My 22nd birthday was yesterday and it was amazing! To celebrate, I was originally planning on making an ice cream cake. I didn't get started until late Tuesday evening and I realized I only had enough cream for one small batch of ice cream, not nearly enough for a whole cake. So, not wanting to walk across the street to Kroger while it was storming, I decided to abandon the ice cream cake idea (though I did make a delicious batch of vanilla bean ice cream). Then I got the idea to make a fruit tart. I have wanted to make my own fruit tart since I worked in the bakery at Fresh Market a year ago.
This was my first full size fruit tart. I modified a recipe I have actually made on a number of occasions as mini tarts. The hubby and I both love this recipe and so have those who tried it. I wanted to do more of a traditional fruit tart, but I didn't have the time to make pastry cream and I didn't want to try a whole new recipe and foreign techniques when I was pressed for time and needed a guaranteed delicious dessert. I ended up sharing this tart with friends and family at what was my first ever surprise party and my first birthday party since I was little. The day was unforgettable!
Shortbread and Lime Curd Tart
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
1/2 cup confectioner's sugar
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract (I used homemade)
1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
2 tablespoons cornstarch
1/8 teaspoon salt
2 8oz. packages cream cheese, softened to room temperature
1/2 cup + 2 tablespoons lime curd
4 tablespoons confectioner's sugar
Various fruit toppings (I used blackberries, strawberries, and golden kiwi)
Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Lightly brush 9 1/2 inch tart pan with melted butter.
In the bowl of an electric mixter, cream the butter and sugar until fluffy. Beat in the vanilla extract. Add the flour, cornstarch, and salt until just combined. Press dough into prepared tart pan. Place in freezer for at least 10 minutes. This lets the dough rest and will help it hold its shape while baking. Poke holes in crust with tines of fork. Place a piece of parchment paper over the tart shell and fill with pie weights, dry beans or rice. Place in oven for 10-15 minutes, until edges are lightly golden brown and set. Carefully remove the parchment paper from the pie and place back in the oven for 5-10 minutes until center of tart is golden brown.* Place on a wire rack to cool completely. Once cool, move tart shell to the refrigerator until ready to fill and decorate.
*Baking time may vary. According to my oven thermometer, it is always under temperature. The tart may brown quickly and be ready after 20 minutes in the oven. Mine took almost 30 minutes to finish browning.
Beat cream cheese and sugar until fluffy. Next, beat in the lime curd until smooth. If the filling is too tangy, beat in 1 tablespoon sugar at a time until desired sweetness is achieved. If more tartness is desired, add one tablespoon of lime curd at a time until pleasantly tart. Refrigerate until ready to assemble tart.
Fill cooled crust with filling and level top until smooth. Decorate with desired fruit(s). Refrigerate until ready to enjoy.
My husband and I have always loved this recipe in mini form, but I must say I prefer the full size version as it is quite breathtaking with the beautiful fruit. This recipe is pretty versatile. You can adjust the tartness of the filling to your liking, and try making it with lemon or lime curd. And there are about a million options for fruit toppings. This is a great, fast recipe as the different components come together very quickly. Let me know what you think if you try it!