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The Delicious Appreciations of Pick Yin

Not exactly predictable.
Has enough brains for codes
(but can be completely clueless on other more important matters).
Likes her Joe (and her man?) black, her chocolate dark and her food spicy.
“Quam bene vivas refert, non quam diu.” — Seneca

Total Posts   183      Last Updated   16 April 2014 11:00 AM (GMT +8)

Wednesday, May 30, 2012


Basil Strawberry Lime Curd Tart



Basil Strawberry Lime Curd Tart


Yes, yes, I made another lime curd tart, again. But this time only because a certain friend celebrated her (non) birthday for the n-th time in the month and couldn't stomach another piece of cake (especially after the epic one I made for her). So to a lunch menu lined up with Arabic mandy lamb rice and sweets from Dubai, I needed to show up with something refreshing. With summer raging throughout the northern hemisphere, berry import of all types are plump, fat and fresh to Singapore. We get strawberries the size of golf balls complete with stems.

Basil Strawberry Lime Curd Tart


Too bad all the stems were plucked off for the tart. I tested out an eggless sweet crust pastry from Stephanie and amazingly things worked out pretty well despite my virgin attempt at rolling out a 13-inch tart shell to cover my oversized tart tin. (I didn't realize it was an 11-inch when I bought it!) The basil flavor here was quite mild, the only way I can think of more reinforcement is to stick in some fresh leaves into the syrup reduction while it is cooling down. If you're afraid of rolling and lining a whole tart tin, make mini ones like these.
Basil Strawberry Lime Curd Tart

Yield: an 11-inch round tart
Tart shell recipe from Stephanie Shih's Desserts for Breakfast, lime curd recipe similar as here.

Note: I modified the tart shell method to use a food processor as the speed is favorable in this hot and humid Singapore weather. Without the machine, rub the butter into the flour with a pastry cutter. The basil sugar can be pounded with a mortar and pestle.

    Tart shell:
  • 1 1/2 cups/210 grams flour
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons dark brown sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons freshly grated lemon zest
  • 10 tablespoons/5 ounces butter, cold and cut into small pieces
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1-2 tablespoons cold water
  • 1 beaten egg
    Macerated strawberries:
  • 3 punnets fresh strawberries
  • 1/2 cup castor sugar
  • 8-10 pieces fresh basil leaves
  • zest and juice of 1 lemon
    Lime curd:
  • 8 egg yolks
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 1/4 cup/1/2 stick/2 ounces butter
  • 6 limes, zest grated and juiced, reserve some zest for garnish

Prepare macerated strawberries: In the bowl of a food processor, blitz the sugar and basil leaves till well combined. Place picked and cleaned strawberries in a non-reactive bowl, mix well with basil sugar, lemon juice and zest. Cover with cling film and let stand at room temperature for up to 3 hours.

Prepare the tart shell: While berries are macerating, prepare the tart shell. Combine the flour, dark brown sugar, salt, and lemon zest in the bowl of a food processor. Pulse in short burst about 4-5 times until butter is the size of small peas. Mix in the lemon juice and vanilla into the flour mixture. Gradually add the water just until a dough forms when pressed between your fingers. Do not over-mix. Form the dough into a flat disc, wrap with parchment paper or plastic wrap and chill for at least 2 hours or overnight.

Prepare the lime curd: Meanwhile, prepare the lime curd. Place the ingredients in the double boiler over boiling water. Ensure that the top pan does not touch the water. Cook and continuously stir until mixture begins to gel or thicken, for about 15-20 minutes. Remove from heat and allow to cool. Cover and refrigerate it to thicken more.

Bake the tart shell and prepare the syrup:Preheat oven to 425°F. On a lightly floured surface, roll out the dough until about 1/8-inch thickness and place in the tart pan, pressing the dough gently into the sides. Trim and discard any excess dough. Prick the bottom of the dough all over with a fork. Return to the refrigerator and chill for at least 10 - 15 minutes. Meanwhile, drain the macerated strawberries and reserve 1/2 cup of the strawberry soup. Strain out the basil leaves. In a heavy bottomed saucepan over medium heat, cook the syrup till reduced, about 10-15 minutes. Remove and let cool to room temperature. When tart shell is ready to bake, place a piece of parchment paper over the dough and weigh down with pie weights or dry beans. Bake for 12 - 15 minutes until the edges begin to turn golden. Remove the weights and parchment paper, brush the base with beaten egg and continue to bake for 3 - 5 minutes more, until the entire tart crust is golden. Remove from the oven and let cool completely.

Assemble the tart: Remove the tart shell from the tin and place it onto the serving platter. Spoon over lime curd and smooth it around to cover the tart base. Arrange macerated strawberries accordingly. Drizzle over about 2 tablespoons of strawberry syrup reduction (don't get carried away like I did here, else the syrup will overflow out of the tart, as seen). Garnish with some lime zest and serve.

Do ahead: All elements can be made ahead (which is why I love to make tarts!). Just bring everything to room temperature before assembly. I made the everything the day before, keeping the tart shell in the oven. The curd keeps, covered and refrigerated, for about 1 week. Macerated strawberries can be refrigerated for later use.





11 Comments on Basil Strawberry Lime Curd Tart

This looks like the perfect taste of summer - sweet and rich with an added zing of lime...delicious!

Posted by Anonymous thelittleloaf, at May 30, 2012, 8:59:00 PM  

The glaze on top is so amazing .. and the strawberries are shining beautifully making me drool!

Posted by Anonymous kankana, at May 31, 2012, 1:44:00 AM  

Lovely lovely Lovely pictures.

Posted by Blogger Pencil Kitchen, at Jun 1, 2012, 6:31:00 AM  

Hi Pick Yin, I just stumbled upon your blog through Pinterest and I'm already loving your recipes. I haven't tried them yet but I just had to tell you only because I was so excited that I saved 5 of your recipes straight away. I love good traditional asian recipes (I'm from Malaysia!) and my only source previously was rasamalaysia!

Your food photography, its settings, are extremely beautiful as well, which is something I always appreciate.

I can't wait to browse through the rest of your blog (you know, after working hours haha).

Posted by Blogger elle, at Jun 1, 2012, 11:48:00 AM  



thelittleloaf: It's summer all year long here but yes, during this period the imports we get here are fat and plump.

kankana: The glaze is quite sweet, don't put too much if you're making this!

Pencil Kitchen: Thank you!

elle: Thanks for the kind comments! My traditional recipes are not the simple ones though, glad you're not turning up your nose against them.

Posted by Blogger PickYin, at Jun 1, 2012, 2:43:00 PM  

i cant wait for berries season to be here again...so that i can buy more blueberries and finish my blueberries stash in the freezer to make the blueberry pie u made some time back! :D

Posted by Blogger Michelle, at Jun 1, 2012, 3:17:00 PM  

Look at how heavenly those strawberries look! Perfect for summer!

Posted by Anonymous Amrita, at Jun 2, 2012, 2:23:00 AM  

Oh PY ... you did it again.. tempting me with sweet treat :D
Send me a slice... :P

Posted by Blogger Lisa H., at Jun 8, 2012, 8:51:00 AM  

That tart looks soooo good! It's written "EAT ME!" all over! :) Well done!

Posted by Anonymous Gregoire Michaud, at Jun 22, 2012, 1:10:00 PM  

Michelle: The blueberry pie was indeed epic. Hope you've gotten around to making it!

Amrita: Yes, they were humongous!

Lisa: Well, in my defense, this was a request. I wouldn't make this if not for an occasion!

Chef Gregoire: Thank you, I'm going to use more basil in the sugar syrup next time!

Posted by Blogger PickYin, at Jun 25, 2012, 11:18:00 AM  

Such a beautiful tart! And what a recipe. Delicious.

Posted by Anonymous Russell van Kraayenburg, at Aug 14, 2012, 10:01:00 PM  


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