onto the surface of the curd. Refrigerate for at least 6-8 hours, overnight is better. (If you're not using right away you can store the curd in the fridge for up to 3 days with plastic wrap on the surface before the final baking step.)
10. After tart is thoroughly set, bring it out of the fridge 15 minutes before serving to come to room temperature. Garnish with lime zest, chocolate shavings and serve!