Hiii I'm just popping in to share this recipe quickly! I made these the longest time ago, shot and edited the photos, posted on IG and promised the recipe, then promptly forgot about the whole thing. Soz.
These came about after I saw Edd making lemon cream on his stories to put in some beautiful wee lemon tarts, and because I suffer from intense internet fomo, I had to try it myself immediately. I wasn't doing food things when lemon cream broke the internet a few years ago, so like most things, I am very late to the party (the article I got the recipe from was written in 2012, lololol), but I'm gonna give you this recipe anyway.
Lemon cream (or in this case, lime cream), is a crazy wee thing. It is essentially a curd, but with a slightly different process. Instead of putting everything in a pan at the beginning and cooking until thick, you heat all of the ingredients, apart from the butter to a certain temp, then let it cool slightly, before emulsifying the butter in with an immersion blender. The result is this insanely creamy, thick cream (hence the name), which is as punchy as curd, but has enough structure to use as a filling or frosting, or spooned directly into your mouth (apparantely, anyway). I'm not sure I'm going to be able to go back to regular curd after this. Cream definitely is more labour intensive, but it is 100 times worth it.
Seeing as I had a beautiful punchy filling, I wanted to keep the biscuit component of this simple. I went for a quick and easy shortbread, adapted from Helen Goh and Ottolenghi's book Sweet, which is one of my faves. The shortbread has a hint of lime, and the taste of pistachio compliments the filling perfectly.
A few wee tips:
Make the Lime Cream the day before to give it time to thicken. The dough needs an overnight rest in the fridge too!
The Lime cream takes a while. Make sure you bring it right up to 180˚f / 80˚c. This will make sure that it is thick enough so that when it cools, it gets super thick.
That being said, it will look super sloppy when you finish emulsifying the butter. Don't worry - just bang it in the fridge overnight, and it will thicken nicely!
These are best eaten the day of, but leftovers keep well separately, so just assemble just before you eat! I ended up eating them a bit like chips and dip toward the end - using the cookie as a scoop. Tragic but delicious. Would definitely recommend.
If you don't have a sugar thermometer, you should get one asap! I have a digital one with an alarm that I love!
The cookies will probably have a 'right' side and a 'wrong' (bottom) side when they are done - make sure that you have both the right sides facing out when you sandwich the cookies, so their bottoms are facing inward and you have the pretty tops facing out!
Lime and Pistachio Shortbread Sandwich Cookies with Lime Cream
- Makes about 20 Sandwich Cookies -
150ml lime juice (1/2 cup plus 2 Tbsp)
3 large egg yolks
2 large eggs
150g (3/4 cup) sugar
225g (2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
Lime and Pistachio Shortbread Cookies
185g unsalted butter, at room temperature
zest of 3 limes
2 egg yolks
1 tsp vanilla bean paste
50g unsalted pistachios, finely ground
250g all-purpose flour
1/4 tsp salt
- PROCESS -
Create a 'double boiler' by placing a medium pot of water over a medium heat, and bringing to a simmer. Place a heatproof glass or stainless steel bowl over the pot, making sure that the bowl does NOT touch the water.
Combine the lime juice, egg yolks, eggs, sugar, and salt in the heatproof bowl, whisking together immediately to stop the sugar from cooking the egg yolks.
Cook the mixture, whisking constantly, until it reaches 180˚f / 80˚c. This may take some time (approx 15 minutes). Be patient, and make sure you do bring it right up to the required temperature.
Remove the bowl from the heat, and set aside, whisking occasionally, until the mixture is 140˚f / 60˚c. Strain through a sieve into a clean mixing bowl. Add the butter, a chunk at a time, blending well with an immersion blender until completely combined before adding the next chunk. Alternatively you can do this in a blender. The cream should be pale and thick by the time you are finished.
Transfer to an airtight container, press a piece of plastic wrap onto the surface of the cream, and cover. Refrigerate overnight, or until ready to use.
LIME AND PISTACHIO SHORTBREAD
In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the butter, sugar, and lime zest until pale and creamy, 2 to 3 minutes. Add the egg yolks and vanilla, and beat until combined. Add the ground pistachios, and mix until incorporated. Add the flour and salt, and mix briefly until a dough forms.
Turn the dough out onto a piece of plastic wrap, and shape into a rough rectangle. Wrap tightly, and refrigerate overnight.
When you are ready to bake, preheat the oven to 350˚f / 180˚c. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper. Remove the dough from the fridge, and allow to stand for 5-10 minutes in order for it to be easier to roll. Divide the dough in two, and roll out to approx 1/4" or 5mm thick. Cut out 2.5" circles, and arrange on the baking sheets. Re-roll scraps to cut out extra cookies.
Bake the cookies for 10-12 minutes, or until set and the edges are beginning to go golden. I tend to do one sheet at a time because my oven can only handle that, but if yours can do two, then you can bake both at once - you may have to adjust the baking time slightly, and rotate the pans half way through.
Let the cookies cool for 10 minutes on the baking sheet, before removing to a cooling rack and allowing to cool completely.
Match up the cookies into equal sized pairs.
Place the cream into a piping bag fitted with a large round tip (alternatively you can use an offset spatula to spread the cream).
Pipe a blob of lemon cream onto the bottom of one cookie, and sandwich with a second cookie.