You know when you have an idea and you follow through with it and it works. You know how it makes you feel really proud of yourself and confirms what you think of your ability. That is how it was with this tart.
Over the summer, when Key limes were in the supermarket, I grabbed some and made a delicious Key lime curd. Curds take a little time and effort, but the result is worth it. I adapted a lemon curd recipe and just used the limes. Then I froze the curd in a plastic freezer bag with the thought of using it later.
Last week, my kids were taking part in a religious ceremony and the organizers asked every family to bring a dessert. I decided to make a tart using the Key lime curd. I researched a few different recipes and decided to make it with a graham cracker crust. I happened to have a box of graham cracker crumbs in the cabinet, so that made the decision easier. The night before starting to bake, I removed the curd from the freezer and placed it in the refrigerator.
I followed the directions for the graham cracker crust on the box and formed it into my 9″ removable-bottom, fluted tart pan. Then I baked it in the oven. I love the tart pan because it makes the dessert look pretty and you can remove the sides easily.
When the crust cooled, I cut off a corner of the lime curd freezer bag, and piped the curd into the tart pan, making sure it was even all around. How pretty it looked!
Next, I followed a recipe for meringue and used 4 egg whites heated with 1/4 cup of granulated sugar. When the mixture was hot, I removed it from the stovetop and poured it into the bowl of my stand mixer. Then I whipped it at high speed until it made firm peaks.
I got out my piping bag and large nozzle and filled the bag with the egg white mixture. Then I proceeded to pipe “kisses” of meringue around the entire tart. Now it was even more pretty!
The final step was to heat up the broiler and place the tart on a baking sheet in the oven until the meringue started to brown. Careful, because it turns from brown to black very fast.
The results were gorgeous. I felt like a baking rock star. I was so excited to show it off at the dinner that evening.
And now comes the sad part of the story. I am sorry to say that when we removed the sides of the tart at the dinner that evening, my rock star status faded.
I wanted to hide myself somewhere. I did not realize that the graham cracker crust needed more support than a regular tart crust, and that by taking away the sides, it fell apart and the curd oozed out. Oh, how I wanted a different end to this night.
Oh well. You live, and you learn.