Candied Lime Ribbons
- 3 to 4 organic limes washed
- 1 cup sugar plus 1/2 cup
Chocolate Almond Crust
- 1/2 cup almond meal
- 1/2 cup dutch processed cocoa powder
- 1/2 cup sweet rice flour
- 2 tbsp tapioca flour
- 1/4 cup granulated cane sugar
- 1/4 tsp plus 1/8 tsp kosher salt
- 5 tbsp cold unsalted butter , cut into 1/2 inch (1.3 cm) cubes
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 4 large egg yolks
- 14 oz sweetened condensed milk this works out to 1 3/4 cups or 415 ml)
- 1 lime
- 1/3-1/2 cup key lime juice from about 12 limes: alternatively you can used bottled key lime juice
- 2 teaspoons lime zest
- 1/2 tsp food grade matcha powder
- lime slices, whipping cream, mint leaves for garnish
Candied Lime Ribbons:
- Using a bar zester or vegetable peeler, remove the peel from the limes in vertical strips, trying to leave as much of the bitter white pith behind.
- In a small saucepan, combine the peels with 2 cups of cold water and bring to a boil. Immediately drain, refill the pan with water, bring to a boil and drain again. Repeat this process three times to remove the bitterness from the peel. After the third dunking remove the peels from the pan and set aside. (if using ribbons created by a bar zester, you will only need to go through this process once)
- Measure 1 cup of the sugar into a saucepan, and add 1/2 cup of water. Set over medium-high heat, bring to a boil and whisk until the sugar dissolves. Drop in the peels, reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer uncovered until the peels are tender and translucent. Drain and cool the peels. Keep the syrup for adding to cocktails etc.
- Place the remaining 1/2 cup sugar in a large bowl and add the peels. Toss with your fingers until the peels are thoroughly coated. Remove one peel at a time shaking off the excess sugar. Place on a clean plate until needed.
- Reserve the unused sugar (even if there are lime bits in it) it works great for other citrus baking needs.
- Store any unused lime peel in an airtight container. Keeps for several weeks this way.
Chocolate Almond Crust
- Position a rack in the centre of the oven and preheat it to 375F (190C)
- In a bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, combine the almond flour, the cocoa powder, the sweet rice flour, the tapioca starch, sugar and salt. Give it a slow stir to combine.
- Scatter the butter pieces over it all and then drizzle the vanilla extract over everything.
- Turn the mixer to medium-low and run until the butter is blended in and the dough comes together in clumps. This should take about 3-5 minutes.
- Dump the crumbs into your 9-10 inch (23-25cm) tart pan with removable bottom.
- Press the dough evenly over the surface, starting with the sides and then moving on to the bottom. The challenge will be in keeping the sides square (as you can see from the photos of my latest tart, I didn’t do a perfect job!) It can take up to 10 minutes to get it looking pretty. Don’t rush it. It may be crumbly. But it will come together, trust me. Prick the bottom of the crust with a fork and place in a freezer for 15-30 minutes. Sometimes it is too crumbly for me to use the fork on it without disturbing the surface. (this can be affected by the weather or humidity in the air- in the winter if you have the heat on, it will be much drier, and this will affect the moisture content of the dough. But no worries- I have baked it without the fork step with no ill effects)
- Place the tart pan on a baking sheet and bake until it is set and firm to the touch. This should take 22-25 minutes. Since the dough is dark you may not be able to tell if it has darkened past the point to getting too brown. So do use a timer, and look closely for edges that are pulling away from the sides of pan.
- If it starts to puff up in any way while baking, you can use a tea towel to gently push back down.
- Let it cool completely before filling.
Key Lime Filling
- Preheat oven to 350-degrees.
- You can use a stand mixer, a handheld mixer or even a bowl and a whisk for the following:
- Beat the egg yolks until they are thick and turn to a light yellow (it takes a while, just keep beating).
- Slowly add sweetened condensed milk while mixing on a low speed.
- Zest 1 regular lime, making sure not to get any of the pith ( a microplane is good for this), then juice it.
- Pour the fresh lime juice into a 1/2 cup measuring cup then fill the cup with the Key Lime juice to make a full 1/2 cup of juice.
- Gradually add the lime juice and zest to the mixing bowl. Then, using a small sieve, push the matcha powder through it into the mixture. This will eliminate any lumps that may be in the matcha powder. Continue to mix on a low speed just until blended.
- Pour the mixture into the prepared pie shell and bake 15 minutes. Remove and let cool. The filling should be just set, not loose and jiggly all over.
- Once cool you can decorate as you wish. I use fresh fruit slices, mint leaves, whipping cream, edible confetti, candied lime peel, fresh zest, or even lime jelly beans.
- Of course, some of them will need to be removed for slicing. So take a picture and then slice away. You can serve the candied lime peel directly on the tart, as it will be a lovely crunchy contrast to the creamy texture of the filling.
For those of you who simply can’t find key lime juice or limes here are alternatives for the filling: use Persian limes if they are available. Or use a combination of 3/4 regular lime juice and 1/4 lemon juice to achieve the appropriate liquid amount. These work perfectly.
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