This tart recipe comes to us from Meg Ray, author of “Miette Recipes from San Francisco’s Most Charming Pastry Shop” and founder of the renowned pastry shop, Miette, in San Francisco’s Ferry Building.
This tart started with the combined desire to reinvent the refreshing flavor of Key lime
pie and to find another use for our glorious Boiled Icing. Adding these to our homemade
graham crust, the result was far from traditional and, in fact, represents the most
innovative flavor combination at Miette.
Unlike traditional graham cracker crusts, which are made with cookie crumbs, the crust
for this tart is made using the dough and baked off like a regular tart shell. You can
make the lime curd and graham shells separately up to 2 or 3 days ahead, but make the
boiled icing and fill the tart the day you will serve it. You will need a small blowtorch to
caramelize the top of the meringue as we do at the bakery.
The recipe yields about 2 cups of lime curd, and you will use about 1 cup in a 7-inch tart
or around 2 cups for 10 tartlets. Any leftover filling can be covered tightly and stored in
the refrigerator for a week, or frozen for up 2 months.
Keep reading for the recipe…
Graham Cracker Crust
Makes about twenty-four 3 1/4-inch cookies, two 7-inch tarts or a dozen 3 1/2-inch
1 1/2 cups (7 ounces) all-purpose flour
1/3 cup (1 1/2 ounces) whole-wheat flour
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
Generous 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
2/3 cup (6 ounces) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1/2 cup (4 ounces) firmly packed light brown sugar
2 tablespoons honey
Sift together the flours, salt, and cinnamon into a bowl. Set aside.
In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, combine the butter, brown
sugar, and honey and beat until fluffy, about 5 minutes.
Add the dry ingredients to the butter mixture in three additions, beating just until
combined after each addition. Wrap the dough tightly in plastic wrap and refrigerate for
at least 30 minutes before rolling, or for up to 2 days.
Remove the dough from the refrigerator and unwrap. Divide the dough to make the portions you need and again pat gently into disks. On a lightly floured work surface, roll out each dough disk into a round about 1/4 inch thick and about 1 inch greater in diameter than the pan you are using (8 inches for a 7-inch pan; 4 inches for 3 1/2-inch tartlet pans). Drape the rolled-out dough into the tart pan(s), gently pushing it into the bottom edges and against the pan sides to make a strong and straight shell. Trim the edges flush with the rim of the pan(s) using a sharp knife, or roll the rolling pin over the edges to cut off the excess dough. Prick all over the bottom with the tines of a fork and place in the freezer to firm up for 30 minutes.
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
To fully blind-bake the shell, line the shells with parchment paper and weight with dried
rice, dried beans, or pie weights. Place in the oven and bake until golden brown, about
10 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack and let cool completely before proceeding with the
Makes about 4 cups or enough to frost two 6-inch cakes
1 1/2 cups (10 1/2 ounces) sugar
1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar
1/4 cup water
3 large egg whites
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Combine the sugar, cream of tartar, and water in a small saucepan fitted with a candy thermometer. Stir the sugar to dissolve and begin to heat it over medium-low. Have a heatproof measuring cup sitting nearby.
Put the egg whites and vanilla in a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment. When the sugar reaches 240 degrees F, immediately pour it into the measuring cup to prevent it from getting hotter. With the mixer on medium speed, slowly pour the sugar syrup into the egg whites, aiming for the side of the bowl rather than the whisk. When all the syrup is added, turn the mixer to medium-high and whisk until the icing becomes thick and holds a firm peak. Continue to whisk until the icing is just slightly warm and very thick, about 10 minutes total. Do not continue to beat, or the icing will become too thick to spread and pipe.
Boiled icing must be used fresh and cannot be stored.
1/2 cup freshly squeezed lime juice
2 tablespoons grated lime zest
1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons (4 1/2 ounces) sugar
3 large eggs
3/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons (7 ounces) unsalted butter, cubed
To make the Lime Cream:
In the top bowl of a double boiler or bain-marie, whisk together the lime juice, zest sugar, and eggs. Fit the top bowl into the bottom pan over gently simmering water and warm the mixture, whisking occasionally, until it registers about 172 degrees F on an instant-read thermometer or coats the back of a wooden spoon and leaves a clear trail when a finger is drawn through it, 15 to 20 minutes.
Remove the lime curd from the heat and strain through a fine-mesh sieve into a clean container. Let cool slightly, to about 140 degrees F, about 20 minutes.
Add the butter to the curd, a few cubes at a time, and, using a whisk or an immersion blender, blend until it dissolves completely after each addition. Strain the curd again to remove any lumps of butter, then let cool to room temperature. Place plastic wrap directly on the surface of the curd to prevent a skin from forming and refrigerate until well chilled, at least 2 hours and up to 3 days.
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
Make the Graham Crackers dough and line a 7-inch tart pan. Fully pre bake the shell, transfer to a wire rack, and let cool completely.
Spread the chilled lime curd into the cooled graham crust. Fill a pastry bag fitted with a medium (1/2- or 5/8-inch) round tip. Fill the bag about halfway with the boiled icing. Pull up the cuff and twist it to seal and tighten the icing down into the cone. Purge the bag of air bubbles by squeezing the bag until there is a burst of air and icing sputters out of the bag. Pipe the icing on top of the tart, and then use the back of a spoon to press it down to meet the edges of the crust. Make a decorative swirl on top. Using a small kitchen torch, brown the surface of the icing, moving the flame in a circular motion to burn the ridges of the swirl until lightly browned. Refrigerate until well-chilled, at least 1 hour and up to 6 hours.