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Key Lime Meringue Tart

Key Lime Meringue Tart


Key Lime Curd

  • 1/3 cup fresh Key lime juice (from about 18 limes) or regular fresh lime juice
  • 3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 1/4 teaspoon coarse kosher salt
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, cut into 1/4-inch cubes


  • 6 tablespoons (3/4 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 3 ounces chilled cream cheese, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
  • 3/4 cup unbleached all purpose flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon coarse kosher salt


  • 4 large egg whites, room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/4 teaspoon coarse kosher salt

Special Equipment

  • 9-inch-diameter tart pan with removable bottom

Recipe Preparation

Key Lime Curd

  • Whisk eggs, yolks, sugar, lime juice, lemon juice, and coarse salt in medium metal bowl. Set bowl over medium saucepan of simmering water (do not allow bottom of bowl to touch water). Whisk constantly until curd thickens slightly and instant-read thermometer inserted into curd registers 140°F for 3 minutes, 5 to 6 minutes total (do not allow to boil). Remove bowl from over water. Gradually whisk butter into curd a few cubes at a time until smooth, allowing butter cubes to melt before adding more. Strain curd through fine sieve set over small bowl. Press plastic wrap directly onto surface of curd and chill overnight. DO AHEAD Lime curd can be made 2 days ahead. Keep chilled.


  • Using electric mixer, beat butter, cream cheese, and sugar in medium bowl until smooth. Add flour and salt and beat just until blended. Gather dough into ball; flatten into disk. Wrap in plastic and chill at least 1 hour. DO AHEAD Can be made 1 day ahead. Keep chilled. Soften slightly at room temperature before rolling out.

  • Preheat oven to 375°F. Roll out dough on lightly floured work surface to 11- to 12-inch round. Transfer to 9-inch tart pan with removable bottom. Press dough onto bottom and up sides of pan. Trim dough overhang to 1/2 inch, then fold overhang in, forming double-thick sides extending ¼ inch above sides of pan. Pierce crust all over with fork. Freeze crust 20 minutes.

  • Line crust with foil; fill with dried beans or pie weights. Bake until crust is set, about 25 minutes. Remove foil and beans. Continue to bake until crust is golden and cooked through, about 20 minutes longer. Cool crust completely in pan on rack.

  • Spread curd evenly in baked crust. Chill while making meringue.


  • Using electric mixer, beat egg whites in large bowl on medium speed until foamy. Increase speed to medium-high and beat until soft peaks form. Gradually add sugar and powdered sugar 1 tablespoon at a time; beat until meringue is very thick and glossy, about 5 minutes. Beat in vanilla and coarse kosher salt.

  • Spoon meringue in dollops atop curd, then spread and swirl decoratively with table knife. Using kitchen torch, brown meringue in spots, creating white and golden peaks and valleys. Chill uncovered at least 1 hour before serving. DO AHEAD Can be made 4 hours ahead. Keep chilled.

  • Remove sides from tart pan. Place tart on platter and serve.

Test Kitchen Note

  • Based on reader feedback, we've retested this recipe since publication. Here are a few extra tips on the crust:

  • Measure the flour by dipping the cup measure into the flour bin or sack, then level it off with a knife. Do not use a liquid measuring cup, which will not give you an accurate measure.

  • Be sure to use 3 ounces of cream cheese—the cream cheese makes the dough very easy to work with and to roll out.

  • Be sure to chill the dough at least 1 hour before rolling out. If necessary, soften the dough slightly at room temperature just before rolling out.

  • Be sure to use a 9-inch-diameter tart pan with 1-inch-high sides and removable bottom; there should be enough dough for this size pan.

  • Roll out the dough on a floured surface, starting at the center of the dough and rolling towards edges, a sprinkling of flour atop the dough when rolling works well too if difficult or slightly sticky. To transfer dough to a pan, fold dough in half and unfold in the pan, then ease it into pan by pressing onto the bottom and the sides—there is enough of a crust overhang to trim or you can just fold in sides and press to form the double-thick sides. Then pierce the dough all over with fork and be sure to freeze crust 20 minutes.

  • Bake the crust in the center of the oven until the crust is set, which does take about 25 minutes (it does take this long because the crust is almost frozen). Once the foil and beans are removed, the crust needs to bake until it is fully cooked through, since it will be filled with the curd (which is very moist). In our calibrated oven it baked for 17 to 18 minutes during a second testing instead of the 20 minutes—it can vary slightly in different ovens and may bake faster is smaller ovens.

  • It's okay if the curd does not come all the way up to the edges of the crust since the meringue then goes on top.

  • If all else fails, it's okay to use 1 cup of flour instead of 3/4 cup - It will not hurt the crust!

Recipe by Karen DeMasco Locanda Verde New York City,

Nutritional Content

One serving contains the following: Calories (kcal) 446.0 %Calories from Fat 53.7 Fat (g) 26.6 Saturated Fat (g) 15.5 Cholesterol (mg) 222.4 Carbohydrates (g) 45.4 Dietary Fiber (g) 0.3 Total Sugars (g) 36.1 Net Carbs (g) 45.1 Protein (g) 7.0Reviews Section

Recipe Summary

  • 1 cup cake flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 1 stick (4 ounces) unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1 1/4 cups plus 2 teaspoons sugar
  • 4 large eggs, separated, at room temperature
  • 3 tablespoons milk
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1/3 cup sliced almonds (about 1 ounce)
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 large egg yolk
  • 1/3 cup Key lime juice (see Note) or fresh lime or lemon juice
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon cornstarch
  • Pinch of salt
  • 4 tablespoons cold unsalted butter, cut into 4 pieces

Preheat the oven to 350°. Line the bottoms of two 8-by-2-inch round cake pans with wax paper and grease the paper.

Sift together the flour, baking powder and salt. In a large bowl, using an electric mixer, cream the butter with 1/2 cup of the sugar until fluffy. Add the egg yolks and beat for 2 minutes. In a measuring cup, stir together the milk and vanilla beat the milk into the butter in two batches, alternating with the dry ingredients, until just incorporated. Scrape the batter into the prepared pans (the batter will barely reach up the sides of the pan).

In another large bowl, using clean beaters, beat the egg whites at medium speed until they hold soft peaks. With the machine on, gradually sprinkle in 3/4 cup of the sugar and beat until the whites are glossy, 3 to 4 minutes. Gently spread the meringue over the cake batter in the pans do not smooth the tops. Sprinkle the almonds, then the remaining 2 teaspoons sugar, on the meringue.

Bake the cakes in the bottom third of the oven for 25 minutes, or until the meringue is puffed and lightly browned. Transfer the pans to racks and let the cakes cool completely the tops will sink considerably.

Place the whole eggs and egg yolk in a heatproof bowl and whisk. In a medium nonreactive saucepan, bring the lime juice, sugar, cornstarch and salt to a boil over moderate heat, whisking. Gradually whisk the mixture into the eggs. Scrape the lime curd into the saucepan and cook over moderate heat, stirring with a wooden spoon, until thick enough to coat the spoon, about 5 minutes do not boil. Remove from the heat and stir in the butter.

Strain the curd into a clean bowl. Let cool at room temperature briefly, whisking occasionally then press a piece of wax paper directly on the surface and refrigerate until chilled, at least 2 hours or overnight.

Run a knife around the sides of the cake layers to loosen them from the pans. Carefully invert the layers onto baking sheets remove the wax paper. Invert one layer onto a cake platter. Spread all the lime curd on top. Cover with the other cake layer, meringue side up. To serve, slice gently with a serrated cake knife.

Recipe Summary

  • 9 to 10 graham crackers (each 2 1/2 by 5 inches)
  • 2 tablespoons plus 1/2 cup sugar
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
  • 1 can (14 ounces) sweetened condensed milk
  • 3/4 cup fresh lime juice (from 4 to 6 limes), or fresh or bottled key-lime juice
  • 4 large egg yolks
  • Pinch salt
  • Slivered lime zest, for garnish (optional)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Process graham crackers and 2 tablespoons sugar in a food processor until fine crumbs form add butter. Process until combined. Transfer mixture to a 9-inch tart pan with a removable bottom pat into bottom and up sides. Place pan on a baking sheet, and bake until crust is fragrant and slightly colored, about 10 minutes.

Meanwhile, in a medium bowl, combine condensed milk, lime juice, egg yolks, remaining 1/2 cup sugar, and salt whisk until smooth. Pour mixture into crust (warm or cool is fine), leaving 1/8 inch at the top return to oven. Bake until filling is set around edge but still slightly loose in center, 20 to 25 minutes.

Cool completely at room temperature then refrigerate until chilled, at least 2 hours. Serve, garnished with zest, if desired.


  1. For Cake:
    1. Heat oven to 350°F. with rack in middle. Butter cake pans, then line bottoms with rounds of parchment. Dust pans with additional flour, knocking out excess.
    2. Sift flour, baking powder, and salt together into a bowl.
    3. Beat together butter and sugar in a large bowl with an electric mixer (or a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment) at medium-high speed until pale and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Beat in eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat in zest and vanilla and continue beating until light and fluffy, 3 to 5 minutes more. At low speed, add flour mixture in 3 batches alternately with milk, beginning and ending with the flour mixture and mixing until batter is just smooth.
    4. Divide batter between cake pans, spreading it evenly. Bake until a wooden toothpick inserted in the center of each cake comes out clean and cakes begin to pull away from sides of pans, 20 to 25 minutes.
    5. Cool for 15 minutes in pans on racks. Run a thin knife around sides of pans, invert cake layers onto racks, and cool completely.
    1. Whisk together sugar, cornstarch, and salt in a heavy 2-quart saucepan, then whisk in 3/4 cup water and juice until smooth. Whisk together eggs in a medium heat-proof bowl until well combined.
    2. Bring juice mixture to a boil over medium heat, stirring with whisk, then reduce heat and continue to cook at a slow boil, stirring with whisk, 1 minute (mixture will be thick). Remove pan from heat.
    3. Add half of hot juice mixture to eggs in a slow stream, stirring with whisk. Stir egg mixture into juice in pan and cook over medium-low heat, stirring, just until it reaches a simmer. Remove pan from heat and add butter and zest, stirring until butter is melted.
    4. Cover filling with a buttered round of wax paper or parchment paper and chill until cold, about 1 hour.
    1. Combine frosting ingredients in a large bowl with electric mixer (or stand mixer fitted with the whip attachment). Beat at high speed until frosting is thick and fluffy, 3 to 5 minutes.
    1. Halve each cake horizontally with a long serrated knife. Put 1 layer on a cake stand or a large plate and spread with one-third of filling (about 2/3 cup).
    2. Stack remaining cake layers using half of remaining filling between each layer.
    3. Spread top and side of cake generously with frosting.

    Recipe Summary

    • Crust:
    • ¾ cup cake flour
    • ½ teaspoon sugar
    • Dash of salt
    • 2 tablespoons chilled butter, cut into small pieces
    • 1 tablespoon olive oil
    • 2 tablespoons ice water
    • ½ teaspoon cider vinegar
    • Filling:
    • 4 teaspoons grated lime rind
    • ½ cup fresh lime juice (about 4 limes)
    • 4 large pasteurized egg yolks
    • 1 (14-ounce) can fat-free sweetened condensed milk
    • Meringue:
    • ¼ teaspoon cream of tartar
    • 3 large pasteurized egg whites
    • ¼ cup sugar
    • ¼ teaspoon vanilla extract

    To prepare crust, lightly spoon flour into dry measuring cups level with a knife. Place flour, 1/2 teaspoon sugar, and salt in a food processor pulse 2 times or until combined. Add butter and oil pulse 5 times or until mixture resembles coarse meal. Drizzle flour mixture with water and vinegar pulse 10 times or just until combined. Gently press mixture into a 3-inch circle on plastic wrap, and cover and chill for 30 minutes.

    Slightly overlap 2 sheets of plastic wrap on a slightly damp surface. Unwrap and place chilled dough on plastic wrap. Cover with 2 additional sheets of overlapping plastic wrap. Roll dough, still covered, into a 10-inch circle. Fit dough, plastic wrap side up, into a 9-inch round removable-bottom tart pan. Remove remaining plastic wrap. Press dough against bottom and sides of pan. Pierce bottom of dough with a fork. Line bottom of dough with a piece of parchment paper arrange pie weights on paper. Bake at 425° for 16 minutes or until edge is lightly browned. Remove pie weights and parchment paper bake an additional 5 minutes or until bottom of crust is lightly browned. Cool on a wire rack.

    Reduce oven temperature to 350°.

    To prepare filling, combine rind, juice, egg yolks, and milk, stirring with a whisk until well blended. Pour into prepared crust. Bake at 350° for 15 minutes or until set. Remove tart from oven place on a wire rack.

    Increase oven temperature to 425°.

    To prepare meringue, place cream of tartar and egg whites in a large bowl beat with a mixer at high speed until foamy. Add 1/4 cup sugar, 1 tablespoon at a time, beating until stiff peaks form beat in vanilla. Spread meringue evenly over filling, sealing to edge of crust. Make peaks with the back of a spoon (shown here). Bake at 425° for 4 minutes or until golden brown. Serve chilled or at room temperature.

    Ready to Get Cooking?

    This is the perfect lime meringue pie! Light and absolutely stunning. It is the perfect combination of a crumbly and buttery crust, a silky and tart lime filling, and a smooth meringue top. Outrageously good!

    It only requires a few ingredients and is so simple to make. This pie is super quick– only 15 minutes of hands-on time! The real waiting game (torture) comes afterward to cool down and then chill in the refrigerator.

    It is just so refreshing! This pie, despite its look, is straightforward to make and only requires a little attention to detail.

    Usually, lime or lemon meringue pie has a rolled shortbread crust and a sweet, almost Jello-like lemon custard filling that you have to cook and temper eggs with and such. It is time-consuming, difficult and tasteless. The big game-changer in this pie is using sweetened condensed milk instead of cooking a custard.

    The contrast between the tanginess of the lime juice and the sweetness of the condensed milk in the filling makes this an all-time favourite, perfect also for teatime or a decadent coffee break in the middle of your afternoon.

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    Blueberry Key Lime Tart

    When your ordinary-but-still-delicious Key lime pie looks a little mundane at the picnic, it's time to rethink the presentation. Slipping it into a tart pan gives it a bit of elegance, while a blueberry topping adds a splash of color and the texture of fresh blueberries. The flavors are cool and soothing on a hot summer night.


    • 1 1/2 cups (128g) graham cracker crumbs (1 1/2 cups (177g) gluten-free graham cracker crumbs, if desired)
    • 3 tablespoons (35g) sugar
    • 1/8 teaspoon salt
    • 5 tablespoons (71g) butter, melted
    • 3 large egg yolks
    • 14-ounce can (397g) sweetened condensed milk
    • 1/3 cup (76g) Key lime juice (juice of 9 to 10 Key limes, if you can find them)
    • 2 teaspoons finely grated lime zest
    • 2 1/2 to 3 cups (425g to 510g) fresh blueberries
    • 1/2 cup (113g) water or blueberry juice, or other fruit juice
    • pinch of salt
    • 1 teaspoon Key lime juice
    • 3 tablespoons (39g) sugar
    • 1 tablespoon (7g) cornstarch


    To make the crust: Mix the ingredients and press them into a 9" removable bottom tart pan or 9" pie plate.

    Bake for 10 to 12 minutes, until lightly browned. Place on a rack to cool.

    Reduce the oven heat to 325°F.

    To make the filling: Whisk together the egg yolks, condensed milk, and lime juice and zest until thoroughly combined.

    Pour the filling into the crust and bake for 18 to 20 minutes, until just set.

    Remove the tart from the oven, and place it on a rack to cool at room temperature for 1 to 2 hours before topping.

    To make the topping: Rinse the berries, and set aside all but 3/4 cup to dry.

    Stir together the water or fruit juice, salt, lime juice, sugar, and cornstarch in a medium-sized saucepan set over medium heat, cooking until the sugar has dissolved.

    Add the 3/4 cup berries, and bring to a boil.

    Remove the topping from the heat, pour it over the reserved berries, and set aside to cool for 5 minutes. Pour the topping onto the tart, letting it spread to the edges.

    Chill the tart for several hours before serving. Serve with whipped cream, if desired.

    Storage information: Store tart, well wrapped in the fridge for several days.

    Key Lime Meringue Tart

    Serving Size 1 slice, 1/10 of pie
    Calories Per Serving 330
    Total Fat 14g
    Calories From Fat 130g
    Saturated Fat 5g
    Trans Fat 0g
    Cholesterol 65mg
    Sodium 180mg
    Carbohydrates 44g
    Dietary Fiber 1g
    Sugar 30g
    Protein 7g
    Percent Daily Value*: Vitamin A 4%, Calcium 10%, Vitamin C 4%, Iron 6%.


    For Meringue: COMBINE 1 tablespoon sugar, cornstarch and water in small saucepan. Stir until cornstarch dissolves. Cook and stir on medium heat until mixture is clear. Cool to room temperature.

    For Crust: HEAT oven to 400°F. Prepare recipe for single crust pie. Roll out and place in 9-inch tart pan without stretching dough. Prick bottom with fork to prevent shrinking. Bake 13 to 15 minutes or until lightly browned.

    For Filling: BEAT egg yolks and whole egg in medium bowl with electric mixer on high speed until frothy. Add sweetened condensed milk and lime juice, beating until blended. Stir in lime peel. Pour into baked tart crust.

    For Meringue: BEAT egg whites and vanilla in medium bowl with electric mixer on high speed until soft peaks form. Beat in remaining sugar, 1 tablespoon at a time. Beat well after each addition. Add cooled cornstarch mixture gradually and continue beating until stiff peaks form. Spoon over top of filling, spreading evenly and sealing to edge.

    BAKE 15 to 17 minutes or until meringue is golden and filling reaches 160°F. Cool 1 hour. Chill at least 30 minutes.


    Serving Size 1 slice, 1/10 of pie
    Calories Per Serving 330
    Total Fat 14g
    Calories From Fat 130g
    Saturated Fat 5g
    Trans Fat 0g
    Cholesterol 65mg
    Sodium 180mg
    Carbohydrates 44g
    Dietary Fiber 1g
    Sugar 30g
    Protein 7g
    Percent Daily Value*: Vitamin A 4%, Calcium 10%, Vitamin C 4%, Iron 6%.

    Recipe Summary

    • 1 cup white sugar
    • ¼ cup all-purpose flour
    • 3 tablespoons cornstarch
    • ¼ teaspoon salt
    • 2 cups water
    • 3 eggs
    • 1 tablespoon butter
    • ¼ cup key lime juice
    • 1 tablespoon grated lime zest
    • 1 (9 inch) pie crust, baked
    • ¼ teaspoon cream of tartar
    • 6 tablespoons white sugar

    Preheat oven to 425 degrees F (220 degrees C).

    Separate the eggs. Beat the egg yolks and set the whites aside.

    Combine the 1 cup white sugar, flour, cornstarch and salt in a saucepan. Gradually stir in the water. Cook over medium heat until thickened.

    Gradually stir the cooked sugar mixture into the beaten egg yolks, beating constantly. Return the mixture to low heat and cook, stirring constantly, for 2 minutes. Stir in the butter, lime juice and lime zest. Let mixture cool slightly.

    Beat egg whites until light and frothy. Add the cream of tartar and continue beating until stiff peaks form. Gradually beat in the remaining 6 tablespoons white sugar and beat until the meringue is stiff and glossy.

    Pour the lime filling into the prepared pie shell. Then pile the meringue on top, spreading it until it touches the edges of the pastry to prevent the meringue from shrinking. Bake pie at 425 degrees F (220 degrees C) for 5 to 6 minutes or until meringue top is golden brown.