Lemon and Lime Curd Tarts

A few months ago we were preparing to have people over and I was looking for a simple dessert to serve. I stumbled across Jamie Oliver’s Rainbow Jam Tarts and absolutely loved working with the sweet dough of the recipe; it is probably the easiest dough I’ve ever rolled out in my life! I think at the time I offered plum, strawberry and some other jam-type middles – these miniature tarts were all a hit with the visiting friends.

Fast forward to 2017 and all my intersections with various citrus fruits via marmalade-making and otherwise. I had seen the Meyer Lemon Curd recipe in the Food in Jars book and had been mentally comparing it to the lemon curd that I’ve already made for years; Marisa’s version looked a lot creamier and I was intrigued. But rather than making another Lemon Curd (I already had made my “go to” recipe from Cooking Light around this time), I thought I’d try her Zesty Lime Curd recipe (Food in Jars: Preserving in Small Batches Year-Round Cookbook, pp. 91-92.)

The lemon curd tarts are the glassier looking ones.

The Zesty Lime Curd turned out great and it is indeed sweeter and creamier. However, it’s also a lot more finicky due to the straining of the zest so I’m not sure how often I’ll rush to make this one. It made three 250-ml jars of lime curd and I popped them in the freezer to wait for my parents to arrive for a visit. I had this idea that I could make the jam tarts base and put lemon or lime curd in them instead of jam, and serve them to my citrus-loving father while he was here.

So that’s what I did. I made the Jamie Oliver tart base and pulled a lime curd jar out of the freezer to plop in lime curd in half the shells. I made another Cooking Light lemon curd recipe and put that in the other half of the shells. I think the favourite of my family was the lemon curd over lime (although I think my dad found its “light” version a little tart; maybe I’ll make Marisa’s Meyer Lemon Curd recipe for him next time). I myself had no trouble eating both indiscriminately!

Back to the tart base recipe, yes it does make about 32-36 of them (the recipe says 30) but I’ve found that baking 24 (because that’s the size tart tin that I have) and freezing the remainder as a ball in the freezer for a couple of weeks before I bake the last dozen of or so works just fine. A tip around rolling them out – don’t be afraid to make them too thick. For ones that I rolled a little thinner, they somewhat broke on the bottom later when I was lifting them out of the tart pan. (It was totally legitimate as the baker to eat those!) The half inch thickness that Jamie Oliver recommends is about right.

The neat thing about these curd tarts is that you really only want just one or two, that’s enough. If you got carried away and ate a few, I think you’d pay for it later in terms of fullness or at the very least would need a ton of water to wash the sweet taste away! An easy and impressive dessert, and one that you could make ahead of time and freeze quite easily and pull out when you need it.

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