Key Lime Tartlets
Key Lime Tartlets are a delightfully delicious and refreshing way to get a Key Lime pie fix without having to break out the stretchy pants. I remade these tasty citrus tarts for a recent baby shower and they were a delicious contrast to the sweet, creamy mini cheesecakes on my dessert tray.
These Mini Tarts are a nice change of pace from the ubiquitous, yet irresistible lemon bars. Whenever making a variety of mini desserts, something citrus is always welcome. Not everyone is as crazy about chocolate as my family!
Why You Must Make
- Mini desserts are perfect for a dessert buffet! I like something chocolate, something citrus, and something creamy like tiny cheesecakes or puddings.
- These are perfect for Key lime dessert fanatics, especially since they offer built-in portion control.
- They can be easily garnished making them perfect for a party. A dollop of whipped cream with a small wedge or slice of lime is perfect. You can even pipe a swirl of cream to be extra fancy!
My hubby, Bill, does not like limes. He loves lemonade, lemon bars, and lemon meringue pie, but I can’t convince him that lime desserts are just as incredible. So when I first made these individual lime tarts in 2012, I delivered most of them to a neighbor recovering from surgery.
Remembering a splendid key lime pie at one of her dinner parties, I tested out my new (affiliate link) square tart molds and made individual Key lime tartlets for dessert. Squirreling away a couple of these petite lime tarts for our household, they were perfect for an after-dinner indulgence.
- Kitchen Staples – Sugar, Room temperature Eggs, Melted Butter
- Graham Cracker Crumbs – Buy a box of graham cracker crumbs or grind your own by putting quartered graham crackers into a food processor and process until all the pieces are ground into crumbs.
- Sweetened Condensed Milk – 14-ounce can (I use Eagle Brand)
- Key Lime Juice – Bottled or freshly squeezed. Their season is May through August. In a pinch, you can use standard lime juice.
- Key Lime Zest – Always zest before squeezing. It’s nearly impossible to zest a squeezed lime!
- These key lime tartlets were indeed delectable and elegant little nibbles, but a lot of work. Pressing graham cracker crumbs evenly into many tart molds was no simple task. I used a (affiliate link) tassie tamper to assist in the process.
- For this batch, I pressed the graham cracker crumbs only onto the bottom of the tart wells. Thinking this could save some work, they were much more difficult to unmold. In fact, I had to chill them and keep my fingers crossed that the sides would not stick.
- Even though the tart pans are non-stick, spraying them with baking spray like Pam or Baker’s Joy before layering is a good idea!
- PRO-Tip: I recommend pressing the crumbs up the sides of the wells along with the bottoms if you give these individual lime tarts a try. Scroll down below the recipe to see one of the original photos with the crust pressed up the sides (circa 2012).
- PRO-Tip: I used Key limes but standard limes can be substituted. You can try the bottled Key lime juice, but I think fresh lime juice will provide a much tastier result.
- There may be extra crumbs and filling. Make another partial batch or if you own a few small tart pans, use one or two of those to bake larger tarts with the leftovers.
- In a pinch, you can make these in a muffin tin. I’d use cupcake papers in each well for easy removal. The oven temperature should be the same and the timing might be a minute or two more or less depending on your oven.
- Much as I love individual desserts, my next easy key lime pie will be in a 9-inch pie plate!
Frequently Asked Questions
Besides being smaller and yellower in color, Key Limes are less tart and less acidic with floral notes.
Keep your tarts in the refrigerator for 3-4 days. I like to put them in a plastic food storage container with a lid so they don’t get damaged from something else in the refrigerator.
Yes, Key lime pies and tarts freeze well. Freeze overnight, then cover well with plastic wrap. For a pie, you may use toothpicks inserted around the perimeter plus one in the center to keep the plastic off the surface of the filling. For mini tarts, place them in a food storage container with a lid. Keep frozen for 2-3 months. Defrost overnight in the refrigerator before serving.
You May Also Like
If you gravitate to lemon desserts, why not give some lime sweets a try! For key lime desserts, standard Persian limes can be substituted in a pinch. And if you have leftover limes after making these key lime tartlets, there are loads of cocktails, marinades, and sides utilizing lime juice.
- Key Lime Pie Bars
- Honey Lime Fruit Salad
- Caipirinha Cocktail
- Key Lime Pound Cake
- Quinoa Black Bean Salad
- The Best Chicken Marinade
- Key Lime Pie Bars
- More Pies and Tart Recipes
- 8 tablespoons (1 stick) butter, melted
- 1 ½ cups graham cracker crumbs
- 3 tablespoons sugar
- 1 can (14 oz) sweetened condensed milk
- ½ cup bottled or fresh key lime juice
- 1-2 teaspoons key lime or lime zest
- 2 eggs
- Preheat oven to 325º.
- Mix melted butter, graham cracker crumbs, and sugar till well combined.
- Pat crumbs on the bottoms of the openings in a Lift and Serve Tart Squares Pan. The remaining crumbs can be pressed into two 4-inch tart pans.
- Chill for about 10 minutes then bake for 10-15 minutes till just golden. Cool.
- Mix filling ingredients and pour into tart pan openings. Raise oven temperature to 350º.
- Bake for about 12-15 minutes for tarts and 15-20 minutes for pie or till just barely set. Cool to room temperature, then chill before serving.
- Serve with sweetened whip cream and garnish with Key lime slices.
Adapted from my friend, Lisa, of Parsley, Sage, Desserts and Line Drives.
If you don't have access to Key limes, you can make these tarts with standard limes.
Serving Size:1 tartlet
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 85Total Fat: 2gSaturated Fat: 1gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 1gCholesterol: 32mgSodium: 65mgCarbohydrates: 15gFiber: 1gSugar: 8gProtein: 2g
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This recipe was originally shared in May, 2012. Photos and text were updated in 2019.