Caramelized Lemon-Lime Tart Dessert - Wolfgang Puck Recipes

Most people think of ice cream as one of the perfect summer desserts. And I wouldn't argue with them.

But, being a chef, I like to take that kind of thinking a step further. So, let's consider what the best flavors are to beat the summer heat.

Citrus fruits are some of my favorite summertime tastes. Bright, clean, aromatic, and zesty, with just the right balance of fruity sweetness and tart acidity, they refresh like nothing else can on a warm day.

Of course, the flavors of lemon, lime, orange, and grapefruit are delicious and cooling in all kinds of frozen desserts, including ice creams, sorbets, and granitas. Sometimes, though, I prefer to highlight their wonderful flavors in a more impressive dessert: my Caramelized Lemon-Lime Tart.

Baked in a cookie-like crust of Sugar Dough that you can make incredibly easily with a food processor, this Caramelized Lemon-Lime Tart features a lively custard filling topped with a thin layer of caramelized sugar. I like to think of it as a sort of creme brulee, only with a lot more flavor and the added crunch of pastry.

Sounds good, doesn't it? And it's surprisingly easy to make, too, especially if you know a few secrets for success.

Let's start with the lemons and limes. I find that the best fruit to look for are the smaller ones. Larger lemons and limes may give the impression that you'll get a lot of juice from them, but in fact the smaller specimens, especially if they feel heavy for their size, tend to yield more juice for their weight. Be sure to let them sit at room temperature for an hour or so, so they'll be easier to squeeze. And, before you cut and squeeze them, wipe them clean with a damp cloth, then dry with another cloth, and zest them with the fine holes of a grater, taking care to remove only the oil-rich, colorful, intensely flavorful outermost layer, called the zest, and avoiding any of the bitter pith underneath.

The other piece of advice I'd like to share is for making the custard. Follow my recipe carefully, taking care to cook the custard gently so the egg doesn't curdle. But don't worry too much if it does a bit, since you can turn it smooth again by processing it briefly in a blender or by inserting a small, "stick" immersion blender directly into the pan.

Not only is this Caramelized Lemon-Lime Tart easy with the help of such tips, but you can also make this dessert tart recipe in stages ahead of time, so an impressive dessert can be ready to serve any time you want something special for a summertime meal. And isn't that "cool" in every sense of the word?

Caramelized Lemon-Lime Tart Recipe

    Prep Time: 30 minutes

    Cook time: 30 minutes

    Yield: Serves 8

Caramelized Lemon-Lime Tart Recipe Ingredients

    For the Sugar Dough

    2-1/3 cups cake flour or pastry flour

    1/3 cup sugar

    1/2 pound unsalted butter, chilled, cut into small pieces

    2 cage-free egg yolks

    1 to 2 tablespoons heavy cream

    For the Caramelized Lemon-Lime Tart

    1/2 recipe Sugar Dough

    4 whole cage-free eggs

    4 cage-free egg yolks

    1 cup plus 2 tablespoons sugar

    2/3 cup lemon juice

    2/3 cup lime juice

    Finely grated zest of 2 small lemons

    Finely grated zest of 2 small limes

    6 ounces unsalted butter, cut into small pieces, at room temperature

    Assorted fresh berries, for serving

Caramelized Lemon-Lime Tart Recipe Directions

    For the Sugar Dough

    Makes 1-1/2 pounds, enough for two 9-inch tart shells

    In a processor fitted with the stainless-steel blade, combine the flour and sugar. Add the butter and process until the mixture resembles fine meal.

    In a small bowl, whisk together the yolks and 1 tablespoon cream. Scrape into the processor and process until a ball of dough begins forming; and if necessary, pour in more cream to help bring the dough together.

    Handling the blade carefully, remove the dough and place on a lightly floured work surface.

    Divide into 2 equal portions and form into balls. Press each ball down to flatten into a circle.

    Wrap securely in plastic wrap and refrigerate at least 1 hour before use.

    (To freeze, seal the plastic-wrapped pastry airtight inside a freezer-proof storage bag. Thaw in the refrigerator for several hours before use.)

    For the Lemon-Lime Tart

    Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

    On a lightly floured surface, roll out the dough into a circle 1/4 inch thick and large enough to line a 9-inch metal tart pan with removable bottom. Press the dough into the pan and trim the edges. Line the bottom and sides with parchment paper or aluminum foil and fill with dried beans, rice, or aluminum pie weights and bake for 20 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack to cool. Remove the weights and lining and return to the oven to bake until golden brown, 5 to 10 minutes longer.

    In a large metal bowl, whisk together the eggs, yolks, 1 cup sugar, lemon and lime juices, and zests. Bring 2 inches of water to a boil in a saucepan large enough for the bowl to rest on its rim without touching the water. Reduce the heat to a simmer, rest the bowl on the rim, and whisk until very thick, about 10 minutes.

    Turn off the heat and, a few pieces at a time, quickly whisk in the butter. Pour the filling through a fine-meshed strainer into a bowl. Scrape into the tart shell and smooth with a metal spatula. Cool and then refrigerate until firm, at least 3 hours or overnight.

    Sprinkle the remaining sugar evenly over the filling. With a propane kitchen torch, caramelize the sugar. (You can also do this under the broiler; but watch diligently to make sure the sugar doesn't burn.) Refrigerate for at least 30 minutes. (Alternatively, omit sprinkling and caramelizing the sugar and arrange raspberries on top, sifting powdered sugar over the berries just before serving.)

    To serve, remove the metal ring and transfer the tart to a serving platter. Cut into slices and serve with berries.


Subscribe to Receive our Gourmet Recipes

Caramelized Lemon-Lime Tart Recipe - Wolfgang Puck Dessert Recipes

World-renowned chefs with an extraordinary passion for food share their passion on These chefs make great cooking easier than imagined. Each gourmet recipe features expert advice and an easy-to-make recipe. Exactly what you need to transform your home cooking from acceptable to delectable

© Tribune Media Services