TORTA DE LIMÃO
I have a supremely selective memory — I only recall the most important of events, occurrences, facts, phrases and duties. I tend to always remember the things that people like or crave: my mama always goes for ice cream, Neal likes grape or peach flavored lollipops and popsicles, my friend Lauren always liked to snack on greek yogurt and thus, I will always remember Renato’s affinity for torta de limão, or lime tart.
It was at a typical lunch hour this past june that my Baiano admitted that the thing he likes the most is a lime tart (put the title in google translate for god’s sake). He didn’t relay this information to me in a matter-of-fact manner, but more hinting towards the fact our otherwise satisfying and might I say delicious lunch, all of which I prepared from scratch (I juiced 12 oranges by hand), that dessert was lacking. To which I replied that I would constitute the afternoon’s dessert. That was enough to shut him up. However, ever since that afternoon, I’ve felt like I will never prove my love to him until I make and master a lime tart.
Making the Pie Crust
Some people like to make a crust from Maizena cookies or Graham crackers, but this nutty cashew crust hits the spot with the lime mousse.
3/4 cup unsalted butter
1/2 cup sugar
1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1/2 cup ground cashews
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
pinch of salt
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. In a skillet on low-medium heat, melt the unsalted butter. In a bowl, combine the sugar, flour and salt. When the butter is melted and a nice golden color, add the vanilla extract. once combined, turn off the heat. In a steady stream, add the butter to the dry ingredients, mixing with the fork. Mix until all the ingredients are combined and the dough is looking crumbly. Butter the edges of a tart pan. pour the mixture into the tart pan and begin to press the dough into the pan in order to form the crust. Liberally stab the pie crust with a fork. Bake the crust for 20-30 minutes, until a lightly golden brown. Allow to cool completely.
Making The Lime Mousse
Most Brazilian lime tarts include solely three ingredients: condensed milk, lime juice and creme de leite (some people add gelatin as well). I always wondered why this was — are the ingredients to a lime curd that obscure in brazil? No, not at all. EXCEPT for the fact that the lime curd is usually mixed with a whipped cream. In brazil you can buy whipped cream or chantilly in a box that is pre-sweetened and mixed with regular milk. I’m not so much a fan…..so I opt for 1 can of condensed milk, 1 can of creme de leite and about 1/4 cup of freshly squeezed lime juice. Add some lime zest for a kick and place in the refrigerator to solidify.
Once the crust is cooled and the mousse has solidified a bit, pour the mousse into the crust and top the pie with some more ground cashews.