Lime is a common cooking ingredient not only in Indonesia, but across Southeast Asia, the Middle East and South America. The juice, flesh and skin can all be used, giving dishes sweet, sour and bitter flavors.
A lime is like a lemon except with greener skin and a more tangy, sour taste. In cooking, the peel of the fruit is known as zest, and is usually removed in fine shreds using a miniature grater. The juice can used in everything from salad dressings to curries and desserts.
It is important to know how to buy the best limes. The bright green skin turns a yellowish-green when ripe. The riper the fruit, the sweeter the taste. If you want a sour lime, avoid the hard ones because they don’t have much juice. A good lime should be slightly soft to the touch.
For this week’s recipe I have prepared a lime tart. It is easy to make and full of flavor. Enjoy!
This dessert looks heavy from the ingredients, but it has a light and refreshing taste. It is a good idea to cook this a day early as the infused flavors will taste even better after a night in the refrigerator.
You will need a tart tin that is 4 centimeters deep with a 25-centimeter diameter. Serves 10-12.
For the sweet pastry:
300 grams flour; 150 grams unsalted, cold butter, cut into cubes; 80 grams icing sugar; 2 egg yolks.
For the filling:
Finely grated zest of 8-10 limes and 150 milliliters fresh lime juice; 300 grams caster sugar; 7 egg yolks; 3 whole eggs; 225 grams butter.
1. Place the flour, salt and sugar into a food processor and blend for 5 seconds. Add the butter and egg yolks, then blend until the mixture is combined well and is off the sides of the food processor bowl. Remove the mixture from the processor, shape into a ball, wrap in cling film and chill for at least one hour in the refrigerator.
2. Preheat the oven to 180 degrees Celsius. Slice the dough to around 1 centimeter in thickness and press into a loose-bottomed flan tin that is 25 centimeters in diameter. Press evenly on the sides and the base. Carefully trim the edges of the pastry with a knife.
3. Blind bake (pre-bake) the pastry by placing oiled paper on top and adding dried rice or beans to keep the casing flat as it cooks. Place the tin in the oven and cook for 20 minutes.
4. In the meantime, prepare the filling. Place all the ingredients except the butter in a large saucepan over a very low heat. Whisk continuously until the eggs have broken up and the sugar has dissolved.
5. Add half of the butter and continue to whisk. The mixture should be starting to thicken. Add the rest of the butter and continue to whisk until the mixture becomes very thick. It is important to continue whisking to prevent the mixture from curdling. Remove from the heat, place on a cold surface and continue to whisk until it is slightly warm.
6. By now, the pastry should be ready to remove from the oven. Remove the paper and beans or rice and leave to cool for 5 minutes.
7. Increase the oven to 200 degrees Celsius.
8. When both the filling and the pastry are ready, pour the lime mixture into the pastry base and bake until the top is brown. This should take about 7-8 minutes.
9. Remove the tin from the oven and leave to cool completely. Chill in the refrigerator for at least 2 hours before serving with vanilla ice cream or cream. It is delicious as it is.