makrut lime leaf scented blueberry and lemon curd tart


Nik Sharma

Hey Friends, I’m a multi-award-winning and best-selling cookbook author and photographer.

You might have seen this tart if you saw my Instagram Stories episode last week. While it is well documented that I can eat lemon curd at any time of the year, I particularly it on a hot day for its cooling qualities; the idea behind this particular tart arose from a need to get rid of a few things in my refrigerator. Sure, a couple of lemons, but there was also a bunch of makrut lime leaves, a bag of frozen blueberries, and a bit of leftover almond flour. This turned out to be a rather tasty way to do this. The tart is part flour, part nut, which creates a good balance of taste and texture. Of course, if you have fresh blueberries, they work great here too. 

A tip when working with markut lime leaves, wash them under cold water and then wipe them with clean paper towels to get rid of any dirt they might have collected. 

Food52: I got to write about one of my favorite getaway spots outside the San Francisco Bay Area, Tomales Bay. I strongly recommend taking a trip if you can. 

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makrut lime leaf scented blueberry and lemon curd tart

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I love the sweet and tangy nature of citrus curds and can eat them year-round. This blueberry lemon curd tart is delightfully full of the bold, bright flavors of lemons, but it also gets an extra layer of aroma from the Thai makrut lime leaves, which are infused into the blueberry topping and the lemon curd. It’s a fruit and citrus lover’s dream come true. The crust will be slightly blonde because it’s made with nuts and won’t brown as deep as the ones made with all-purpose flour.

The nut crust is adapted from Pies and Tarts, CIA, Kristina Peterson Migoya, 2014)

  • Yield: One round 9 in/23 cm tart


For the Tart

2 oz/55 g unsalted butter plus extra for greasing the tart pan

3/4 cups/105 g all-purpose flour plus a little extra for dusting the pan

1/4 cup/50 g sugar

1 large egg, lightly beaten

1 tsp lemon zest or almond extract

1/4 tsp fine sea salt

1 cup/100 g almond flour

For the Blueberry Makrut Lime Leaf Topping (makes about 1 cup/240 g)

1 1/2 cups/210 g fresh or frozen blueberries

2 Tbsp sugar

12 markut or Thai lime leaves

1 Tbsp cornstarch

For the Lemon Curd Infused with Makrut Lime Leaves (makes about 1 1/4 cups/300 ml)

2 oz/55 g unsalted butter, softened to room temperature

3/4 cup/150 g sugar

6 large egg yolks

12 large makrut lime leaves

1 tsp lemon zest

3/8 cup/90 ml fresh lemon juice

1/4 tsp fine sea salt


For the Tart

  1. Grease a 9 in/23 cm tart pan with melted butter using a pastry brush, then dust it with a little flour.
  2. Add the butter and sugar to the bowl of a stand mixer, and using the paddle attachment, combine on medium speed for about 5 minutes. Scrape the sides of the bowl with a spatula as needed. Continue to mix on medium speed for an additional 5 minutes until the pale white in color and light and fluffy. Stop the mixer and scrape the sides of the bowl as needed during mixing.
  3. In a small bowl, whisk the egg and lemon zest and add it to the creamed butter and sugar in the bowl; mix on low speed until combined for about 2 to 3 minutes until smooth and blended.
  4. Add the flour and salt and mix on low speed, scraping the sides of the bowl as needed. Then add the almond flour in a steady stream and mix for 1 minute until combined. Scrape the sides of the bowl to bring the dough together, and then use this dough to line the greased tart pan. Wrap the tart pan with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least one hour. You can also freeze this overnight.

For the Blueberry Makrut Lime Leaf Topping

  1. Place the blueberries and sugar in a medium non-reactive stainless steel saucepan. Bruise the markut leaves with the flat edge of a knife’s blade and add it with the cornstarch to the berries in the saucepan.
  2. Cook over medium-high heat, stirring with a silicone spatula until the mixture thickens. This will take about 8 minutes.
  3. Remove from heat and transfer to a container or bowl. Cover with a lid or plastic wrap and leave in the refrigerator for at least 2 hours to infuse, preferably overnight.  When ready to use, remove and discard the makrut lime leaves.

For the Lemon Curd Infused Makrut Lime Leaves

  1. Prepare the curd. Add the butter and sugar to the yolks in a medium thick-bottomed stainless steel saucepan. Bruise the markut leaves with the flat edge of a knife’s blade and add it with the lemon zest, lemon juice, and salt and whisk until combined. Then cook the contents of the saucepan over medium-low heat until the mixture starts to thicken at around 160F/70C and form a thick custardlike consistency; the mixture should be able to coat the back of a spoon and leave a trail when you run your finger through it. Do not let it boil, or it will curdle. Remove immediately from heat and let it sit covered for 30 minutes. Remove and discard the markut lime leaves before using the curd in the tart.

Assembling the Tart

  1. Next, bake the tart shell. Preheat the oven to 375F /190C.
  2. Place the prepared tart shell on a baking sheet. Blind bake the tart shell using pie beads or dried beans for about 10 minutes in the preheated oven for about 8 minutes. Remove from oven and remove the pie beads. Add the lemon curd and rotate the baking sheet to ensure the curd spreads out evenly. Return the filled tart shell to the oven and bake for an additional 10 minutes until the curd has almost set on the edges but slightly jiggles in the center and the edges of the crust are golden brown. Remove the tart shell from the oven and allow to cool completely to room temperature.
  3. Top the surface of the tart with the blueberry topping (recipe above) and refrigerate for at least 1 hour before releasing the tart from the pan and serving.


  • How to Blind Bake a Pie/Tart Shell
    • Prick the surface of the dough with a fork all over to prevent the dough from rising unevenly as it bakes.
    • Place a piece of parchment paper over the uncooked pastry and fill it with ceramic pie beads or dried beans. These act like weights and also prevent the pastry from rising.
    • Once the pastry is weighed down with the pie beads in the pan, place it in the oven and bake it (350F/180C is most common, with chocolate or cocoa-based crusts, I use 325F/165F). Typically, blind baking takes about 10 minutes. Remove the pan from the oven and lift the pie beads using the parchment paper. Then add your filling, return the pan to the oven, and bake as the recipe suggests.
    • To prevent the crust from scorching and overbaking on the sides, I line the sides with foil and then remove it after blind baking.
  • When lining the dough onto the tart pan, you can get a smoother finish by placing a sheet of plastic wrap or parchment paper over the dough and then pressing it down using a small flat bowl to help spread the dough to cover the pan.

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