The key to making a good tart is a bit different than a pie or cake. If you think about it, a tart is basically crust with some stuff on it–and it’s up to the baker to make it stand out. Sometimes, like with a classic lemon tart, the strong flavor does the trick. But sometimes the key is COLOR! What’s great about this tart is that it incorporates both of these elements: there’s a flavorful curd base and then a layer of color to make it appeasing.
What’s also wonderful about this tart is that it looks fancy, but really, it’s the natural colors of the fruit that do all the work 🙂
I got this recipe from the book The Pie and Pastry Bible by Rose Levy Beranbaum. I think the recipes in this book are a bit hit-or-miss, but this one hits it!
*Hint: Take the time to make the crust with this one–it’s worth it.
For the crust (Pâte Sucrée)
- 8 Tbl. unsalted butter, cold, cut into 1-inch cubes
- 1/4 cup superfine sugar
- 1 1/2 scant cups bleached all-purpose flour
- 1/8 tsp. salt
- 1 large egg yolk
- 2 Tbl. heavy cream
For the curd
- 2 tsp. finely grated lime zest
- 6 Tbl. freshly squeezed lime juice (about 3 limes)
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 4 large egg yolks
- 4 Tbl. unsalted butter, softened
- pinch of salt
- green food coloring (optional)
For the tart (including glaze)
- 5 kiwis
- 1 small container blueberries
- 1 Tbl. lime juice
- 1 Tbl. water
- 1 Tbl. + 2 tsp. sugar
- 1/2 tsp. cornstarch
In a medium bowl, stir together the flour, sugar and salt. With a pastry cutter, cut in the cold butter until the mixture resembles coarse meal.
In a small bowl, stir together the yolk and cream. Mix it into the flour mixture until the dough comes together and can be formed into a ball (I like to use disposable latex gloves for mixing dough by hand as it lessens some of the heat of your hands and keeps the butter from melting). Flatten it into a 6-inch disc. Wrap the dough well and refrigerate for 30 min (no longer or the dough will crack when you try to mold it to the pan) or until firm enough to pat into the pan.
Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
Roll the dough to 1/8-inch thick and large enough to cut an 11-inch circle. Fit into the pan. The dough should come to about 1/8-inch above the rim of the pan, as it always falls a little during baking.
Bake at 425 for 5 min., then prick lightly with a fork. Lower heat to 375 and continue baking for 10-15 min. longer or until it turns a pale gold (edges will be a deeper brown) and feels set but soft to the touch. Allow to cool.
* Have a strainer ready over a medium bowl that contains the zest
In a heavy saucepan, beat the yolks and sugar until well-blended. Stir in the lime juice, butter and salt. Cook over medium-low heat, stirring constantly (be sure to scrape the sides of the pan), until the mixture is thickened (it should thickly coat a wooden spoon but still be liquid enough to pour.The mixture will change from translucent to opaque and begin to take on a slight green color on the back of the spoon). DO NOT LET BOIL or it will curdle.
When the mixture has thickened (185 degrees F on a thermometer), pour it at once into the strainer. Press with back of a spoon until only the coarse residue remains. Discard the residue. Gently stir in the zest and optional coloring and allow to cool.
Tart and glaze
Pour the lime curd into the crust and chill for at least 30 min.
Peel and slice the kiwis into 1/4-inch rounds. Arrange them in slightly overlapping circles over the curd, starting from the outer edge. Place the blueberries between and on top of the kiwi slices.
To make the glaze, combine the lime juice, water, sugar, and cornstarch in a small saucepan and stir until the sugar and starch are dissolved (the liquid must come to a boil and simmer for about 20 sec. for this to happen). Pour the glaze into a small bowl and use a pastry brush to brush over the kiwi and blueberry.
Refrigerate at least 1 hour or until shortly before serving. Lasts for about 4 days in the fridge, covered.