This is the first time I'm taking part in Belleau Kitchen's Random Recipes- hi Dom!- because this is the first time I can. What usually happens is, food bloggers are encouraged to line all their cookbooks up, give a random shuffle, close their eyes, pick one, eyes still closed, flip to one page and cook that exact dish, no cheating.
I don't own enough cookbooks to line them up, because I'm just too stingy/broke to get them. I've got one back in London from a charity shop, and one in Singapore from my awesome sisters. Hmm. This time round though, Dom has decided to have a "magazines,cuttings and pullouts" edition and I've got lots of those, in fact, nerdily hole-punched and filed and organised with dividers in a thick ring file. ✌
Anyway, the lucky recipe is Heston Blumenthal's lemon tart for Waitrose, or more accurately a lemon curd tart. I used calamansi limes instead of lemons, because, well, have you ever had a calamansi lime before? They're tart-ier, citrus-ier, fragrant-er, think sweeter limes. I have it conveniently growing in my garden too (hee hee) and I want to make sure I make full use of the everything local and unique to home before I go back to London.
A word before I start: I was quite disappointed, as were many people. I usually read reviews before I try something out, but this time I wanted to stick to the challenge. The tart was meh, BUT the calamsi lime curd is very very delicious though (and so is the homemade pastry) so please read on anyway!
Calamansi Lime Curd Tart
makes a 9" tart, serves 6-8
Homemade 1-2-3 Shortcrust Pie Pastry (gluten-free version if you like, and you only need about half or less of that recipe)
10-12 calamansi limes (or 4 unwaxed lemons in heston's case)
170g unsalted grassfed butter, cubed
220g superfine unrefined raw cane sugar (he said 220g unrefined golden caster sugar)
5 medium free range eggs + 1 egg yolk, beaten
1. To make the tart shell (see here for photos):
Preheat oven to 180 degrees celsius. Roll the dough between 2 sheets of clingfilm to a thickness of 2mm, and a width 10cm more than the tart pan. Press the pastry to fit the tart case, leaving the edges overhanging to trim after baking in case the pastry shrinks. Prick with a fork, leave to rest 30 min. Place scrunched up parchment paper and dried beans on top and bake for 20 min. Remove the beans and paper and return to bake for 10 min till golden, before leaving to cool completely, trimming, and lifting from case.
While the case is cooling, make the lime curd:
2. Zest 8 of the calamansi limes (good news, they have a bittersweet peel), then roll all of them on the table, juice them and measure out 150ml.
3. Put the butter, sugar, juice, zest and eggs into a pan, and over medium heat, stir continuously for 10-15 minutes, until the butter as melted and the sugar has dissolved, do not allow to simmer.
4. Increase the heat to medium high and stir until it begins to simmer. He says to simmer for 5 seconds only (which is ridiculous, I followed my instinct and simmered until it thickens, but stirring like mad to make sure it doesn't curdle. According to people who have tried this, it turns out it was right to follow my instinct or you'll simply have pastry swimming in a lemony pool.)
5. Pass the mixture through a fine sieve into a bowl, cover with clingfilm to avoid a skin forming, and cool in the fridge for 30 minutes. At this point, you have really delicious calamansi lime curd.
6. Pour cooled lime curd filling into the centre of the tart allowing it to flow evenly to the edges. Place in the fridge for 1h (again, ridiculous, I left it for about 4h, but it still didn't set fully, maybe overnight would be a better idea.) before serving.
The lime curd was delicious. Thick, citrusy-sweet and very tangy, with the unmistakable fragrance of calamansi limes. I can picture it spread over toast, or in between cake, or on top of pudding. As for this lime tart, the sharp fresh flavours of the calamansi lime curd would be perfect to cut through the crumbly buttery pastry-- if only it set properly. And at the end of the day, I think I still prefer the usual baked lemon tart over the no-bake set-in-the-fridge types. Sorry Heston and Dom ):