Friday, July 20, 2012

Citrus Is Sensational For Summer!

How would you like a recipe for the best dessert you'll have all summer? One that is impressive enough for company, but easy enough to whip up just because you're in the mood for something cold, creamy, with a little crunch and full of wonderful citrus flavor? Yes? I thought so!

I acquired this recipe from a caterer that I had the pleasure of working with in Williamsburg, Virgina about 8 years ago. We met by accident (it's a long story, so I'll provide the ultra condensed version) and when she found out I loved hosting parties and was passionate about design, she made a proposition I could not resist. 
Secrets to a great tart!
She was catering a bridal luncheon for the daughter of her client and asked if I thought I could I do the table setting, handle the flowers, and favors? I said yes and she arranged for me to meet her at the residence a few days later-basically to asses my abilities! The housekeeper, of the stunning big old house, led us to the butler's pantry. It was a large butler's pantry with more dishes than I had ever seen outside a store setting. It was spectacularly beautiful and simultaneously utilitarian and the image is still etched in my mind. I perused the options of dishes, linens, crystal and silver and took advantage of the abundant assortment of hydrangea and roses from the expansive garden, then spent the next few hours completing my "interview" for the job.

Catherine and I worked on 2 more parties together for this client and a few others before I moved. I learned so much from her and this recipe is one example. It was love at first bite! And, the fact it can be made ahead-a caterer's secret weapon as well as that of any busy hostess and a working person's saving grace, just added to the perfection. It's been a favorite of the A&A house since I first made it for my family and my son always requests it for his birthday instead of cake. Until now, I have never shared this recipe with even my closet friends. But since blogging and blog friends have been such a treat, I thought this was the perfect way to say thanks for reading and participating in our on-going conversations...especially when my blogging has been so erratic this year!
 I generally use a square tart pan and cut approximately 3x3 slices and often there are requests for another piece!
So if you're serving a crowd or want leftovers, make extra tarts. If you don't have a whip cream dispenser with decorative tips, a big dollop of fresh cream is just fine.

Citrus Tart
2 cups crushed gingersnap cookies (use a brand that you like to eat)
6 tablespoons of melted unsalted butter
3 tablespoons of dark brown sugar
1/4 teaspoon of ground cinnamon
1 (14oz) can of sweetened condensed milk
1/3 cup frozen (no pulp) orange juice concentrate, thawed but icy/cold
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice (do not use bottled)
2 tablespoons of fresh lime juice (optional-I usually omit this)
2 large eggs separated

Stir together the first 4 ingredients and press the mixture with your fingers into the bottom and up the sides of a 9 inch tart pan (it doesn't matter if it's square or round) with a removable bottom. Next, whisk together the condensed milk, OJ, lemon juice and yokes of the eggs together until just blended Then, beat egg whites with an electric mixer on medium speed until stiff. Fold the eggs whites into the juice/milk mixture then pour the filling into the tart (crust) pan. Bake at 325 degrees until filling is set-about 25 minutes. Cool completely on a wire rack then cover with wax paper and chill overnight. Remove bottom of tart pan and form and place on a serving dish. Garnish with fresh (only) whip cream, citrus and mint. ENJOY!!! 


  1. Thank you for sharing, Rebecca! Can't wait to try!

  2. Sounds wonderful! Thanks so much for the recipe. Will be trying this soon. We love ginger snaps around here and I love the idea of using them in a crust paired with orange. Cant' wait to try it!

  3. Consider yourself PINNED!! Omgosh I love lemon and gingersnaps are a favorite of mine with a big glass of ice cold milk. I am going to make this next time I have company! YUM!! Thanks so much for sharing, Have a wonderful weekend,
    xo Kathysue

  4. sounds wonderful, can you give a length of time that you use for baking this, until set is not going to work for me as i always overbake everything:)

  5. Oh wow deeelish! One for the weekend for sure!


  6. I AM SO TRYING THIS! I can almost taste it now (this coming from a key lime taster/conneisseur)....I bet this is DIVINE! Copying it as we speak..what a fun party to have helped out with, sounds like fun fun fun! Have a great weekend.

    1. Tina,
      I love Key lime pie too, but I swear this is better!

  7. Martha,
    Sorry about that, I usually bake about 25 minutes.

  8. the story AND the recipe!! Thanks so much for sharing both!!!

    Hope you're having a wonderful, relaxing and fun filled summer.
    xoxo Elizabeth

  9. i must pass this on to my mom.
    i am getting tired of Lemon Meringue Pie!!

    poor me right??


  10. this sounds wonderful! I cannot wait to try it.....smiles

  11. Oh man, this looks so good. Thank you for sharing the recipe. I think I'll try it with Biscoff cookies instead of ginger snaps for the base.

    1. Hi Brandi,
      Biscoff cookies are great with coffee, but it would be a mistake to substitute them here because it is the combination of the spicy-sweetness of the cookie with the citrus that makes this combo so perfect.

  12. Yum. That sounds divine, Rebecca. Will have to try. Xo. Mona

  13. Hi Rebecca

    Thank you for sharing your "special recipe"

    I love it and will certainly make it.

    Helen xx


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