Thursday, April 16, 2009

Ginger and Lime Curd Tart

Ahhh. My first tart. I don't want to sound like I'm full of excuses about the final result, but I made this one hard for myself. I wanted a challenge; as a novice baker I can only improve by pushing myself, right? So I thought: shortbread was too easy, lets do a tart. From scratch.

I got to try two new things - my candied ginger and new Furi knives!
The ginger and lime curd tart in my favourite Golden Book of Patisserie was calling to me; I had nearly all of the ingredients I needed, including a shiny new jar of candied ginger that I picked up while I was in Berrima, and the EIGHT egg yolks (A got himself a big cheesy egg white omelette for dinner in the process). I stopped by Coles in my lunch break and picked up a huge bag of limes. I realised much later in the day that the checkout lady charged me 50 cents for the whole bag, instead of 50 cents per lime. It was a sign! The baking gods wanted me to make this tart.

I have never made pastry from scratch, or even used the frozen supermarket stuff I didn't have a pastry blender, or dough hook attachments for my electric mixer, or a food processor. I have a stubborn, bipolar oven. But I was still going to try!

Obviously, my pastry dough did not turn out quite right, without the proper equipment it was a bit too airy and it ended up cracking :( But it somehow held together and it doesnt look like the filling leaked out the bottom. I regret not having a better taste of the curd before I poured it into the tart, because it is crazy sour. It seems to be mellowing with time though.

Ginger and Lime Curd Tart
(from the Golden Book of Patisserie)
Sweet Tart Pastry
225g plain flour
1/4 tsp salt
50g cup icing sugar
125g cold butter, cut in small cubes
1 large egg yolk
2 tbsp water, as required

Mix the flour, salt and sugar in a medium bowl. Cut in the butter with a pastry blender or pulse the mixture in a food processor until it resembles fine bread crumbs. Add the egg yolk and knead or pulse briefly until the ingredients come together. Add the water and knead or pulse to obtain a smooth dough.

Press into a log, wrap in cling film and chill in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes. Preheat the oven to 170 degrees C. Lightly grease a 23cm tartpan with removable base. Roll out the pastry on a light floured work surface to 3mm thick. Fit into the tart pan and refrigerate for 30 minutes.

Cover the tart with a piece of baking paper and fill with pie weights or dried beans (or rice). Bake for 25 minutes, or until light golden brown.

Remove paper and weights. Place back in the oven at the same temperature for another 10 minutes, or until the centre is cooked through and light golden. Set aside and leave to cool a little while you prepare the filling.

Ginger and Lime Curd
350g caster sugar
2 tbsp candied ginger, finely chopped
1 1/4 cups freshly squeezed lime juice
2 teaspoons finely grated lime zest
7 large egg yolks
300 g butter, cubed

Heat the sugar, ginger, lime juice and zest in a small saucepan over medium heat, stirring until the sugar has dissolved. Beat the egg yolks in a heatproof bowl and gradually pour in the hot ginger and lime mixture. Strain through a fine mesh sieve and then return to the heatproof bowl.

Place over a saucepan of barely simmering water. Cook, stirring continuously, until the mixture thickens and coats the back of a wooden spoon. Do not allow the mixture to boil. Remove from the head and add the butter cubes, one at a time, whisking until fully incorporated.

Pour the ginger and lime curd into the prepared tart case and smooth using a spatula or the back of a spoon. Refrigerate the tart for an hour, or until cooled and set.

I decorated the top of the tart in a similar manner to what is pictured in the book, with some thin slices of candied ginger. It seemed such a shame that all that chopped up ginger got filtered out of the mixture :( The final result was quite a looker I have to say. I'm a little embarrassed to admit that I kept sneaking a peek into my fridge to admire my little tart while it was setting. And crap, as I was whisking at the end, I could not believe how much butter was going into the curd! I am officially staying far far away from those lemon and lime curd tarts at Pattisons that I love so much.
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  1. i love a good sour tart, and i'm currently going through a big ol' ginger fixation so this looks right up my alley!

    i actually find it easier dealing with a home-made pie crust than working with store bought frozen pastry, which can sometimes be too tough & dry. well done on doing new and exciting things!

  2. Same here, I'm obsessed with ginger at the moment. The next cookie I bake will probably be a ginger nut biscuit!

    Ooh that's good to know, I'm pretty happy with the taste of my pastry so I will definitely be trying it from scratch again!

  3. That looks great and good on you for challenging yourself and extra points must go to you for dealing with a bipolar oven and making your own pastry. Have you thought of joining Daring Bakers? It's a group of bloggers that bake one challenging dish a month. I love it although at times the challenges have me cursing lol

  4. Thank you! I love reading your Daring Baker posts and before this I've never properly considering joining because I'm such a beginner baker...But now that you've mentioned it I can't stop thinking about it! I will ponder if I am up to the challenge :)


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