Next up is: Sunrise Key Lime Tarts
Recipe source: Baked Explorations, p. 43
Leave your links on Sunday, April 14th
Yield: Eight 4-inch tarts
For the Pretzel Crust
5 ounces (1 ¼ sticks) unsalted butter
2 tablespoons firmly packed dark brown sugar
1 1/2 generous cups (about 6 ounces) salted thin pretzel sticks, ground
For the Key Lime Filling
3 large egg yolks, at room temperature
14 ounces (1 can) sweetened condensed milk
1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons fresh Key lime juice (about 12 to 15 Key limes)
Zest of 2 Key limes or 1 regular Persian lime (about 1 tablespoon)
2 tablespoons good-quality tequila
1 tablespoon triple sec or orange juice
For the topping
1 cup heavy cream
2 tablespoons granulated sugar
Zest of 4 Key limes or 2 regular Persian limes (about 2 tablespoons)
8 thin slices of Key lime (optional)
Baked Note: Key limes, smaller and more tart than the traditional, ubiquitous Persian lime, are quite obviously associated with the Florida Keys. They have a thinner rind, more seeds, and are less juicy (i.e., you will need many more Key limes than you would Persians to get the requisite amount of juice in this recipe). Outside of Florida, Key limes can be difficult to track down and expensive. You can substitute Persian limes (their juice and their zest) in this recipe without worry: the amount of juice and zest is a one-to-one substitution, though you will need fewer Persian limes overall to get there.
Make the Pretzel Crust
Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F. Lightly spray a paper towel with vegetable oil and use it to apply the oil to the sides and bottom of eight 4-inch tart pans with removable bottoms. Place the tart pans on a baking sheet.
In a food processor, pulse the pretzels into a fine crumb (it is okay if you have a few coarse pieces in the mix).
In a medium saucepan over low heat, melt the butter. Whisk in the brown sugar and remove from the heat. Add the pretzel crumbs and stir until combined—the mixture should look like wet sand. Place about 3 tablespoons of the crumb mixture in each prepared tart pan. Using your fingers or the bottom of a small metal measuring cup, press the mixture into the bottom and up the sides of each tart pan.
Bake the tarts on the baking sheet for about 10 minutes (the tops will appear set), then remove from the oven and set aside to cool completely.
Increase the oven temperature to 350 degrees F.
Make the Key Lime Filling
In a large bowl, whisk the egg yolks with the sweetened condensed milk until well blended. Add the lime juice, lime zest, tequila, and triple sec and whisk until combined and slightly thickened. Divide the filling among the prepared tart pans and bake on the baking sheet for 10 to 12 minutes, until filling appears set. Transfer the pan to a wire rack to cool completely, then refrigerate the tarts until the tops are cool to the touch, about 2 hours.
Make the topping
Pour the cream into a chilled metal bowl and beat it with a chilled whisk for about 1 minute. Sprinkle the granulated sugar and zest on top and continue whisking vigorously until soft peaks form.
To serve, gently push up on the tart bottoms to release the tarts from their pans. Top with the whipped topping and one thinly sliced lime pinwheel, if desired
These tarts taste best if eaten within 24 hours but can be stored in the refrigerator, tightly covered, for up to 2 days.
Excerpted from Baked Elements: Our 10 Favorite Ingredients by Matt Lewis and Renato Poliafito. Copyright © 2012 by Matt Lewis and Renato Poliafito. Excerpted by permission of Stewart, Tabori & Chang, an imprint of Abrams. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
How big of a deal do you think it is if I don’t use tartlet pans with removable bottoms? I have the perfect size pans, but they don’t have removable bottoms… After buying 8-inch pans last week for Aunt Sassy Cake, I’m having a hard time justifying buying new tartlet pans, considering how infrequently I use the ones I have… ;-)
I don’t think it’s a big deal as long as you use parchment paper to line the bottoms of the pans. The crust is pretty sturdy.
I guess I thought Key limes were to regular limes as Meyer lemons were to regular lemons – that they’d be sweeter. But, they were pretty tangy!
Thanks for the tip, Susan. I have to say, I’m getting frustrated with some of the recipes lately. This crust is not working for me. I used pretzel *twists*, rather than sticks, and I figure that it doesn’t matter because they get ground down, right? Fortunately, the recipe includes weight for that ingredient, so I went with the 6 ounces (which was like 4 cups of pretzels!). However, my mixture was really dry and sandy. I tried to line my tart pans with parchment, but that didn’t really work, as the crust wouldn’t hold its shape and hold down the parchment. I tried adding 2 tbsp. extra butter to help the crumbs hold together better, and it still doesn’t seem to make much of a difference. Any suggestions??
I found the directions a little confusing, too. I had a 13-ounce bag of pretzels, so I used just under half – I don’t have a kitchen scale *gasp*! But, I measured the 1 1/2 cups after I ground them. I used twists, too, and – you’re right – that shouldn’t make a difference. I found that I could probably have made 6 tarts instead of 8 because mine are very flat, unlike the photo in the book. I’m posting today because we’re headed out of town. Hang in there! I feel like we’re taking a correspondence course here – LOL!
About the tart pans-I made these last night using mini metal pie tins and they came out just fine. But, parchment probably would have been a good idea, or a good spray with Pam. The crust was very sturdy (and tasty) but it was a little work to get a bite free. We may have sprayed pretzel crumbs all over the kitchen at one point from a particularly vigorous jab with a spoon…much to our dog’s delight.
I cut the recipe in half and used two single serve bags of normal shaped pretzels, conveniently they were marked as being 1.5oz, and seemed to be the perfect amount for four mini crusts.
I agree that the custard part didn’t seem to make enough for the amount of tarts to be filled.
Thanks for tips/advice, ladies! So when you pressed the crumbs into the tart pans, was the mixture very loose, or did it clump together pretty well? I’m used to graham cracker crusts that clump, you know what I mean? This stuff– not so much!
Good to know about the quantity of filling– maybe I’ll make 4 since I have no one to feed them to this weekend. Conversely, I could probably make 10 tart crusts with this much pretzel mixture!!
Susan, I know what you mean– it’s nice to be able to ask for 1-on-1 help! Have a great trip. :)
The mixture clumped together really well for me, it was damp from the melted butter, similar to graham cracker crusts. There were a few larger bits of pretzel, but I got most of it to a fairly fine crumb in the food processor.
Hmm, maybe I used too many pretzels. I guess I’ll keep adding butter until it clumps together better! Thanks, Liz! :)
My crust was the same – not wet enough. And I ended up only getting four tarts even though my pans are 4″. The filling was just about right for that, too.