Lime Tart.

January 30, 2012

I never took to lemon desserts until B, who loves them, came along. I, as a result, started crafting yellow citrus-y creations for him and effectively discovered a whole new delicious world. Unfortunately, yet another thing to file under the lengthy “Paraguay Does Not Have: ____” list are lemons. I know, right? Who doesn’t have lemons?!?!??

I’m not bitter or anything…ahem. Anyway. I got the bright idea to satiate my craving for a pucker-worthy dessert with lemon’s greener counterpart, Sir Lime, instead. Enter this most refreshing lime tart made with the glorious nectar of the gods condensed milk. Must I go any further to convince you to whip this up immediately?

Alas, I forgot to take a picture before we gobbled the tart right up, which is a total crying shame because 1) it looked pretty with the garnish and 2) I’m never making it again. It was surely delicious but leave it to Paraguay yet again to throw unnecessary complications into an otherwise simple undertaking.

So the recipe calls for 3/4 cup of fresh-squeezed lime juice and suggests that this may require 4-6 limes. Guess how many Paraguayan limes 4-6 equals?

TWENTY-ONE.

I really, truly thought I was never going to have functioning use of my fingers ever again. I Googled every trick in the book for juicing bone-dry limes. I picked the ones with smooth, thin skin. I microwaved them for 20 seconds. I rolled them on the counter. I threw them against the wall (no, I was most certainly not stewing inside). I stuck a fork in them. And the count still climbed haggardly to twenty-one stingy rocks.

Conveniently enough, Paraguay also does not have those chubby yellow and green bottles of lemon and lime juice. Said juice “concentrate” comes in large diluted jars and tastes like rusty metal. Add that to the list. Graham crackers too.

Nevertheless, I maintained the upper-hand (though towards the end, it was more shriveled claw than hand) and came out with a creamy tart with bold tangy flavor. Go ahead, give it a whirl.

Just not if you live in Paraguay.

Lime Tart

[Adapted from marthastewart.com]

1 1/2 packets of Lincoln brand cookies (my substitution for graham crackers)
2 tablespoons plus 1/2 cup sugar
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
1 can (14 ounces) sweetened condensed milk
3/4 cup fresh lime juice (4 to 6 limes…or 21)
4 large egg yolks
Pinch salt

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Process cookies and 2 Tbs. sugar in a food processor (a blender worked for me) until fine crumbs form. Add butter and process until combined. Transfer mixture to a pie pan (since I didn’t have a tart mold with removable bottom) and pat up the sides. Bake crust for about 10 minutes.

In a medium bowl, combine condensed milk, lime juice, egg yolks, remaining 1/2 cup sugar, and salt. Whisk until smooth. Pour mixture into crust (warm or cool is fine), and return to oven. Bake until filling is set around edge but still slightly loose in center–20 to 25 minutes.

Cool completely at room temperature, then refrigerate until chilled–at least 2 hours. Serve with a slice of lime cut in the middle and twisted for garnish.

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