Monday, August 3, 2009

Lime tartlets

Lime tartlets / Tortinhas de limão

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

Lime tartlets / Tortinhas de limão

Lime tartlets

Tart shells:
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

Lime filling:
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.

Makes 12

Lime tartlets / Tortinhas de limão


Unknown said...

Perfect summer dessert, and it looks easy, too! Lemons and limes are in season now....Oh, yum!

Valerie Gamine said...

These tartlets look like beautiful, edible cameos. As much as I love lemons, it is always good to see limes take the stage in a recipe. :)

Irmina Díaz-Frois Martín said...

This blog is bautiful.
I like very much.

Anonymous said...

What a great sister. Sounds delicious

Heather said...


Meeta K. Wolff said...

this looks really refreshing! creamy and tart!

Peter G | Souvlaki For The Soul said...

Patricia, I quite like the simplicity of these and look forward to making them at a dinner party I'm having soon!

Abby said...

I'm a sucker for any kind of crust. And for anything mini. So cute!

Jennifer said...

Your sister sounds great!! What a nice thing for you to do!! These tarts look sooo good! My husband loves all things lime!

Lizzie said...

I love how simple and white these are! Plus, I'm a huge lime fan, so I think I'll have to bookmark these for sure. Delicious!

Manggy said...

Hah! Condensed milk, I KNEW it! I am an instant fan! ;) (I'm guessing you didn't tell your sister of your new "adopted" sister, hehe :)

The Food Librarian said...

This is very beautiful!

KJ said...


Julia @ Mélanger said...

Condensed milk? Is that more creamy or caramel-y in flavour?

ChichaJo said...

Thanks for sharing the link to that tart crust sounds awesome! Shrink-free here I come :)

pam said...

Beautiful, as usual!

Patricia Scarpin said...

Toni, very summery, indeed!
Thank you!

Valerina, I love lemons, too, but limes also have a special place in my heart. :)
Tks for visiting!

Irmina, thank you for stopping by!

Slice of Sueshe, thank you! :D

Heather, tks! :D

Meeta, thank you, darling!

Pete, I hope you like them!

Abby, this is a very good crust!

Jennifer, she's really precious, I love her so much!
I'm glad you like the tarts!

Lizzie, I hope you give them a go!

Mark, you and I and pretty much every Brazilian around are the same - love sweetened condensed milk! :D
And I have told her about Marina - she was pretty much OK with that (it seems). :D

Food Librarian, thank you!

KJ, tks! :D

Julia, not caramely - kind of smooth and not too sweet (because of all the lime juice involved).

Joey, the crust is fantastic, I'm sure you'll love it!

Pam, xoxo

Elizabeth B said...

I teach English as a Second Language to adults and had three Brazilians in my summer class that just ended last month. On our last day we had a class potluck and everyone brought food. Most people brought something from their home country. Two of the Brazilian students brought desserts, and I told those two, "If I ever visit Brazil I'm going to gain 20 pounds!" Mmm, sweetened condensed milk.

These tartlets look like little gems. They're so beautiful, and you shot the picture so well. I'm very impressed.

Patricia Scarpin said...

Hi, Elizabeth!
Many Brazilian sweets and desserts are based on sweetened condensed milk - like the famous "brigadeiro". We love the stuff here. :D
Thank you for your kind words - I love it when you visit the blog!


Anonymous said...

I absolutely love your tart shell! These miniture tarts make me want to have one right at this minute! Looks so adorable too!

Thanks for posting and for sharing!

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