Happy Hausfrau Series: Key Lime Tart

11 Jul

Greetings from the home of the happy hausfrau! Don those aprons and follow me into the kitchen, chop chop.

Remember my aunt who hung out with Freddy Mercury in her late childhood/early teens/whocareswhen,shegottohangoutwithFreddieEffingMercury? Yup, that one. Not only did she shoot the breeze with an international rockstar, she is one herself–in an arena lit up with the warm, flattering lights of two microwaves, one stove and an oven. And on our visit to her gorgeous home last year (where the chocolate-and-steel-blue bedclothes matched the bathroom linen and I was in color-coordinated heaven), she fed us a zesty tart for dessert one night, made from the key limes in her garden. Not only were we fed multiple helpings of dhansak, kebabs, assorted side dishes, dessert, chocolate, and 75 things for breakfast the next morning, she bade us goodbye with a bag of those precious key limes and a quick and easy recipe to churn out the good stuff. So this recipe comes to you all the way from San Diego. Oh the places I trudge to for you guys!

First, let’s get our Border Patrol ready. And pardon the poor picture quality. The resident photographer decided to go for a walk at the precise moment I was baking. (Which goddess had a gazillion hands, by the way? Indian mythology is not my strong suit.)


Back row, left to right: Tony tart-shell (readymade, from good old Safeway’s freezer section, and pulled out to room temperature 20 minutes before bake time), Daniela sour cream (whose yankified name is Daisy), and Miguelita the namkeen item commonly known as salt.

Front row, left to right: 3 limes called Lupita (key limes are ideal, but any other type will do, including lemons), our good old eedas three, and a can of Sweet Caroline, I mean condensed milk. Sorry, I have a Neil Diamond hangover.

Invisible (and also optional): A sprig of mint leaves for garnishing.


Pre-heat the oven at 350 degrees before you begin to assemble the ingredients. Oooooooh, there’s a GHOST IN MY KITCHEN!!

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAJust kidding! It’s called a camera flash. :mrgreen:

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERANext up, break a leg. I mean an egg. Then, repeat twice until all 3 Humpties are floating on a serene ocean of whites.


Ready for the bidaai? Hold your tissues, now! Separate the yolks and the whites to background cries of “Nahiiiiiiiiiiiiin!” from the dulhan-ki-maa. Does that really happen, by the way, all the sobbing? Parsi brides are only too happy to run off into the night and get down to business.


Next up, let me tell you a wee story: a few months ago, the Boy baked me a brownie cake. It was delicious, and as we ate the whole thing with fork and hammer, he may or may not have mentioned that our whisk’s motor burned out during his enthusiastic endeavor, and I had the pleasure of discovering it mid-bake. So to make up for that little episode of intentional forgetfulness, he surprise-ordered me a replacement. With a heavier motor this time. IN PINK! How much do I love this man.

Stop standin’ around, y’all! I haven’t all day, ya know. Git to work!


Beat them eggs. I can’t even go all Paula Deen on you guys now. ‘Tis not appropriate.


Sigh. Stand back and watch magic happen as the cascading condensed milk folds creamily into the frothy eggs and Carlos Santana’s ‘Maria Maria’ plays in my head:

Tartina, Tartinaaaaaaa……….!

She reminds me of a key lime story

Growing up in San Diego

She’s livin’ the life just like a Parsi star!


Now comes the hard part. Zesting the limes.  It ain’t over ’til the fat lady grates. This step can be done at any point in the process. Sometimes I do it right at the beginning, and at other times halfway through. Us hausfraus need variety, you know.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAThat is the zest of two limes. Guess who got lazy and ‘improvised’. Wait, are you guys looking at ME?? 😯


Juice the limes. If you squeeze all 3 like the recipe suggests, you should have half a cup.

“Juice, Rahul, juice?” Name that retarded movie. Or stand in the rain in a wet saree and pretend you love a stuttering ham, whichever’s easier.


Add the zest of 3 limes, the half cup of lime juice (thanks for the catch, Alice!), two tablespoons of sour cream, and a pinch of salt to the egg-condensed milk mixture.


Blend for about 1 minute. Not blend in, which is entirely different. I’m so glad we had this English lesson.


Pour the mixture into the tart shell. It will look like this. And yes, the blended mixture looks lighter in color, so don’t worry you’ve done something wrong. (What’s that? You don’t worry? It’s just me then? 😦 Sigh.)


And the dish should look like this. If you’ve used the finger-to-mouth technique I shared with you in this post. This step is optional.


Pop the tart into the oven in its baking tray. You may want to put another baking sheet under it for ease of operation and in case of spills. I usually do. Set the temperature to 350 and the timer to 24:30. Why 24:30? Because I said so. Man, I love the dictatorial control I have over your pie destiny right now. :mrgreen:

A word on the oven settings: each oven is different, so you may want to bake for approximately 17 minutes and then check for doneness and add minutes accordingly. The crust should look like its sallow Brit limbs spent a couple hours at the beach.


Pull the tart out of the oven when done. The lime mousse consistency should be somewhat firm, but not immovable. Which is an excellent parenting strategy as well, but ignore me.

Let your child tart cool for approximately 30 minutes and then stick it into the refrigerator. 2 to 3 hours is recommended, overnight is ideal.


Pull it out of the refrigerator right before serving and stick a sprig of mint in the middle as a garnish.

In an act of poetic justice, I served this tart 2 weekends ago to my aunt’s son and daughter-in-law, right after a meal of….you guessed it, dhansak. 😀


Enjoy, my friends. And don’t forget to tell me if you liked it!

13 Responses to “Happy Hausfrau Series: Key Lime Tart”

  1. Dancing Fingers Singing Keypad July 11, 2013 at 5:35 pm #

    This recipe would not be the same without your deliciously entertaining way of narration! You deserve your own cooking show! Definitely looking forward to more in this series. 🙂

  2. alice July 11, 2013 at 10:24 pm #

    Ahahahaha.. the wait was worth it.

    pliss to excuse for some silly kwestions… where did the lime juice vanish and erm ahem (im a lil afraid to ask this one) but what are key limes?

  3. hAAthi July 11, 2013 at 11:12 pm #

    BWahahaha.. I dont know whats better. The excellent droolicious recipe, or the way you tell a story..
    Stellar bits in this one have to be: Tartina, Tartinaaaaaaa……….!
    She reminds me of a key lime story, Growing up in San Diego, She’s livin’ the life just like a Parsi star!

    You’re howlarious!

  4. dipali55 July 12, 2013 at 6:46 am #

    Looking forward to more deliciously entertaining recipes from the happy hausfrau!

  5. aneela z July 12, 2013 at 10:47 am #

    now what do i win huh huh huh

    by the way I AM JUDGING ALL OF YOUR FRIENDS for not taking up the challenge.
    no soup for them. sorry juice.
    –the juice nazi

  6. Orange Jammies July 12, 2013 at 11:13 am #

    DFSK: I do have my own cooking show. OJ’s Kitchen. 😉 I even have an audience of one.

    alice: Ack! 😳 Thanks for pointing that out, observant one! I’ll remedy it right away. Key limes are smaller, more aromatic limes, with thinner rinds and a slightly more tart flavor. They’re named after their association with the Florida Keys (a must-travel-to destination, by the way! We loved the place.) And please don’t feel afraid to ask! If I don’t know the answer myself, I’ll look it up for you. 🙂

    hAAthi: Wot to doooo, we are like this only. 😉

    dipali55: And I look forward to feedback, once you’ve tried this easy-peasy recipe!

    aneela: I’m going to have to find a way to inject Bollywood into every post. That’s the only way you emerge into the light of the comments section. 😛

  7. Aunty G July 12, 2013 at 1:37 pm #

    Simple and smart
    Is the Key Lime Tart
    But entertainment’s lavish
    With H/Bollywood garnish
    This blog is a piece apart!

  8. DewdropDream July 16, 2013 at 3:59 am #

    Last night I dreamed that I was making this. I could even clearly see the photo in which you’re scooping up the yolk.

    My subconscious talks too much.

  9. Orange Jammies July 19, 2013 at 12:41 am #

    Aunty G: You must give a try
    To this superlative pie
    The actual post
    Is meh at most
    But lime makes my skirt fly!

    DewdropDream: It also has impeccable taste. Now go whip one up already. 😉

  10. Pallavi August 1, 2013 at 1:03 am #

    I had a Dhansaak-and-apple-lime-tart meal in a Parsi/Delhiite home a few years ago. I wish I still lived in Bangalore to go visit those friends and gorge on Parsi food every few days.

  11. Orange Jammies August 5, 2013 at 3:41 pm #

    Pallavi: Okay, so now I’m confused. The Delhi friends are not the same as the Bangalore friends, but both are Parsi? Or they moved and you did too? And what is apple lime tart? 😕

  12. Cassie V. Whitney August 9, 2013 at 3:33 pm #

    The French are famous for their tarte au Citron , but it’s hard to find one a tarte that’s very tart. Jacques Genin , who makes a pretty zippy one, is considered one of the best of the lot in Paris. And he uses limes.

  13. Orange Jammies August 19, 2013 at 11:58 am #

    Cassie: The tart factor can be upped by increasing the quantity of juice and zest and holding back on the condensed milk a bit.

Here's a bar of chocolate. Now talk to me. :)

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