Lime-Pistachio Tart

Creamy meets crunchy when a layer of velvety lime-flavored mascarpone-ricotta mousse and tart lime curd come together in a rustic pistachio shell. It may look like a cheesecake, but it is lighter and airier -- a fitting finale to a spring get-together. Indeed, the green zest garnish lends itself quite nicely to a Saint Patrick's Day meal.

  • Servings: 12
Lime-Pistachio Tart

Photography: Yunhee Kim

Source: Martha Stewart Living, March Spring 2007


For the Dough

  • 1 cup shelled raw unsalted pistachios, half coarsely ground and half finely ground
  • 1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting
  • 3/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon confectioners' sugar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons coarse salt
  • 1 tablespoon finely grated lime zest (about 2 limes)
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) cold unsalted butter, cut into 1/4-inch pieces
  • 1 large egg yolk plus 1 large egg

For the Filling

  • 1 cup whole-milk ricotta cheese
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 20 large egg yolks plus 2 large eggs
  • 6 tablespoons finely grated lime zest, plus more for garnish, plus 2 cups fresh lime juice (about 12 limes)
  • 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
  • 1 3/4 cups mascarpone cheese


  1. Make the dough: Whisk together nuts, flour, sugar, salt, and lime zest in a large bowl. Using your fingertips, work in butter until the largest pieces are the size of peas; make a well in center. Whisk yolk and egg in a small bowl, and pour into well. Gradually draw flour mixture into center, kneading until combined. Shape dough into a disk. Wrap in plastic, and refrigerate overnight (up to 3 days).

  2. Start the filling: Place ricotta in a sieve lined with cheesecloth, and set over a bowl. Cover, and refrigerate overnight.

  3. Prepare an ice-water bath; set aside. Whisk sugar, yolks, and eggs in a large heatproof bowl. Whisk in lime zest and juice. Set bowl over a pan of simmering water. Cook, whisking occasionally, until thick, about 30 minutes.

  4. Remove from heat. Add butter, a few pieces at a time, whisking until smooth after each addition. Pour through a fine sieve into a bowl set in ice-water bath. Place plastic wrap directly on surface of lime curd. Let cool. Refrigerate overnight (up to 3 days).

  5. Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Let dough come to room temperature; roll out on a lightly floured surface to 1/4 inch thick. Fit dough into a 10-by-3-inch springform pan, pressing and patching so that dough reaches 2 inches up sides of pan. Line with parchment; fill with pie weights or dried beans. Chill in freezer 15 minutes.

  6. Bake crust 30 minutes. Remove pie weights and parchment. Bake until edge of crust is golden brown and inside is pale golden brown, 15 to 18 minutes. Let cool slightly on a wire rack. Remove sides from pan; and transfer crust to rack to cool completely.

  7. Assemble tart: Spread 2 1/2 cups lime curd over crust. Put ricotta and mascarpone into the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment. Beat on high speed until thick, about 5 minutes. Reduce speed to low. Beat in remaining lime curd. Raise speed to high, and beat 3 minutes. Pour over lime curd in crust, spreading evenly with an offset spatula; gently shake to remove any air bubbles. Refrigerate, uncovered, overnight. Garnish with zest before serving.

Cook's Notes

Start preparing this dessert at least two days before you plan to serve it. You can prepare the curd and crust dough up to 3 days in advance. The day before serving, bake the crust, top with the lime curd and the mascarpone-ricotta filling, and refrigerate. Pull it out of the fridge come dessert time.


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