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Key Lime Truffle Tart

March 24, 2011

Third time’s a charm. Okay, technically you could call this the fifth, but let’s not get technical. I almost called it quits yesterday as I attempted to complete this month’s We Should Cocoa challenge: pairing chocolate with lime. I had such high hopes, too. Such lofty baking aspirations. Perhaps a bit too lofty. Note: do not attempt to make chocolate macarons with key lime cream if you have little to no experience making the finicky French delight. Three batches later, and I had just four cookies worthy of sandwiching into macarons. Forget it.

Then there was the coffee cake attempt. It came out of the oven looking gorgeous. I dressed it up, snapped some photos, went to cut a slice…and raw batter oozed out. Crap. Back in the oven it went, but it was too late. The texture was ruined. A bite of the pitiful cake told me the flavor was lacking as well: not enough lime.

Doubting my culinary prowess, I went back to what I do best: tarts. And thank goodness I did since this Key Lime Truffle Tart is everything I hoped to achieve with this challenge, and so much more. Creamy and crumbly, with all the pucker you want from the best key lime pie paired the sweet earthiness of dark chocolate. Well worth the time squeezing all those teeny tiny key limes and the resulting carpal tunnel.

If you’re looking for a dessert to shake up the mid-week blues, this is the one to do it. Vibrant and sultry, perfect with a rum-based cocktail. Along with the beautiful spring sunshine warming up Seattle today, this tart transported me to a tropical state of mind. Now about that cocktail… Maybe I should have saved a few limes for a mojito…

Thanks to Chele of Chocolate Teapot for hosting this month’s challenge! A challenge it certainly was, but well worth the effort!

Key Lime Truffle Tart

© Copyright 2011 Carly Sullivan, Tart to Heart

Serves: 8


Graham Cracker Crust:

  • 1 1/2 cups graham cracker crumbs (about 9 sheets)
  • 1 Tbsp granulated sugar
  • 1/8 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp cinnamon
  • 4 Tbsp butter, melted

Chocolate Ganache:

  • 4 oz semisweet chocolate
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 1/8 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla
  • 1/2 Tbsp rum (optional)

Key Lime Filling

  • 1 (14 oz) can sweetened condensed milk (fat free is fine!)
  • 3 egg yolks
  • 2 tsp key lime zest
  • 1/2 cup fresh key lime juice
  • 1/2 Tbsp rum (optional)
  • Pinch of salt
  • 3 Tbsp sweetened coconut, toasted, for garnish


  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Grind your graham crackers to fine crumbs in a food processor. Add the sugar, salt and cinnamon and pulse to combine. Stream in the melted butter and blend until the mixture resembles wet sand.
  2. Press the crumbs firmly into the bottom and up the sides of a 9-inch tart pan. Bake until set and lightly golden, about 10 minutes. Cool.
  3. To make the ganache, combine the chocolate, vanilla, rum and salt in a small bowl. Heat the cream in a small saucepan to a simmer. Remove from the heat and pour over the chocolate. Stir until melted and smooth.
  4. Pour 3/4 of the ganache into your tart shell (save the rest to drizzle on the finished tart). Chill in the refrigerator until the ganache is set, about half an hour.
  5. Meanwhile, prepare the filling by whisking together the sweetened condensed milk, egg yolks, key lime juice and zest, rum and salt until very smooth.
  6. Once your ganache has set, pour the filling into the tart shell and bake at 350 degrees until set, about 15 minutes. Let cool.
  7. Rewarm the remaining ganache in the microwave for 15-30 seconds. Drizzle over the cooled pie. Sprinkle with the toasted coconut and chill completely in the refrigerator before serving. Enjoy!

By the way, what are the odds that while typing this post, the key lime pie episode of Throwdown with Bobby Flay came on TV?

P.S. Sorry if you received this update twice. I was having some technical issues!

10 Comments leave one →
  1. March 24, 2011 10:09 am

    Great presentation. I bet the rum adds a lot. Sounds wonderful.

  2. March 25, 2011 12:10 pm

    I was actually watching that Throwdown and just thinking about how I’ve never made a key lime pie! Maybe it’s time to try your recipe…

    • March 25, 2011 2:32 pm

      I had never made one either and it’s soooo easy and so delicious! Let me know if you try it 🙂

  3. March 25, 2011 2:11 pm

    looks amazing
    you tempt me to try a key lime for the first time ever

  4. March 27, 2011 1:07 pm

    This looks an absolute stunner – your photographs are fantastic. Glad you found something that worked in the end. Love the sound of the macaroons, but I know how fiddly they are. Thanks for participating in We Should Cocoa.

  5. March 28, 2011 1:00 am

    That is so mouthwatering drool worthy excellent recipe

  6. March 29, 2011 3:45 pm

    Wow the tart looks amazing. I want a slice now! I’ve never attempted macarons and get more scared each time I hear of someone else’s failed attempt. Well done for perservering!

  7. April 16, 2011 4:25 pm

    Oh my goodness. This is STUNNING. Your crust looks awesome and the custard looks really smooth. Yum!


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