Lemon-Lime Pistachio Tartlets
Lime season is almost here and I’m going to take full advantage of it. After all, it only lasts for about two weeks here (at best).
You can actually extend this period significantly using a cool trick I learned from Sharon, a dear of mine. Buy a lot of limes, go bankrupt, squeeze them all, pour into ice molds and freeze. This way, you can enjoy lime even during winter, without the heat and sweat that usually accompany it.
Why another lime-y dessert so soon you ask? It turns out that the previous post wasn’t sour enough for some of my lemon loving friends. So I made a dessert that accentuates lemon and lime in the most sour way I know, Tart! Also, it’s kinda cool that the word “tart” in English has a double meaning. Both are related to the topic; a tart tart!
Please note (!) In this recipe, I use the sablage method. To get the best results, you must work in a cold environment. Make sure the room is cool (if there’s no air conditioning, work inside the fridge or wait for winter), store all ingredients in the fridge until use, mixer bowl and hook included.
I found the recipe for the lemon-lime filling in “First Prize Pies”, a wonderful book by Alisson Kave.
* The recipe make 6 lime-y tartlets.
175 g flour
20 g almond powder
65 g powdered sugar
2 g salt (4 pinches)
Zest from 1 lime
100 g cold butter (cut into cubes)
45 g eggs
60 g shelled pistachios
10 g grape seed oil
130 g sugar
80 g sour cream
Zest from half a lemon
Zest from 1 lime
A pinch of salt
150 g eggs
80 g lemon juice
80 g lime juice
30 g chopped pistachios
6 round rings, 8 cm diameter and 2.5 cm height
Put flour, almond powder, powdered sugar, salt, lime zest and butter cubes in the mixer bowl and keep in the fridge for about 10 minutes. Remove from fridge. Using the paddle attachment, start mixing at low-medium speed until the batter reaches sand-like consistency. Make sure the butter chunks are as small as possible at the end of the process without melting the butter.
Add the eggs all at once and keep mixing at medium speed until the dough starts to form but is not yet completely uniform. Remove dough parts from the bowl and combine. Cover dough with plastic wrap. Roll out the dough a little bit, giving it a rectangular shape. Keep in the fridge for at least an hour. (It’s always better to prepare the dough in advance, the dough keeps for up to a week in the fridge and for about two-three months in the freezer.)
When the dough is stiff and cold, remove the plastic wrap and divide the dough into 6 equal-sized pieces. Leave one piece of dough on the counter top and put the rest back in the fridge. Flour the work surface, place the dough on top and dust it with flour as well. Roll out the dough with a rolling pin. Keep turning the dough throughout and make sure it doesn’t stick to the surface. Roll out the dough to a 3-4 mm thickness.
Please note (!) If at any point the dough starts to soften, put it back in the fridge until it is stiff again.
Fonçage: Spread some butter on your finger and butter the inner side of the baking ring so that the dough sticks to it. Place the ring gently on top of the dough and cut a larger circle around the ring. Place the ring on a parchment paper and place the dough gently on top of it. Lift the edges of the dough, gently push the rest of the dough down and attach the edges to the sides of the ring, starting from the bottom of the ring to the top. Gently press down on the sides so that the corners at the bottom form a right angle. (It’s not the end of the world if the dough gets torn accidentally. Just attach the sides that have been torn apart and move on). Go over the top of the ring with a sharp knife and remove the excess dough. Put the tartlet in the freezer and repeat the process with the rest.
Put pistachios in a small food processor and grind into powder. Add the oil and grind until the mixture is moist and have the consistency of wet sand.
Remove the tartlets from the freezer, one at a time, and spread a thin layer of the pistachio mixture at the bottom. Flatten the surface with a spoon. Put back in the freezer.
Cut parchment paper into 6 pieces, 13 x 13 cm each (approximately). Line the tartlets with the pieces of parchment. Fill the tartlets with pie weights or dry chickpeas. Keep in the freezer. Preheat the oven to 175 ºC (350 ºC). When the desired temperature is reached, remove the tartlets from the freezer and set them on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Place the sheet in the oven and bake for 10 minutes.
Remove the baking sheet from the oven and gently remove the parchment paper containing the pie weights (be careful not to break the crust in the process). If the bottom of the tartlets is still wet, put back in the oven and bake for another minute or two until dry. Set aside to cool.
Put sour cream and sugar in a bowl and mix well with a whisk. Add eggs, salt and zest and whisk again until uniform. Add lemon and lime juice gradually while mixing. Transfer into a measuring pitcher. Pour the filling into each tartlet almost to the end. Place in the oven (same temperature) and bake for 13-18 minutes until the edge of the filling has set but the center is still a bit wobbly. (*)
Remove from the oven and let cool before removing the rings (about 10 minutes). Decorate with chopped pistachios. Keep in the fridge in an airtight container. It’s best consumed the same day or the day after.
(*) Note: Sometimes, after cooling, cracks begin to appear in the center of the filling. This is probably due to moisture being absorbed from the filling to the crust. It can be reduced by adding a bowl of boiling water at the bottom of the oven before baking the tartlets with the filling (but take into account that the crust will soften and end up less crunchy.) However, there’s nothing to be upset about, it’s still as tasty. You may be able to hide it with crushed pistachios, or even better, make a meringue, pipe it over and burn it with a torch!
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