I’m such a softie - just can’t say “no” to my sister.
She finally stopped by and we spent last Saturday together. When I told her I was going to make sfiha – because she loves it – she replied: “It’s been ages since I last had lime tart...” :D
I wanted something different from my last lemon tart and for that I combined Deb’s fantastic sweet tart shell (it doesn’t shrink!) and Nigella's fresh lime filling. If my sister is any indication – she asked to take some tartlets home – this recipe is a keeper. :D
1 ½ cups (210g) all-purpose flour
½ cup (70g) confectioner’s sugar
¼ teaspoon salt
126g (1 stick + 1 tablespoon) very cold (or frozen) unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
1 large egg
finely grated zest and juice of 2 limes
¾ can (295g/10.5oz) sweetened condensed milk
2/3 cup (160ml) heavy cream
Start by making the shells: pulse the flour, sugar and salt together in the bowl of a food processor. Scatter the pieces of butter over the dry ingredients and pulse until the butter is coarsely cut in. (You’re looking for some pieces the size of oatmeal flakes and some the size of peas.) Stir the egg with a fork, just to break it up, and add it a little at a time, pulsing after each addition. When the egg is in, process in long pulses – about 10 seconds each – until the dough, which will look granular soon after the egg is added, forms clumps and curds. Just before you reach this stage, the sound of the machine working the dough will change–heads up – I used my Kitchen Aid with the paddle attachment in the whole process.
Turn the dough out onto a work surface and, very lightly and sparingly, knead the dough just to incorporate any dry ingredients that might have escaped mixing. Chill the dough, wrapped in plastic, for about 2 hours before rolling.
To roll the dough: butter twelve 9cm (3 ½in) tartlet pans with removable bottoms - alternatively, use one 22cm (9in) tart pan. Roll out small portions of chilled dough on floured sheet of parchment paper to 11.5cm (4 ½in) rounds, lifting and turning dough occasionally to free from paper. (Alternately, you can roll this out between two pieces of plastic, though flour the dough a bit anyway.). Transfer dough into prepared tartlet pans and seal any cracks in dough. Fold overhang in, making double-thick sides, and if too thick, push the dough down with your fingers towards the bottom of the pan. Pierce crust all over with fork.
Freeze the crusts for at least 30 minutes, preferably longer, before baking.
Preheat the oven to 190ºC/375ºF. Butter the shiny side of a piece of aluminum foil (or use nonstick foil) and cut roughly into twelve squares; place the foil squares, buttered side down, tightly against the crust. And here is the very best part: Since you froze the crust, you can bake it without weights. Put the tartlet pans on a large baking sheet and bake the crusts for 20 to 25 minutes, or until lightly golden.
Carefully remove the foil. If the crust has puffed, press it down gently with the back of a spoon. Bake the crust about 10 minutes longer to fully bake it, or until it is firm and golden brown, brown being the important word: a pale crust doesn’t have a lot of flavor. Transfer the pans to a rack and cool the crusts to room temperature
Do ahead: the dough can be wrapped and kept in the refrigerator for up to 5 days or frozen for up to 2 months. While the fully baked crust can be packed airtight and frozen for up to 2 months, the flavor will be fresher bake it directly from the freezer, already rolled out.
Filling: using an electric mixer, whisk all the ingredients in a large bowl until thick and creamy. Pour into the baked and cooled tart shells and chill for a further 30 minutes or until set.