Gin and lime custard tart
- December 2018
- Serves 10
- Hands-on time 45 min, oven time 28-29 min, plus about 5 hours chilling
We’ve taken the flavours of a gimlet cocktail – gin and lime – and magicked them into a creamy custard tart. You can make the tart up to a day ahead, making it a great dinner party dessert.
- 29.1g (17.2g saturated)
- 53.3g (39g sugars)
For the pastry
- 110g chilled unsalted butter, cubed
- 60g caster sugar
- 130g plain flour, plus extra to dust
- 60g fine semolina
- Finely grated zest 1 lime
For the curd filling
- Finely grated zest and juice 6 limes
- 2 tbsp gin
- 225g caster sugar
- 4 medium free-range eggs, plus 2 yolks
- 1 tbsp juniper berries, bashed in a pestle and mortar
- 200g unsalted butter, softened and cubed
- 2 fine leaf gelatine sheets (we used Costa)
For the sugared lime zest
- Pared zest 2 limes, pith removed, sliced into thin matchsticks
- 100g caster sugar
You’ll also need…
- 23cm tart tin
- Ceramic baking beans
- First, make the pastry. Whizz the butter and sugar in a food processor until smooth. Add the flour, semolina and lime zest, whizz to combine, then tip onto a work surface and bring together by hand into a ball. (If you don’t have a food processor, beat the butter and sugar in a large bowl with a wooden spoon until smooth. Add the flour and semolina and bring together into a ball.) Press the dough into a disc, wrap well in cling film and chill for at least 30 minutes.
- Meanwhile, make the curd filling. Put the lime zest and juice, gin, sugar, eggs and yolks in a large heatproof bowl. Whisk together, add the juniper berries and butter, then set the bowl over a pan of just simmering water (don’t let the bowl touch the water). Let the butter melt and gently cook the curd for around 10 minutes, whisking occasionally, until thickened and smooth. It should be thick enough to coat the back of a spoon. Put the gelatine leaves in a bowl of cold water and set aside to soften for 5 minutes.
- Once the curd has thickened, remove from the heat. Squeeze out the gelatine leaves and whisk into the warm curd to dissolve completely. Strain the curd through a sieve into a large jug, cover the surface with cling film and set aside to cool.
- Grate the chilled dough evenly into the tin, then quickly press into the base and up the sides with your fingers to make a case. If it starts to feel greasy, chill in the freezer for 5 minutes, then continue. Freeze for 1 hour.
- Heat the oven to 180°C/160°C fan/gas 4. Line the chilled pastry case with foil and fill with baking beans. Bake for 25 minutes, then remove the foil and beans and bake for 3-4 minutes until the base has no grey patches and feels sandy. Set aside.
- Once both the pastry case and curd are cool, pour the curd into the tart case and chill for at least 4 hours to set (see Make Ahead).
- To make the sugared lime zest, put the zest in a bowl and cover with freshly boiled water. Set aside for 2 minutes, strain and shake dry. Tip into a bowl, cover with the sugar, shake to coat, then pick out the zest and use to decorate the tart. Serve straightaway.
The technique for sugared lime zest also works with other citrus fruit if you want to mix up the colours and flavours.
Make the tart up to a day ahead; cover and chill. Make the sugared lime zest just before serving.
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