Thursday, November 30, 2006

Lime Tart

Sat 18 Nov 2006

And finally, the denouement of our slap up dinner. You might think that after our carrot soup and our steak with macaroni cheese we would be full, and you would be right. But being full has never been an impediment to eating, so we ploughed on, valiantly, and ate some creamy lime tart, as featured in the Australian Gourmet Traveller from November 2002. There were complaints from some quarters, as Housemate rather thought it should have been lemon meringue pie. But I was far too lazy for that.

The recipe was for a 28cm tart tin, whereas mine is only 23cm, and I couldn't track down a larger one (that, and I'm under strict instructions not to add to kitchen clutter). So I had a bit of a play with the pastry so that I had about the right amount. Into the Magimix went 150g plain flour and 75g of cold, unsalted butter. Chop it all up. I then added 1tbsp of icing sugar, 1/2 tsp of vanilla extract and one egg yolk. Whizzy up and add cold water as required (as usual, be careful not to add too much). When it is just coming together, make it into a ball, wrap in cling film and refrigerate.

Now, after quite a while of pastry very definitely not behaving itself, I really recommend leaving the pasty to chill for quite a while. Because of the order in which I did things, it got a good long rest in the fridge and rolled out really well. And stayed in one piece, lifted off the bench nicely, etc etc. So don't be lazy or in a rush on this part. Make the pastry and leave it.

I made the quantity of filling specified by the recipe - so I had some left over. The leftovers were poured into ramekins and baked. Because the filling is rich (and this is coming from me - I don't say that lightly) opt for smaller rather than larger ramekins ... you could end up making yourself feel a little ill.

To make the filling you need some grated lime rind. The recipe says 1 tsp - I used the rind of a whole lime, but that depends on how limey you like things. You also need 3/4 cup of lime juice. The recipe says this is about 4-5 limes. I was just on the edge with 5 limes, and ended up adding all the pith that was left on the squeezer as well. I'd be generous in how many limes you have available to use. To the lime juice and rind, add 165g of caster sugar and 1/2 cup of cream (double). Whizzy this all up together (this time, it wasn't the Magimix but part of the Braun stab mixer - if you don't have a stab mixer - you really should). Then add 1 tsp of vanilla extract and 5 eggs, one at a time. Make sure it's all well combined.

If you're not being lazy, by this point you should have baked your pasty case blind and let it cool. I actually did this this time. Have the oven preheated to 200C and line your tart tin, first with pastry, then with baking paper and then with baking beans. Bake for 10 minutes. Reduce heat to 180C and bake for a further 10 minutes, without the beans and paper.

When ready to go, pour the lime mixture into the tart case and bake at 180C for 20-25 minutes. The filling should just be set and going golden.

Serve warm or at room temperature. The original wine recommendation to go with this is Horrocks Cordon Cut Riesling from the Clare Valley. Having had this wine, I'm not entirely sure it would be a perfect match, but I also can't think of a suitable suggestion. I just think the lime might be a little aggressive. Perhaps matching the citrus with the citrus found in a botrytised semillon might be good ... or even going for something like a ratafia or a pedro ximenez.

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