Key Lime Tarts

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What to do with a grocery-bag full of key limes hand-picked and flown over from Texas? Cost? $0 

I could be a celebrity or something…

Learn from Tiff’s blunders:

- Don’t be a slacker and use bottled lime juice. Use fresh limes! Your triceps will thank you.
- Vary crust and filling thickness based on your preferences
- Even if you have the best grater, run a knife a couple through the lime rind to make sure it is finely minced.

This recipe was adapted from Cooks Illustrated.

Crust

5 oz animal crackers
3 tbs packed brown sugar (light or dark)
pinch of salt
4 tbs unsalted butter, melted and cooled slightly

Filling
2 oz cream cheese (reduced fat works well, room temp)
1 tbs grated lime zest, minced
pinch of salt
1 (14 oz) can sweetened condensed milk (non-fat works well)
1 egg yolk
1/2 cup fresh lime juice (key lime or regular)

Garnish (optional, but who can resist home made whip cream?)
3/4 cup sweetended shredded coconut (toasted until golden) or
Home made whip cream

Makes: 12 mini tarts and 10 regular sized tarts (using muffins pan)

 1. Adjust oven rack to middle position and heat over to 325 degrees.

2. Place muffin liners in muffins tins. If muffin liners do not sit well in the muffin holder, spray non-stick spray in the muffin holder and press the muffin liner down.

3. Place animal crackers in a gallon-sized plastic bag. Roll dough pin (or whatever will crush the cookies) until crumbs are evenly fine. Add brown sugar and salt.  Remove mixture and place into a separate bowl.

4. Drizzle butter over crumb mixture and mix until crumbs are evenly moistened with butter. Step 3 and 4 can be done in a food processor.

5. Spoon and press crumbs firmly into the bottom of muffin holders. Bake until deep golden brown, 18-20 minutes. Cool when finished, do not turn off the oven.

6. While crust cools, in a medium browl, stir cream cheese, zest, and salt until softened and creamy. Add sweetedned condensed milk and whisk vigourously until no lumps of cream cheese remain; whisk in egg yolk. Add lime juice and whisk gently until incorporated (mixture will thicken slightly).

7. Spoon mixture into holders. Bake until set, 15-20 minutes. Cool for 2 hours. Cover with foil and refridgerate until chilled, at least 2 hours

8. Go crazy on the garnish or be boring and don’t add anything. Refrigerate any leftovers…if there are any.

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