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+ servings
lime tart

Key lime tart

Dominique Ansel
A creamy lime mousse layered on top of tangy lime curd and a buttery vanilla tart crust.
Prep Time 4 hrs
Cook Time 25 mins
Total Time 4 hrs 25 mins
Course Kitchen
Cuisine American
Servings 4 people
Calories 1393 kcal


  • Stand mixer with whisk and paddle attachment
  • Home Decor
  • Measuring cups and spoons
  • Candy thermometer
  • One piping bag
  • Silicon baking mat
  • 1 9 inch tart mold
  • 1 9 in pie mold
  • Baking strips
  • spatula
  • Medium Sieve
  • 1 kitchen knive


Lime Mousse

  • 2 teaspoon scant, powdered gelatin May use gelatin sheets 1 sheet=1 scant teaspoon of powdered gelatin
  • cup heavy cream
  • cup whole milk
  • 2 tablespoon granulated sugar
  • 2 tablespoon lime juice
  • ½ lime zest half of lime

Italian Meringue

  • 3 large egg whites
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 tablespoon water

Lime Curd

  • ½ teaspoon powdered gelatin
  • ¼ cup lime juice
  • ½ lime zest ½ of a lime
  • ¼ cup granulated sugar + 2 tbsp
  • 4 whole eggs
  • 4 tablespoon unsalted butter, softened

Vanilla Sable tart shell

  • 9 tablespoon unsalted butter, softened
  • ½ cup confectioner's sugar + 2 tbsp
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla bean paste may also use 1 vanilla bean, split lengthwise
  • 1 large whole egg
  • cup all-purpose flour
  • cup cornstarch +1 tbsp
  • cup almond flour


  • cups white chocolate chips
  • pinch of salt
  • pinch of brown sugar
  • crushed juniper berries; optional


One Day before: Begin Mousse

  • Soak the gelatin sheets in a bowl of ice water until sofr, about 20 minutes. If using powdered gelatin, sprinkle 2 teaspoon gelatin over 2 tablespoon of water in a small bowl. Stir and let sit for 20 minutes.
    lime tart
  • Whip the cream in a stand mixer fitted with a whisk until it hold medium-stiff peaks. Transfer the whipped cream to a medium bowl. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate.
    lime tart
  • Bring the milk and sugar to a simmer in a small pot over medium heat. Remove from heat.
  • If using gelatin sheets, squeeze out any excess water. Whisk the bloomed gelatin, lime juice, and lime zest into the hot milk until the gelatin is dissolved (after you add the lime juice the milk will curdle slightly as it reacts to the acid, but keep whisking and it will come back together). Set aside to room temperature.
    lime tart

Make Meringue and finish mousse

  • Pour the egg whites into a stand mixer fitted with a whisk attachment. Begin whipping the eggs whites on a medium speed.
  • Meanwhile, combine the granulated sugar and water in a small pot, using your hands to mix until you reach a "wet sand" consistency. Make sure there are no sugar grains remaining around the edge of the pot by wiping the sides of the pot with a wet pastry brush. Bring the sugar to boil over medium heat. Cook the syrup without stirring until it reaches 248°F, the temperature at which eggs are cooked and the meringue is stablized. Remove from heat. By now, the egg whites should hold a soft peak. With the mixer on medium speed, slowly poor the hot syrup down the inside of the bowl to avoid hitting the whisk. Continue whipping the whites until just slightly warm, about 4 minutes.
    lime tart
  • Measure ¼ cup of the meringue into a medium bowl. Add ⅓ of the lime base to the meringue and gently fold until combined. Add the remaining ⅔ of the lime base and fold it in with a rubber spatula.
  • Using the spatula, fold ⅓ of the whipped cream into the lime and meringue. When all the cream has been incorporated, add the remaining ⅔ of the whipped cream and continue folding until the cream is completely incorporated.
  • Using a spatula, place lime mousse in a large piping bad until about ⅓ full.
  • Line a half sheet with acetate or a silicon baking mat. Place the 9 in pie mold on the mat and line with a baking strip.
  • Pipe the mousse into the mold until mousse reaches just above the edge of the mold. Using a soft spatula, level the mousse to the height of the mold. Cover loosely with plastic wrap and freeze until set, about 2 hours.
    lime tart
  • Rub the mold with your hands to gently warm it. Unmold the mousse , still in the acetate strips, back onto the sheet pan. Cover with plastic wrap and return to freezer.

Lime Curd

  • Soak the gelatin sheet in a bowl of ice water until soft, about 20 minutes. If using the powdered gelatin, sprinkle ½ teaspoon gelatin over 1½ teaspoon of water in a small bowl, and let sit 20 minutes to bloom.
  • Whisk the eggs and the remaining 2 tablespoon granulated sugar in a medium heat proof bowl. Stream ⅓ of the hot lime juice into the eggs, whisking constantly until fully blended, to temper them. Whisk the tempered eggs into the remaining hot juice and return the pot to medium heat.
  • Continue to cook the curd over medium heat, whisking constantly, until the curd thickens to a custardy consistency and begins to bubble. Remove from the heat.
  • If using a gelatin sheet, squeeze out any excess water. Whisk the bloomed gelatin into the hot curd until the gelatin has dissolved. Strain the curd through a medium sieve into a medium bowl and set aside to cool.
  • When the curd cools to 113°F, whisk the softened butter until smooth.
  • Cover with plastic wrap pressed directly onto the surface of the curd to prevent a skin from forming. Refrigerate until set, about 4 hours. Set side until ready to use.
    lime tart


  • Melt and temper white chocolate chips. Transfer to a piping bag.
  • Pipe several dots of white chocolate on a silicon baking mat. Press the tip of an angled knife into the chocolate. Create swirl. Let set for 12 hours before removing the chocolate petals from silicon baking mat.
  • On top of chocolate, sprinkle salt and brown sugar. Crushed juniper berries are optional.

Vanilla Sable tart shell

  • Cream the butter, confectioner's sugar and vanilla bean paste for 30 seconds on a medium speed in a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment. Add the egg, scrape down the sides of the bowl with a spatula, and mix on medium speed until smooth.
  • Combine all purpose flour, cornstarch, almond flour, and salt in medium bowl. With the mixer on low speed, stir in the flour until just combined, about 10 seconds more.
  • Flour your work surface and rolling pin. Transfer the dough to the work surface and roll out into a rectangle about a ¼ in thick. Place on a sheet pan and loosely cover with plastic wrap. Refrigerate for 30 minutes.
  • Remove the dough from the refigerator. Line the sheet with a silicon mat and place 9 in tart ring on pan. Place the dough on top of ring. Push down gently with your fingers and press the dough along the inside of the ring. Use a paring knife to trim excess dough hanging over the edge of the ring. Return to refrigerator for 30 minutes.
  • Line the tart ring with aluminum foil all around the tart, making sure it is flush all the way around. Bake the tart shells for 25 minutes. Tart is done when aluminum foil pulls away without sticking to tart crust and is golden brown.
  • Take foil off and let cool to room temperature.

Assembling the tart

  • Spread lime curd with spatula in tart shell. Curd should come over the edges of shell.
  • Place the lime mousse on top of the curd in the tart shell. The mousse should be the exact same size as the tart shell. When the tart shell has been filled, place it in the refrigerator to thaw completely, about 1 hour.
  • Place the swirl of white chocolate on top of mousse. Sprinkle the salt and brown sugar on top of swirl. Slice and enjoy!


Serving: 4peopleCalories: 1393kcalCarbohydrates: 171gProtein: 18gFat: 74gSaturated Fat: 43gCholesterol: 199mgSodium: 154mgPotassium: 354mgFiber: 3gSugar: 126gVitamin A: 1575IUVitamin C: 12mgCalcium: 220mgIron: 3mg
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