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Flour Girl: Green-on-Green Tart

There's avocado in here, too. (Julia Ewan -- The Washington Post)

Another baked treat, another use for the ol’ avocado: If you liked the recipes for chocolate cupcakes and coffee cake , wait till you try this one. It’s a stunner; easy to do (and eaten in a matter of minutes by my co-workers, most of whom were unaware of its “secret” ingredient).

I had named it Key Lime Tart, until Editor Joe rightly pointed out that no Key limes were used. This is a distinction worth noting. Their juice has a slightly sweeter flavor. I would have used it if the fruit were in season. But I prefer the zingy taste of freshly squeezed juice to bottled Key lime juice, so I’ve used regular limes here instead.

The filling is no-bake. The acid in the lime juice reacts with the sweetened condensed milk, causing it to thicken to just the right consistency. (Interestingly, the same thing happens when a can of SCM is combined with a box of fruit-flavored Jell-O).

If you don’t want to heat up the kitchen or just don’t have time, use a pre-made graham cracker crust instead of baking one and call it a day. The filling will be more like a deep-dish pie than a tart, but it still works. The recipe is after the jump.

-- Leigh Lambert

Green-on-Green Tart
Makes one 12-inch tart (12 servings)

MAKE AHEAD: The dough for the crust needs to be chilled for 2 hours. The tart can be assembled a day in advance.

For the crust
2 1/2 cups flour, plus more for the work surface
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup sugar
4 large egg yolks
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
12 tablespoons (1 1/2 sticks) cold unsalted butter, cut into small pieces

For the filling
14 ounces sweetened condensed milk
Flesh of 1 ripe avocado, cut into chunks
Juice and finely grated zest of 4 limes (about 1/2 cup of juice and 1/4 cup of zest)
Pinch fine sea salt

For assembly
6 kiwis, peeled and cut crosswise into thin slices

For the crust: Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Have ready a 12-inch tart pan with a removable bottom. Lightly flour a work surface.

Combine the salt, sugar, egg yolks, vanilla extract and butter in the bowl of a food processor. Process using four rapid (one-second) pulses. Add the 2 1/2 cups of flour and process with six to eight rapid pulses, until a dough forms and clumps together in large crumbs, but doesn't merge into a ball. Turn out onto the prepared work surface.

Gather the crumbs into a mound. Use the heel of your hand to work small portions of the dough into the work surface, pushing away from you so the dough is smeared across the work surface. When the pieces of dough are pliable and can be peeled away from the surface, press in to a disc. Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for about 2 hours, until firm.

When the dough is properly chilled, lightly flour a work surface or line the surface with overlapping pieces of plastic wrap large enough to accommodate a 14-inch round.

Roll out the dough to a 14-inch round. Transfer to the tart pan and press it in, using the plastic wrap or parchment paper to help do so, if needed. If the dough tears, use your fingers to repair it. Use a fork to prick the bottom of the dough. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes, until golden brown. Transfer the pan to a wire rack; cool completely.

While the crust is cooling, make the filling: Combine the sweetened condensed milk, avocado, lime juice, lime zest and sea salt in a blender. Blend on high until fully incorporated and smooth. Pour into the baked crust (still in the pan).

Cover the tart loosely with aluminum foil, but be careful not to let the foil touch the filling. Chill for at least 1 hour.

For assembly: Remove the tart from the pan. Arrange the kiwi slices on top of the tart. Serve chilled.

By Leigh Lambert  |  May 14, 2009; 7:15 AM ET
Categories:  Flour Girl , Recipes  | Tags: Flour Girl, Leigh Lambert, avocado  
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What is the purpose of baking sweets with avocado? Does it add something particularly flavorful, nutritius or substitute for other fat, or is it a gimmick?

Posted by: NewtonMom | May 14, 2009 9:56 AM | Report abuse

Leigh's on her honeymoon, so I'll answer. There are a few reasons. Leigh started playing around with avocado because she often has them around the house, and as with bananas and banana bread, she wanted to use them up in a baked good, because she loves baking so much. If you're vegan, avocado can often substitute for dairy fat, such as butter. (That's the case with the Chocolate-Avocado Cupcakes from one of her earlier posts.) Avocado is more healthful than butter, containing monounsaturated fats, the good kind that can help lower cholesterol levels. The taste is mild, but the benefits are many.

Posted by: Joe Yonan | May 14, 2009 11:13 AM | Report abuse

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