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Sally Scarborough
25 November 2014 | Sally Scarborough

Home Grown Recipe: Lime & Vanilla Bean Tart

Merralea Scarborough is the queen of desserts, and she churns out this classic with ease every single time. Interchange the lemons for limes for a more piquant flavour. The delicate, light nature of this tart makes it the perfect summer dessert.


180g butter, softened

75g icing sugar

2 egg yolks

1 tbsp cold water

250g plain flour


 6 eggs

 200g sugar

 finely grated zest of 2 limes

1 vanilla bean, seeds scraped 

200ml lime juice (about 3 limes) 

200ml thickened cream


For Pastry, place butter in an electric mixer and beat until smooth but not over-mixed. Add icing sugar and mix until just combined. In a separate bowl, mix egg yolks and water, then pour bit by bit into butter mixture. Add flour and mix until just combined and crumbly.

Turn pastry onto bench. Using heel of your hand, knead just enough to bring it together. Divide pastry into two discs, cover each in cling wrap and refrigerate until thoroughly chilled.

Roll pastry out to 5mm thickness and line a greased tart tin. Blind-bake tart shell at 180C for about 20 minutes, until golden and cooked through.

For Filling, preheat oven to 120C. In a bowl, whisk together eggs, sugar, lime zest and vanilla seeds. Stir in lime juice, then cream. Strain filling into a jug through a fine sieve. 

Place cooked tart base in oven, then pour in custard, filling case to brim. Cook for about 20 minutes, checking occasionally by gently knocking or shaking tray to check whether filling has set. Be vigilant, for once it sets it will very quickly overcook and curdle if not removed. Serve with a glass of Scarborough Late Harvest Semillon.

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Home Grown Recipe: Lime & Vanilla Bean Tart