With a silky, tangy lime curd filling and billows of whipped cream all wrapped up in a delicate buttery crust, this gluten free lime curd tart will make all your citrus dreams come true. Originally published in GFF: Gluten Free Forever Magazine.
It's March 14th aka 3.14 aka Pi(e) Day! So naturally I'm sharing a tart because I'm a rebel. Just kidding. Pies and tarts are nearly the same thing except that tarts are better because they're French. Seriously though, you could just as soon assemble this goodness in a pie pan and call it a gluten free lime pie.
I originally created this tart for my Alternative Baking column in GFF Magazine last spring. I loved it so much, I wanted to share it here as well!
Lime Curd Tart Vs. Key Lime Pie
Traditionally, American-style key lime pies are made with store bought graham crackers ground and mixed with butter to form a crust. The filling is comprised of raw egg yolks, sweetened condensed milk, and juice from key limes. The acidic lime juice works with the egg and dairy proteins to gel the mixture into a sliceable filling.
If you're wondering about the difference between key limes and regular limes, key limes are smaller and sweeter than their larger yellow-green cousins more commonly found in stores. But the two can mostly be used interchangeably.
This tart on the other hand is made from whole ingredients. It's more similar to a French lemon tart or tarte aux citrons. Unlike American lime pie, there’s no sweetened condensed milk or raw eggs here, just a shortbread-like crust filled with a cooked lime curd. It still has the satisfying creamy/tangy/sweet qualities of beloved key lime pie, but a bit more wholesome. And while it looks fancy, each element is simple to prepare.
Gluten Free Almond Flour Tart Crust
I was tired of making traditional tart crusts that required softening butter, chilling and rolling out dough, and baking with pie weights. So I developed this easy, gluten free, press-in version.
Just rub cold butter into a mixture of almond, oat, sweet rice, and tapioca flours flavored with sugar, salt, and vanilla, and press the crumbles into your pan. After a quick freeze, the crust bakes easily, no pie weights needed. Press the warm, baked crust down with the back of spoon to make it sturdier to cut, and you're done!
I tested many versions of this crust before I landed on this mix of flours. The almond flour helps the crust hold together thanks to its high protein content, and its fiber and healthy fats give it a nutty flavor and delicate texture. Oat flour adds an earthy taste while sticky sweet rice and tapioca flours help hold the ingredients together, no gums required.
The crust tastes like delicate, nutty shortbread cookies, crumbling softly against softly set lime curd filling. A good hit of salt makes it completely addictive.
Once you've mastered this gluten free tart crust, here are more recipes to make with it:
- baked raspberry mascarpone tart
- pomegranate lemon hibiscus tart
- vegan ginger fig tart (chestnut flour crust variation)
- citrus ricotta tart (corn flour crust variation)
- vegan chocolate tahini tart (cocoa crust variation)
- pear custard tart (cocoa crust variation)
- vegan chocolate cream tart (cocoa crust variation)
- Find loads more gluten free tart recipes in my book Alternative Baker!
Lime Curd Filling
Are toe-curlingly tart desserts your jam? Then you'll love this silky soft lime curd filling loaded with lime zest and juice. I add just enough sugar to offset the sour, a modest number of eggs to help the curd set, and a whole stick of butter which gives the curd a soft set with lots of body.
Temperature is the name of the game when making any fruit curd. Be sure to follow the instructions and keep the temperature low enough to slowly and gently cook the eggs. Your patience will be rewarded with a smooth filling that bursts with the sweet, floral flavors of lime.
Whipped Cream Topping
A generous dollop of softly whipped cream finishes off this gluten free lime curd tart. The mild cream helps smooth out any rough edges, offsetting the tangy curd and nutty crust. Decorate with a dusting of lime zest for a fresh finish and enjoy!
Styling inspiration from BBC Food.
More Tart Recipes:
- Gluten-Free Lemon Tart
- Gluten Free Lemon Bars
- Lemon Pomegranate Tart (gluten-free)
- No-Bake Lemon Tart (vegan, grain-free)
- Blood Orange Tart (gluten-free option)
- Apple Quince Tart with Gluten-Free Buckwheat Crust
- Apricot Crème Fraîche Tart with Honey and Pistachios
- Rustic Citrus Almond Tart
- Almond Plum Tart with Cardamom Ice Cream
- Pink Pearl Apple Custard Tart
*Bojon appétit! For more Bojon Gourmet in your life, follow along on Instagram, Facebook, or Pinterest, purchase my gluten-free cookbook Alternative Baker, or subscribe to receive new posts via email. And if you make this gluten free lime curd tart, I’d love to see. Tag your Instagram snaps @The_Bojon_Gourmet and #bojongourmet.*
Gluten Free Lime Curd TartPrint Recipe Pin Recipe
- 1/2 cup (60 g) blanched almond flour (such as Bob’s Red Mill)
- 1/2 cup (80 g) sweet white rice flour (such as Koda Farms Mochiko)
- ½ cup (45 g) GF oat flour (such as Bob's Red Mill)
- 2 tablespoons (12 g) tapioca flour
- 1/4 cup (50 g) organic granulated cane sugar
- 1/4 teaspoon plus 1⁄8 teaspoon fine sea salt
- 6 tablespoons (85 g) cold, unsalted butter, diced into 1⁄2-inch cubes
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 8 tablespoons (113 g) cool, unsalted butter, in ½-inch dice
- 1 cup (200 g) organic granulated sugar
- pinch salt
- finely grated zest from 2 large limes, plus more for finishing
- 3 large eggs
- 2 large egg yolks
- ¾ cup (175 ml) fresh, strained lime juice (from about 5 large, juicy limes)
- lightly sweetened whipped cream, for serving
- finely grated lime zest, for serving
Make the crust:
- Position a rack in the center of the oven and preheat to 350ºF.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, combine the almond, sweet rice, and oat flours with the tapioca starch, sugar and salt. Scatter the butter pieces over the top and drizzle with the vanilla extract. Turn the mixer to medium-low and run until the dough comes together in moist clumps and the butter is worked through, 3–5 minutes. (Alternatively, pulse the ingredients together in a food processor or rub the butter in with your fingertips.)
- Dump about half of the crumbs into a 9-inch loose bottom tart pan and press the dough evenly into the sides of the pan. Add the remaining crumbs and press them into the bottom, keeping the edges square. (It takes about 10 minutes to make it look pretty.) Freeze until firm, 15–30 minutes.
- Place the tart pan on a rimmed baking sheet and bake until golden all over, 20-30 minutes. Remove the crust from the oven and, while it’s still hot, press the sides and bottom firmly with the back of a spoon; this will help it hold together when cool. Keep warm.
Meanwhile, make the filling:
- Lower the oven temperature to 325ºF.
- Place the butter in a heatproof bowl or large measuring cup, place a fine-mesh strainer over the top, and set aside.
- In a medium, heavy-bottomed saucepan, whisk together the sugar, salt, lime zest, eggs and egg yolks to combine. Whisk in the lime juice. Place the pot over medium-low heat and cook, stirring constantly with a heatproof silicone spatula, until the mixture thickens enough to coat the back of a wooden spoon and reaches 170ºF on an instant-read thermometer, 5–10 minutes. As you stir, be sure to scrape the entire bottom and corners of the pan, so that the mixture heats as evenly as possible. It will start out thick and cloudy from the undissolved sugar, then will turn thin and translucent, and finally begin to thicken and turn cloudy again as the eggs cook. If the mixture starts to curdle or bubble, immediately remove from the heat and proceed to the next step.
- Immediately pour the curd through the strainer and into the bowl of butter to stop the cooking. Whisk gently to incorporate the butter. Pour the cooked curd over the warm, baked crust.
- Bake the tart at 325ºF until the sides are barely puffed and the center wobbles like firm Jell-O when you give it a gentle shake, 15-25 minutes. It should not be wet or watery looking (underbaked), nor should it be puffed in the center or cracking (overbaked), but a few small bubbles popping around the sides are perfect. Remove the tart from the oven and let cool for about 30 minutes, then chill until firm, 2–3 hours or overnight.
- Remove the tart pan sides by placing the tart atop a large can or small, inverted bowl and gently easing the sides from the tart. Top with whipped cream and lime zest, cut into wedges, and serve.
- The tart is best within the first 2 days of baking when the crust is firm, but keeps well, refrigerated airtight, for up to 3 days.
Claudia | The Brick Kitchen says
This looks so so delicious! I agree with the tarts vs pies, it's funny because in NZ (and Australia) if you say 'pie' most people think of a savoury mince pie, and most sweet desserts in pastry form are called tarts - chocolate, frangipane etc. Traditional fruit pies, or pumpkin pies, just aren't really as much of a thing at all. Tarts also seem waaaay less intimidating to me somehow!
Oh how funny - tarts FTW haha! Thanks for the sweet note. <3
Sara @ Cake Over Steak says
This sounds soooo good and it is GORGEOUS. You really have a way of getting me excited about GF baking. I'll be putting this on my to-make list for the spring, for sure.
Aw thank you Sara - that's so kind of you! I was really pleased with how these pics came out, which was partly why I wanted to share the recipe here. :) Please let me know if you try it!
omg i'm gonna try this tart crust! And I have all of those flours on hand it just so happens lol
Aw yeah!! Let me know how you like it. <3
Sarah @ Snixy Kitchen says
What I wouldn't do for a slice of that right now...I'm all out of cake, now I need tart!
Emma C. says
I made this just for fun yesterday and let me say it is SO good! There were a lot of different steps involved, but I really enjoyed the process and it was well worth it despite my boyfriend asking me when we could eat it several times :) Can't wait to bring the rest of it to my fabric dying class tonight. Additionally, the crust is DELICIOUS and so easy to make. I will be making this treat again!
Wow you've been busy! I'm so glad you liked the tart. This crust is one that I use over and over - I'm glad you enjoyed it too!
I made this and it was amazing! Can’t wait to make something else.
So glad it was a hit!
looks so good! i wish you would post options for substitutions though. as i have so many gf flours and starches, but dont happen to have the sweet rice flour ( i looked for it in stores and couldn't find it ), i also dont happen to have oat flour...
Hm those are the two hardest flours to substitute because of their uniquely sticky and starchy properties. But you can always try a GF all purpose blend in place of any flours in my recipes. I like Bob's Red Mill 1 to 1 which is based on sweet rice flour. In place of oat flour you can try sorghum, though it's more brittle. It might work to use a blend of white rice flour with some tapioca flour (say for every half cup, 6 T rice and 2 T tapioca). These are just guesses. Best to use the weight measurement when swapping flours. Let me know if you experiment!
Hi! Might be a silly question, but can you sub out the butter with vegan butter or any other non-dairy substitute?
Alanna Taylor-Tobin says
That's a great question! I think vegan butter would be the best bet, preferably one with a nice neutral flavor. It's possible that the set will be different depending on how firm the vegan butter is when chilled. Will you let me know which brand you try and how it turns out?