Lovely miniature tarts with lime, mint and sugar. This is the alcohol-free version, but for the real deal, substitute clear rum for the mint syrup and add half a tablespoon mint extra. I used homemade marshmallow knots (recipe here) but you can use mini marshmallows or coarse sugar instead.
You need small 5cm round pastry rings or flan tins for this.
For the pastry shells:
- 250gr flour
- 125gr cold butter, cubed
- 1 large egg
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1 tsp sugar
- 30ml ice cold water, as needed
For the lime curd:
- 150gr sugar
- pinch of salt
- 30gr cornstarch
- 200ml cold water
- 25gr butter
- 4 medium egg yolks
- 60ml lime juice
- 1/4 tsp vanilla extract
- 1.5 tbs lime zest
For the mint/lime jelly:
- 100ml mint syrup (recipe here)
- 1 sheet gelatin
- 1 tbs finely chopped mint
- 1 tbs lime zest
- Mini marshmallows or very coarse sugar
Make the pastry shells:
Add the cold butter to the flour and encorporate it with a pastry cutter or with your hands, making a breadcrumb tecture. You want to heat the butter and flour as little as possible, as you do not want the butter to melt and be absorbed by the flour, which would make your pie crust tough.
Add the egg, salt and sugar and mix this quickly into the dough (handle it as little as possible). Add as much water as needed to have the dough just hold together. It will become wetter while resting and adding flour while rolling will make your crust taste dry. Don’t knead it more than absolutely required, as you want to work the gluten as little as possible.
Push the dough into a disk (this will require less rolling later) and place it in a closed bag. Leave to rest for 30 minutes in the fridge.
Roll the pastry on a floured surface to a thickness of 2mm. Cut out discs of 10cm (5cm base plus 2x2cm sides, plus overhang). Take any leftovers together, form to a rough ball and place back in the fridge. This will be of lower quality as it has been worked more, but one more roll is ok if you work it as little as possible.
Assuming you make straight edged shells; Cut triangles from four sides, creating somewhat of a cross, with the center being larger than the base of your pastry shells. Cutting out sections will help lining the tins, as these straight edged shells are tricky otherwise.
Line the pastry rings, pushing together the seals well. Use the cut-out triangles to fix any holes or thin areas. Do not cut off the overhang yet, baking with overhang creates more even tins that haven’t shrunk down the sides of the rings.
Prick the base with a fork and then leave to rest for 30 minutes in the fridge again. This avoids shrinkage while baking so don’t skip this step.
Place baking paper or heatproof plastic in the shells and fill with rice, baking beans or dried peas. This restricts the pastry from expanding.
Bake blind for 10min on 190°C.
Take out the blind baking filling. Gently cut the overhang away. Be careful as the pastry is delicate when warm and only half cooked. Brush with egg wash and bake for another 10 minutes. The egg wash creates a seal to avoid the shells from turning soggy once filled.
Make the lime curd:
Combine the sugar, salt, cornstarch and water in a thick based saucepan. Bring it to the boil and have it cook at a rolling boil (be careful for splutters) for two full minutes. The mixture will be translucent and thick.
Take the pan off the heat and stir in the butter.
Place the yolks in a large bowl and stir them to break them apart. Add around half a cup of the hot cornstarch mixture to the bowl and stir well. This heats up the yolks more gently than adding the yolks to the pan, where they would become scrambled eggs.
Stir the hot yolk mix into the pan. Heat the curd again and have it boil for 5 minutes. This avoids the curd separating or thinning after cooling.
Take the pan off the heat. Stir in the lime juice and the vanilla. If the curd has lumps, strain it first, then stir in the lime zest.
Fill each pastry shell with about a tablespoon of lime curd. You want to have a nicely filled shell but allow room for the jelly. Make sure the curd is level to allow for an even layer of jelly later.
Make the mint/lime jelly:
Do not make the jelly before you have filled the tarts with the lime curd, as you wouldn’t want the jelly to set while you ready the tarts.
Soak the gelatin in cold water for 5 minutes.
Heat half of the mint syrup (if using rum, use a tablespoon of hot water instead of heating the rum, as you would evaporate the alcohol). Stir the mint and lime zest into the remaining syrup.
Squeeze the water from the gelatin sheet and dissolve this into the hot syrup.
Stir this into the cold syrup. This immediately brings the temperature down and will make leaks less likely.
Add a teaspoon of the mint/lime jelly on top of the lime curd in the pastry shells. You want to fully cover the lime curd in a thin jelly of approximately 2-3mm deep.
Just prior to serving, place a marshmallow knot or coarse sugar on top.