King of Sour

When Mr. N was less than one year’s old, he tried his first taste of lemon. He put a lemon wedge up to his lips. His first reaction was much as you’d suspect. He cringed, shivered and sat wide-eyed staring at the little yellow wedge. Then, he put it right back up to his lips and went to town. From that day on, Mr. N has loved all things sour and even crowned himself “king of sour” when he was about three (and still sucking on lemons!).

Well, even though Mr. N is a far cry from three years old, he’s still our “king of sour.” That’s why it didn’t come as a huge surprise that he picked the Lemon, Lime and Orange Tart for his “blue ribbon” Illinois State Fair recipe.

We kept to the blue ribbon recipe for the custard, but adapted the crust quite a bit. The original recipe calls for the use of 33 shortbread cookies to be used in the crust. While that does sound very tasty, we opted for a slightly more nutritious version utilizing almond meal. For you long-time readers, you may recall we used this crust to make our Key Lime Pie last year.

We mixed together almond meal, butter and sugar as well as a few of the blue ribbon ingredients including sweetened shredded coconut and orange zest.

We pressed it into our tart pan (with a removable bottom) and baked it at 350F for about 10 minutes.

While the tart crust cooled, we prepared the custard filling. Talk about citrus love! In addition to the sour cream, four eggs, butter, sugar and cornstarch, this tart has lots and lots of juice from not just oranges, but also lemons and limes.

And let’s not forget the zest from all those oranges, lemons and limes!

We whisked everything together to form the custard. The ingredients do say that it will appear to look curdled.

We then poured it onto the cooled crust and placed it on a cookie sheet to bake at 350F for 35 minutes.

Once the custard set, we removed the tart from the oven and let it cool for five minutes before piping it with a mixture of sour cream and sugar. Once decorated we returned it to the oven and baked it another five minutes.

Finally, we let the tart cool completely and refrigerated it. We later served the much anticipated sour tart for dessert. Mr. N got to taste the first bite.

He absolutely loved it. It was a definite 4 spoons for the “king of sour.” Even Miss A enjoyed it and actually cleaned her plate. It was 4 spoons for her too.

As for Mike and I, well, we weren’t quite as excited as the kids. It was ok. It all worked. It just wasn’t the intense citrus flavor we were expecting while we were making it.

I think the sour cream detracted from the citrus flavors, and the coconut just didn’t work for us either. While we were thrilled that Mr. N and Miss A enjoyed dessert, Mike and I each gave the tart 2.5 spoons.

Next time, I think we’ll skip the coconut and go for a more traditional pastry tart crust. I would also up the number of eggs and eliminate the sour cream. Oh, who am I kidding, next time I’ll just make these. Truthfully, the Europane lemon bars are likely the reason no other citrus or lemon bar will ever do. They hooked me like no other has and like I believe no other ever will again.

So while our blue ribbon dessert didn’t exactly ring in top marks all around, the trip, the fun and the memories took the ultimate prize. And for those of you interested in an Illinois recipe that did get high marks from Mike and I, you can revisit this one. Or just make the Cuban because really that’s what I’m still thinking about.

We’ll be back in about a week with one of our all-time favorites. It’s a date night specialty and perfect for a birthday celebration (or any celebration in which you really want to over-indulge). Until then, we’ll be popping in your blogs as we can and promise to catch up soon. And then of course, we’ll be back with a few pics from what we’ve been up to these past few days and return to our Cuban cuisine!

Print this recipe: Citrus Tart

46 thoughts on “King of Sour

  1. cakewhiz says:

    i enjoy tangy desserts everyonce in a while and i think your tart looks fab! maybe a few tweaks will give you guys the results you were looking for. it’s always fun to experiment with recipes 🙂


  2. Eva Taylor says:

    I was sure I had left a comment yesterday, but then again, I might have been multi-tasking again! I adore all things lemony, in fact, I would eat lemons and limes fresh (particularly good to curb a hunger or craving). I love all the rind in this recipe, it would add such freshness. It looks wonderful even though it didn’t meet your expectations.


      • Eva Taylor says:

        It does for me…the strong lemon or lime acidity and flavour just stops my cravings in their tracks likely because they contain very little sugars (it’s the sugars, natural or artificial sweeteners (and carbs that turn into sugars) that really promote cravings).


  3. Sawsan@ Chef in disguise says:

    My daughter is exactly the same! she loves sour! I mean I love anything lemony but she even surprises me sometims!
    I was really excited about this one as I was reading through. It seemed like a great dessert but I guess maybe it needs a few tweaks to live up to the expectations


  4. Nami | Just One Cookbook says:

    What a fun post – From the crust to the filing… I was interested to know how it is like. I’m glad to hear that Mr. N and Miss A enjoyed this. After spending much time and effort of course they should be the one giving 4 spoons and not the other way around. 🙂 Oh what have you been up to? Looking forward to know, and I really wished that coconut and orange zest in the crust worked – I love coconut. I thought that’s really unique crust. 🙂


    • Kristy says:

      I honestly think the coconut would work better if it was chopped up or pulsed in a food processor first. I think it was a texture thing more than a taste thing for Mike and I. 🙂 We’ll be back soon with highlights from our latest adventures. 🙂


  5. Three Well Beings says:

    I really think the recipe as stands would be a winner with me. I love citrus, but don’t need it too tart. And the sour cream would be a consistency I’d like, too. The crust is perfect, also and I crave coconut! So I’m in! 🙂 I’m amazed at Mr. N’s ability to tolerate the sour like that. I’m glad he went for the lemon! And the lemon bars from Rufus? I live in the Pasadena area and don’t know that bakery. Maybe I don’t need to know! Debra


  6. Kelly @ Inspired Edibles says:

    I’m surprised this one wasn’t a bigger hit… interesting what you say about the sour cream diminishing the tartness of the citrus… I may just have to give this one a try with a few modifications because, (and please share with Mr. N), citrus desserts are my *all time favourite*. This, coming from an avowed chocolate lover, is huge!! :).


  7. lulu says:

    What is it about sour that is so appealing to young children! As for me, I like it in your tart and I’m thinking I would like the coconut as it is a favorite of mine. Funny how tastes differ.


  8. sallybr says:

    Alex, the youngest stepson LOVES sour, he was also a King of Sour of sorts. His favorite thing was to give me American candy (which I did not know, having not grown up in this country), saying that they were very sweet – and I would pretend to fall for it, knowing what wuold be waiting for me. I remember one day I almost died when he gave me some Sour Patch Kids (I think that was the name) – they were coated in some citric acid powder. Tears didn’t stop flowing for a while… .;-)
    Fun times

    have a great week, and I look forward to your report on your adventures!


    • Kristy says:

      Oh Sour Patch Kids! Those are one of my favorites! I used to eat them at the movies. The more puckered they’d get me the better. (Perhaps this is where Mr. N gets it from!) Love that you pretended to be tricked with the candy too. Priceless memories Sally!


  9. Charles says:

    Mmmm, I love the tart flavour of lemon in things, but my lips are puckering at your recounting of the tale of Mr N. trying lemon for the first time. I can’t wait until William can try some lemon – I’ll be recording that event and posting it on my blog for sure! 😀

    Love the look of the tart – with the coconut I think I’d be all over that, but sorry it didn’t turn out quite as you were hoping. It looks delicious nevertheless! I should really make more lemon tarts to be honest… don’t make nearly enough!


    • Kristy says:

      I’m with you – I should make lemon tarts way more often than I do. They are too good not to! And you’ll definitely have to capture William’s first taste of lemon. I wish I had Mr. N on camera with that. 🙂


  10. ChgoJohn says:

    Judging by your ingredients, I would have expected you to be all puckered out (Sorry!) from this tart. To read that you Chefs each gave it a 2.5 Spoon rating was a surprise. I’m with you on the coconut. I like it but only sparingly and would prefer this tart without it.
    Now, “The King of Sour”? Priceless. 🙂


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