I was originally going to make lime curd tarts for St. Patrick’s Day, on the reasoning they’re (kind of) green. I didn’t end up getting around to it by St. Paddy’s Day but it didn’t matter, since it was really just an excuse to make lime curd.
I’d never even heard of lime or lemon curd until I moved to England last summer. Since then, I’ve seen lemon curd in all sorts of places – in jars on supermarket shelves beside the jam and peanut butter, in cakes, even in the form of lemon curd yogurt. This last is the only one I’ve actually tried. The cakes are always full of gluten and I wasn’t sure I wanted to commit to a whole jar of lemon curd spread, especially since the commercial ones looked pretty full of chemicals. But my tiny tastes of lemon curd yogurt (only tiny tastes since I’m lactose intolerant) made me want more. More! MORE!!
I generally prefer lime to lemon so I decided to do lime curd instead of lemon curd. I found loads of recipes online but was a bit shocked at how much they differed. For instance, for similar quantities of finished curd, some recipes called for as much as a cup and a half of sugar, while at least one called only for a quarter cup. I used a third of a cup and this turned out to be plenty – in fact, I think next time I’ll cut down to a quarter cup, but then, I like my citrusy desserts quite tart.
I also wanted to try an almond flour crust instead of “regular” gluten-free pie crust, since I find the latter unpredictable. My almond flour crust proved to have its challenges too but it did come out pretty damn tasty. If you’re on a low-FODMAP diet you’ll want to limit yourself to one tart at a time, since almonds are moderate in FODMAPs.
As an aside, I had also planned to do a St. Patrick’s Day craft with my kids involving making a rainbow collage out of bits torn out of flyers. This didn’t end up happening until the weekend after, but it proved a great activity even though the rainbow didn’t get totally finished. My four-year-old enjoyed the arty nature of the activity while my 21-month-old enjoyed tearing paper and trying to glue things (not necessarily always the paper). It was also a good opportunity to repeat colour names for the toddler. So… while life with small children isn’t always about rainbows and unicorns, here’s our partial rainbow.
Makes 12 smallish tarts
For the tart shells
- 1 1/2 cups almond flour
- 3 tablespoons butter
- 3 tablespoons sugar
- 1 egg
- Juice of 4 limes, freshly squeezed and including pulp (came to a little more than 1/2 cup)
- Zest of 3 limes, finely grated
- Zest of 1 lime, thinly sliced
- 1/4 to 1/3 cup sugar
- 100 g butter, melted
- 4 eggs, beaten
- 2 teaspoons cornstarch (optional, but I wanted a fairly thick curd)
- Make the tart shells by combining all ingredients in a large bowl. I originally followed a recipe that didn’t call for an egg, but I found the result to be ridiculously crumbly. Even when I added an egg, it was still pretty crumbly, so I gave up on dividing my dough into 12 balls. Instead, I just spooned roughly equal amounts of the mixture into 12 silicone muffin liners.
- Press the almond flour mixture into the muffin liners until it looks like tart shells.
- Bake in medium oven until golden. Set aside.
- In the meantime, make your lime curd. Dissolve the cornstarch (AKA cornflour), if using, into the lime juice at room temperature. In a small to medium saucepan, combine the lime juice/cornstarch mixture, finely grated lime zest, sugar, and melted butter.
- Turn heat on to medium and cook, whisking constantly, until sugar has dissolved and mixture is just beginning to bubble.
- Turn heat down to low or medium-low and slowly add beaten eggs, whisking constantly. Many recipes say to use a double boiler but you don’t really need one IF you whisk constantly and IF the heat isn’t too high. Continue whisking until you get a good thick sauce that leaves the marks of the whisk in it. Because I’m sensitive to undercooked eggs, I cooked my curd for more than 10 minutes, even though this was past the point of the necessary thickness. My curd suffered no ill effects for being cooked slightly longer on a low heat, with the – I repeat – constant whisking.
- Spoon lime curd into prepared tart shells and top with the finely cut (as opposed to finely grated) lime zest as garnish. Serve at room temperature.