As the days get shorter and shorter, and the wind just a little bit colder, I’m dying for some warm sunshine. So I decided to bake some sunshine in the form of a Blackberry Lime Tart. The base is an easy press-in buttery tart crust filled with tangy, homemade lime curd and finally topped with fresh, juicy blackberries. The inspiration came from my copy of the Sprinklebakes: Dessert Recipes to Inspire Your Inner Artist cookbook (or bakebook, as it really should be called), where Heather Baird shares essential recipes that will form the base of amazing, inventive desserts. It is a definite buy for anyone who enjoys making adventurous desserts.
Phew! After writing that recipe, I’m realizing it may seem a little complex – 23 steps – yikes! But it really isn’t so hard, and you can even make some components, such as the lime curd and the tart dough a day or two ahead and pull it from the fridge when you’re ready to pull it all together. If you’re really nervous, just take it one step at a time by mastering the homemade crust first and substitute ready-made (and fairly decent!) lemon curd from Trader Joes for your filling.
So, now that I have baked this tart and eaten more than my share, I’d love to hear your ways for dealing with the winter blues! So please share any insights with us in the comments below 🙂
4.25 ounces all purpose flour (approximately 1 cup), plus more for kneading
1.25 ounces (approximately 3 tablespoons) sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 pound unsalted butter, cut into small cubes and chilled
grated lemon zest from 1/2 of a lemon
1 egg yolk
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 tablespoon ice water
1 cup apricot jam (or other fruit jam, but preferably one with a lighter color)
1/4 cup water
Lime Curd Filling
1/4 pound unsalted butter, softened
1 cup granulated sugar
2 eggs, at room temp
2 egg yolks, at room temp
1/3 cup plus 4 tablespoons fresh lime juice
12 ounces blackberries (or as many as you have - feel free to substitute or add in other berries you have on hand or that are in season)
Grease a 9 inch tart pan - you can use butter, shortening, or my favorite: Pam for Baking.
In a food processor combine the flour, sugar and salt by pulsing a few times.
Add the cubes of butter and the lemon zest and use until the butter is all the size of lentils.
Add in the egg yolks, vanilla, and water, pulsing the food processor to combine until the dough begins to form in large clumps.
Put down a large sheet of plastic wrap on the counter or some flour, and turn out the dough from the stand mixer and gently knead the dough together with your flour-covered fingertips, forming a flat disc.
Transfer to your prepared tart pan and press the dough evenly across the bottom and up the sides.
Cover the pan with plastic wrap and chill for at least 45 minutes (if you'd like, you can start the curd during this time, just skip to step #14).
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit.
Prick the bottom of the tart generously with a fork, and bake until golden (about 15-20 minutes).
Cool the crust completely before putting anything into the shell.
In a small saucepan, combine the jam and the water, and bring to a simmer. Simmer for a minute until the water has evaporated, and then use a fine mesh sieve to strain the mixture to get out any fruit clumps from the jam.
Return the strained jam (which is now your glaze) to the sauce pan and warm back up so that it is spreadable.
When the tart crust is cool, use a pastry brush to brush on the jam sauce over the baked tart crust. This will act as a barrier to the filling, to keep it from seeping into the crust and turning it into mush. Set aside the extra glaze, as you will use it again at the end.
Next, make the lime curd (just a note, you could make up the lime curd a day or two beforehand and store in the fridge covered with plastic wrap).
In the bowl of an electric mixer, beat the butter and sugar until light and fluffy.
Add the eggs and yolks one at a time, incorporating each fully before adding the next.
Pour in the lime juice and continue to mix until combined (you may need to scrape down the sides and bottom of your bowl).
Pour the curd mixture into a medium saucepan and cook over medium heat, stirring continually with a whisk until the mix is smooth.
Increase the heat a touch and keep whisking until the mixture has thickened and has reached a temperature of 170 degrees Fahrenheit (a candy thermometer is super handy, but I used an instant read thermometer, as I recently broke my candy one - whoops!).
Remove the curd from the heat and transfer to a heat-resistant bowl (such as glass), and cover with plastic wrap pressed to the top of the curd. Allow it to come to room temperature and then chill it in the refrigerator before putting in the crust.
Once the crust is cooled and glazed, and your curd is chilled, scoup the curd into the center of the crust, spreading evenly to the edges with the back of a spoon.
Finally, arrange your berries however you like and then drizzle the leftover glaze over the berries.
Cut into slices and serve! You can store it in the fridge for a couple days, but it is best the day you've made it.
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