Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Tuesday Tutor: Featuring Consumed, My Culinary Adventure

Lime Curd Tart


Every Tuesday I take a break from me and focus on someone else for a change. Which is a lot more fun and rewarding than obsessing over myself. Or testing recipes over and over and over and over...

Thus on Tuesdays, I feature an original recipe from another blogger: I make the recipe following the author's directions, I snap a multitude of pictures, I taste the result - and I then share everything I love about the recipe.


My tutor today was the ever-friendly and down-to-earth Danielle from Consumed, My Culinary Adventure blog. Danielle's blog is filled with delicious and easy eats often inspired by her own family's cooking and recipes. Even better, Danielle doesn't just post a recipe and call it a day - she always manages to inject a little humor or a story or anecdote that keeps you coming back for more. And somehow she still manages to keep her posts short and concise - a skill I desperately need if I'm ever to harness my ever-persistent wordiness!

Unfortunately, it's been a while since a new post has been added to Consumed, My Culinary Adventure - so I demand you stop by Danielle's blog and leave her some love! Because quite frankly, this is the kind of REAL food blogging the world needs more of: concise, fun to read, down-to-earth, and friendly!

About the Author: 5 Fun Facts
  1. "I come from a long line of great cooks, with both of my parents being no exception. Even though I've been on my own a long time, I give a lot of credit to my family for giving me the desire to make and eat homemade food. Thanks, family!"
     
  2. "I just got my first "real" camera (i.e., DSLR) last week, and I can't wait to start using it! I can't get over the quality of the photos!"
     
  3. "I believe in eating something green with dinner every night. It doesn't have to be fancy, but it should be green!"
     
  4. "There are two things that people always think I'm lying about: 1) I'm a natural blond and have never dyed my hair, and 2) My middle name is J. Just 'J'!"
     
  5. "The first concert I ever went to was Neil Young at 14. Eric Clapton and Fleetwood Mac followed at 15. Needless to say I love classic rock!"
Author's Photo

I'll confess this up-front - I did NOT decide to bake this recipe because it required buying a tart pan. However, it turned out to be an added bonus! (Pay no attention to my boyfriend sulking in the corner [actually, he didn't really care, but I like to pretend he does]!) The REAL reason I chose this recipe is because I've never made a curd. Ever. The word curd isn't a particularly appetizing sound as it rolls off the tongue - and I always deemed the technique above my culinary prowess (it doesn't take a lot of frighten me).

But this recipe for lime curd is a homerun because not only does it set up beautifully, it's also easily transformed into a tart! A quick pie shell, the zest from some limes, some sugar and eggs - and just like that you've got a beautiful dessert and you've mastered your very own curd. And oh yeah, it's also lime. Did I mention I love lime?

Original recipe courtesy of Consumed, My Culinary Adventure

This crust is so easy: 1 1/2 sticks of butter

1/2 cup of sugar

Mix the sugar and the butter together
You don't even need to cream it!

Tip in a little vanilla
(I might add a little more next time)

Sift the flour and salt

Then stir flour into the the butter/sugar mix
Nothing fancy, just shake it in

And you end up with a stiff but buttery dough

I suppose you could make this tart in a pan without
a false bottom and without fluted sides, but this
recipe gave me an excuse to pick of a tart pan :)

The dough is quite soft and maleable, but still clings together

I used a glass to help me press out the dough into the edges

And a rolling pin to trim off the excess bits of dough

I know the recipe says to chill in your fridge,
but I chose to chill for about 10 minutes in my freezer
You may want to lightly spray the aluminum foil with non-stick spray
before covering the chilled crust

I use either steel cut oats or rolled oats as the filling
for my crust when I blind bake

You can see some of the tart crust was pulled
away when I removed the foil

The final shell is a beauty - golden and buttery!

Instead of using a vegetable peeler to remove the zest...

...I used my Microplane box grater to create a fine zest

I then added the zest and sugar to the food pro

After a minute or so processing in the food pro,
you end up with a somewhat sticky yet grainy
mixture of sugar and zest

The amazing lime zest sugar
Sadly, pictures don't do it justice...

I beat the butter into the sugar for about 5 minutes
However, the butter and sugar never really achieves a light
or fluffy state - this isn't a problem

It's amazing how the eggs thicken the curd

It becomes quite thick and creamy

A little bit of salt really enhances the lime zest

As soon as you begin adding the lime juice,
the curd begins to curdle immediately

This curdled mess is exactly what you want!

I used a wooden spoon with a hole in the center
I felt it helped me better gauge the thickness of the curd

First the curd melts down into a runny soup

Eventually, over low heat, it thickens into something
resembling a thick gravy. Mine took about 30 minutes to thicken
I think I was a bit overly cautious with the heat

The lime curd cools at room temperature until set
This takes about 1 1/2 to 2 hours - which is an ETERNITY!
I probably should have cooked my curd a little longer

I decorated mine a little.
Or rather, the bf decorated and I cut lime slices ;)


Thoughts while scarfing...
  • This tart has the perfect balance between sweet and tart (pardon the pun). The limes still pack a sour punch, but you'll never wind up feeling like you just sucked a lime dry. Despite the copious amounts of zest, there's no residual background bitterness that sometimes plagues these sorts of curds. It's simply delicious
     
  • I seem to have done something slightly wrong with my crust as it wanted to stick badly to the aluminum foil after the blind bake. I'm not sure what was causing this, but fortunately the crust was thick enough that I still had plenty of crust left behind. Next time I make this, I plan to lightly mist the foil with a non-stick spray before covering the crust
     
  • The curd thickened beautifully and didn't even come close to curdling! This pleases me greatly because it was my very first curd and now I feel confident enough to try it again. In fact, next time I may increase the heat slightly to see if I can speed up the process as my curd took nearly 30 minutes to thicken. (I was terrified of raising the heat and arriving at scrambled lime eggs!)
     
  • The toughest part of this tart is the wait - once you fill the tart shell with your curd, you have to wait at least 2 hours for the curd to cool and set. This is pure torture. Especially when you've sampled a tiny bit of the curd and know how good it is!

Other Must-Try Recipes from Consumed, My Culinary Adventure
Maybe lime curd isn't your thing. But I guarantee you'll find something scrumptious and easy on the Consumed, My Culinary Adventure blog. Check out these mouth-watering eats and tell me you're not inspired!



Homemade Chicken Pot Pie
Fancy Hasselback Potatoes
Banana Zucchini Walnut Bread
Irish Potato Candy
Homemade Kit Kat Bars


2 comments:

  1. So glad you enjoyed the recipe! I love the look of your finished tart with the whipped cream and limes! Mine traveled an hour in the car and had seen better days by the time it was served...HOWEVER, the taste was still top notch. ;)

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    Replies
    1. I'm so pleased you like my final take on your tart - but really, the credit belongs to my bf who worked for years in college at a DQ and can pipe icing like a pro! Fortunately, I didn't have to transport mine anywhere - right from the fridge into my tummy ;) And you're right, the taste is the best part...

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