Lime and Strawberry Tart

With this pretty tart – in which a mouthwatering mixture of fresh limes and strawberries top a creamy rich but thin filling encased in crisp sweet pastry — you will feel you have produced something extra special which might have come from a smart patisserie.

Ingredients

  • 3 fresh limes, sliced thinly
  • 250 g (8 oz) granulated sugar
  • 200-250 g (l-8 oz) medium or full fat soft white cheese
  • 4 tablespoons single cream
  • 75 g (3 oz) caster sugar
  • Grated rind and juice of 1 lemon
  • 2 large eggs (size 1-2), beaten
  • 250 g (8 oz) fresh strawberries, hulled and halved

For the Pastry

  • 125 g (4 oz) unsalted butter
  • 250 g (8 oz) plain flour
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 50 g (2 oz) caster sugar
  • 2 large egg yolks (size 1)

Method

To make the pastry, melt the butter, then set aside. Sift the flour, salt and caster sugar into a bowl. Add the egg yolks and mix well, then pour in the melted butter and mix until the dough sticks together and forms a ball. Chill for at least 1 hour before shaping. If it is too firm for rolling, let it soften at room temperature first. Roll out to a circle and line a 23 cm (9 in) loose-bottomed metal flan tin, using your fingertips to pat it into position. Chill until ready to add the filling.

Meanwhile, put the lime slices in a small saucepan and just cover with water. Simmer, covered, for 20 minutes. Strain off 150 ml (¼ pint) water, and drain the slices. Put the measured water back into the pan with the granulated sugar. Dissolve the sugar, then simmer for 2 minutes until thickened. Add the limes and simmer, uncovered, for about 5 min utes. Set aside to cool.

Put the soft cheese into a bowl and mix in the cream and caster sugar. Gradually stir in the lemon juice, then the beaten eggs. Mix thoroughly and lightly stir in the lemon rind. Pour into the chilled pastry case.

Preheat a baking sheet in the oven at 180°C, 350°F, Gas Mark 4. To bake place the tart tin on the hot baking sheet and bake for 25-35 minutes until the pastry edge is well browned. Remove the tart from the oven and cool. Drain the lime slices from their syrup. Arrange the straw berries and lime slices on top of the tart, and then spoon the syrup all over. Remove the tart from the tin before serving. Do not refrigerate before serving.

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