It was my turn this week to bring afternoon tea to work and I really was feeling the pressure of having to produce something spectacular… to be honest it was making me a little anxious. All my predecessors had brought in some amazing treats – Pomegranate Meringue Pie and Fig and Polenta Cake being prime examples – so my initial plan of the good old Aussie Pavlova went out the window (though after further discussion it came to the fore that the Pavlova has yet to make an appearance) and I racked my brain for something that was just a little bit special. This recipe is exactly that – the lime butter that makes up the filling packs a powerful flavour punch (trust me what I say that ‘punch’ is the perfect word to describe it) – in other words it is incredibly zesty. Add to that the very tasty Kaffir and coconut ‘pastry’ and you have a sensational treat. A word of warning though – you only really need a very small slice, and/ or a large dollop of cream (no guesses as to which I opted for).
The recipe is from the Gourmet Traveller website (http://gourmettraveller.com.au/kaffir_lime_and_coconut_tart.htm) – and this is one that I follow loyally! In hindsight, you could probably reduce the sugar (something my mother tells me I should do with every recipe) but don’t cut it by too much as there is a lot of tartness in this filling (pun intentional). I do appologise for the pictures – the tart had to withstand the journey to work which meant that the filling (which appeared to be set) ended up moving around… still tasted great though! Oh, and I should mention that this needs to be made at least 1 day ahead.
Kaffir lime and coconut tart
220g caster sugar
4 eggs, separated
275g flaked coconut
4 kaffir lime leaves, finely shredded
4 lemons, finely grated rind and juice only
2 limes, finely grated rind and juice only
440g caster sugar
12 egg yolks
1 tsp vanilla essence
300g butter, softened, coarsely chopped
To serve: double cream
Preheat oven to 180C. Using an electric mixer, whisk sugar and egg yolks until thick and pale. In a separate bowl, whisk egg whites until soft peaks form. Add the egg whites, coconut and lime leaves to egg yolk mixture and fold gently to combine. Spoon the coconut mixture into a baking paper-lined 26cm-diameter spring-form cake pan, spreading evenly to coat base and sides. Bake until golden (15-20 minutes), then set aside to cool.
For lime butter, combine lemon and lime rinds and juices, sugar, egg yolks and vanilla essence in a heatproof bowl over a saucepan of gently simmering water, whisk to combine, then stir with a wooden spoon until mixture starts to thicken (about 10 minutes). Gradually stir in butter one piece at a time, ensuring it’s well incorporated before adding more. Continue stirring until mixture is thick (10-15 minutes). Pour into prepared base and refrigerate overnight to set. Cut into wedges and serve with double cream.