Key Lime Tarts
Adapted from Cook's Illustrated, March 1997
Makes 6 Tarts
For the Lime Filling:
- 4 teaspoons grated lime zest
- 1/2 cup lime juice from 3 to 4 limes
- 4 large egg yolks
- 1 (14-ounce) can sweetened condensed milk
For the Graham Cracker Crust:
- 11 graham crackers, processed to fine crumbs (1 1/4 cups)
- 3 tablespoons granulated sugar
- 5 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
For the Whipped Cream Topping:
- 3/4 cup heavy cream
- 1/4 cup confectioners' sugar
- 1/2 lime, sliced paper thin and dipped in sugar (optional)
Step 1: For the Filling: Whisk zest and yolks in medium bowl until tinted light green, about 2 minutes.
Step 2: Beat in milk, then juice; set aside at room temperature to thicken.
Step 3: For the Crust: Adjust oven rack to center position and heat oven to 325 degrees. Mix crumbs and sugar in medium bowl.
Step 4: Add butter; stir with fork until well blended.
Step 5: Divide mixture into 6 5-inch tart pans; press crumbs over bottom and up sides of pans to form even crust. Bake until lightly browned and fragrant, about 15 minutes. Transfer pans to wire rack; cool to room temperature, about 20 minutes.
Step 6: Pour lime filling into crust.
Step 7: Bake until center is set, yet wiggly when jiggled, 15 to 17 minutes.
Step 8: Return pie to wire rack; cool to room temperature. Refrigerate until well chilled, at least 3 hours. (Can be covered with lightly oiled or oil-sprayed plastic wrap laid directly on filling and refrigerated up to 1 day.)
Step 9: For the Whipped Cream: Up to 2 hours before serving, whip cream in medium bowl to very soft peaks. Adding confectioners’ sugar 1 tablespoon at a time, continue whipping to just-stiff peaks. Decoratively pipe whipped cream over filling or spread evenly with rubber spatula. Garnish with optional sugared lime slices and serve.