This Tarte au Citron Vert is tangy enough to stand up to the creamy custard base. The lime zest in the sweet Pâte Sucrée dough adds just enough extra zing. If you can find Key limes those are the best choice for this tart. Otherwise buy your standard grocery store limes a few days ahead of time and let them sit on the window sill until they begin to turn yellow. Most limes are sold too “green” in the stores.
- 220 gram all-purpose flour (about 1 ½ cups plus 1 tablespoon), plus more for dusting
- 300 gram granulated sugar (about 1 ¼ cup divided)
- 2 pinch kosher salt
- zest of 2 limes
- 140 gram unsalted butter (about 11 tablespoons, chilled and cut into ½‑inch dice)
- 4 large egg yolks (chilled and divided)
- 4 large eggs (chilled)
- 2 tablespoon ice water
- 3/4 cup heavy cream
- 2/3 cup freshly squeezed lime juice
- lime zest (as garnish, optional)
Make the Pâte Sucrée: In the bowl of a food processor, combine flour, 60 grams (¼‑cup) sugar, salt and half the lime zest. Add butter, and process until mixture resembles coarse meal, 10 to 20 seconds.
In a small bowl, lightly beat 2 egg yolks with ice water. With machine running, add the egg/water mixture in a slow, steady stream through the feed tube. Pulse until dough holds together without being wet or sticky; be careful not to process more than 30 seconds. To test, squeeze a small amount together. It should hold together when pinched. If it is too crumbly, add more ice water, 1 tablespoon at a time.
Form dough into a disk about 5‑inches in diameter; wrap in plastic. Transfer to refrigerator, and chill at least 1 hour.
Prepare the crust: On a lightly floured surface using a lightly floured rolling pin, roll pastry dough to about a generous 12-inch round, a generous 1/8‑inch thick. Carefully fold dough in half, and slide it onto rolling pin. Transfer to a 9 or 10-inch fluted tart pan with removable bottom. Unfold the dough, easing it gently into pan; do not stretch dough. Press the dough into place, then run your roller over the edges of the pan, trimming it flush with the top all the way around. Transfer lined tart pan to a parchment-lined baking sheet and refrigerate until chilled.
Meanwhile, set the oven rack to the center position and preheat to 375 degrees F.
Once chilled, prick bottom of tart shell all over with a fork, line with parchment paper that extends beyond the rim at least 1 ½‑inches all around. Fill with pie weights or dried beans; bake on center rack of heated oven for 15 minutes. Remove parchment and weights, and continue to bake until set and lightly golden, about 5–8 minutes more. Let shell cool in pan on a wire rack.
Lower the oven temperature to 300 degrees F.
Make the filling: Whisk the eggs and remaining 2 egg yolks together in a large bowl. Add cream, remaining 240 grams (1‑cup) sugar, remaining lime zest, and lime juice. Whisk until well incorporated.
Place the blind baked tart shell on a rimmed baking sheet. Carefully pour all but about 1 cup of the filling into the tart shell and move it (on its baking sheet) to the preheated oven. Use a small ladle or pitcher to add the remaining filling to the tart shell. Don’t overfill the shell, there may be a couple tablespoons leftover depending on size and depth of tart pan.
Bake for 30 minutes. Turn oven off, and without opening the door, leave the tart in the oven another 30 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack to cool in the pan. Refrigerate at least 2 hours and up to 24 hours.
Slice and serve with additional lime zest as garnish (if using)