Strawberry Basil Tart with Lime Curd

Strawberry season comes in fierce here in California. All of the sudden, those red little beauties are everywhere and so cheap, they’re practically free. This week, at my favorite local market, I bought 3 pounds for only $2.50. So let the baking begin!

tart-fruitPreheat oven to 350

The crust. My favorite part of any tart. I used lemon shortbread cookies, about three cups in my food processor

tart-lemon-cookiesAdd five tbs of melted butter and 2 tbs of brown sugar. The brown sugar will give you a nice caramel flavor that you won’t get with white sugar. Pulse away until it looks like wet sand

tart-crust-in-fpSpray the inside of your tart pan with butter flavored cooking spray. I like to dump the contents of my food processor into the tart pan (use a tart pan with a removable bottom) and then assemble the sides before packing the bottom, it makes it easier to get even, sturdy sides

tart-crust-sidesThen move on to the bottom and pack it really tight

tart-crustCook tart crust for 10-12 minutes or until lightly browned, allow to cool.

Then make the curd. It’s really an unappealing term for such a lovely treat. Lime curd is:

2 tbs lime zest

5 egg yolks

1/2 cup white sugar

3/4 cup lime juice

5 tbs unsalted butter, cut into cubes

Add the first 4 ingredients to a bowl and mix well then add to a pan over medium/low heat along with the butter

tart-lime-curd-panWhisk until thickened, about 8 minutes

tart-lime-curd-pan2Pour the curd into the cooled tart crust and chill until set, about 15-20 minutes.

Then I made some whipped cream. Not because this was my original plan but because I felt there was a desperate need, and because I love homemade whipped cream. Now, you can add this to the top, but I didn’t want to hide the beauty of the berries under all of that fluff, so I added it to the middle.

3/4 cup whipping cream, 1/4 cup sugar, blend in a stand mixer on high for about 4 minutes or until stiff peaks form. Add this to the top of the cooled and set curd.

Cut the berries. I make two cuts down the center of the strawberry like this

tart-starwberry-4-cutThen chop them to make little triangle pieces, about 1 1/2 cups total

Then stack up about 5 basil leaves and roll them up tight like a cigar and chop them really finely to make skinny tiny ribbons

tart-basil-rollThen add the berries and the basil (about 1 tbs) to a bowl with 1/4 cup of powdered sugar

tart-strawberries-basil-bowlMix away until well combined and then add it to the top of the tart and serve fairly immediately.

If you plan to make the tart ahead of time, it really doesn’t sit well. You can make the tart crust, curd and whipped cream (store curd and whipped cream in Tupperware), cut the strawberries and basil but keep them separate, and assemble it all right before serving.

tart-finished2
tart-finished

2 Responses to Strawberry Basil Tart with Lime Curd

  1. Kelly May 10, 2011 at 9:39 am #

    Ooo this looks delicious and so pretty! Love the combination of ingredients, can’t wait to make this myself! :)

  2. briarrose May 10, 2011 at 7:06 pm #

    Beautiful and what a lovely mix of flavors. The basil definitely adds a neat touch of flavor.

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