Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Kiwi Tartlets in Coconut Almond Shells with Lime Whipped Cream

If you couldn't tell, I'm a big fan of Kiwis--the bird, the people, and the fruit. My love affair with the first two began last year during a whirlwind tour of New Zealand. Despite being exhausted from a three and a half week stint in Asia, I found myself immediately enamored with the country's blue and green hues and adventure-laden terrain. I went jet boating and rode a luge; I learned about the Maori and played at the Antarctic Center; I drank a lot of wine and ate a lot of good food. People were always incredibly helpful, and I couldn't get over how hilariously cute the Kiwi birds were. A week was not long enough, and I desperately need to go back. And you need to go, too.

As for the fruit, I can recall when my friend's mother handed me my very first slice of delicious green and seeded tartness around the age of eight. My sweet and sour taste buds fell in love--not because kiwis were good for me, but because they were good. However, after reading about Zespri Kiwifruit and their Kiwi A-Go-Go Bloggers' Contest during the BlogHer Food Pity Party, I am happy to report that, despite what my eight year old self wants to believe, Kiwis are indeed quite good for you. In fact, my dear friend Mr. Kiwi Aotearoa is so proud of being a nutritional powerhouse, that he would like to brag share some fun facts with you. Far be it from me to stand in the way of his final pre-consumption wish...

Now, what fun would this post be if I didn't provide you with a delicious way to eat the highly-nutritional kiwi? I'd be letting you down, wouldn't I? Luckily for you, I have concocted a very special and easy kiwi recipe that highlights their beautiful color, patterns, and taste. I call them Kiwi Tartlets. These, however, are not ordinary tartlets. No, they are not. They boast coconut almond graham cracker shells and are topped with a lime-flavored whipped cream that has kiwi seeds in it. Oh yeah, I went there. I whipped out (and in) the cuteness for you all.

My favorite part about these babies is that the kiwi's true flavor shines through. I added limited sugar, which allows the fruit's natural acidity to take center stage, as opposed to an artificially sweetened version. Who can argue with the beauty of that?

Kiwi Tartlets in Coconut Almond Shells with Lime Whipped Cream
Makes 6

Tart Shells
5/8 cup graham cracker crumbs
3/4 cup sweetened flaked coconut
3/8 cup sliced almonds
1/4 cup sugar
3.5 Tbsp melted butter

7 kiwis
1/4 cup sugar
2 tsp cornstarch
1 Tbsp. water
1 lime

Lime Whipped Cream
1/2 cup heavy cream
3 Tbsp. superfine sugar
1 lime
reserved kiwi seeds

1. In a food processor, blend together all of the dry ingredients for the shells. Once blended, turn processor on low and slowly add butter. Mixture will be slightly damp and resemble sand.

2. Grease a non-stick muffin tin, but do not use papers, as they will soak up the butter from the shells and dry them out.

3. In each well, add approximately 1/4 cup of the mixture. Using your fingers or a spoon, pack into the bottoms and the sides of each well. It may help to lightly oil the spoon or your fingers.

4. Bake shells for 8-10 minutes at 350F, until lightly browned. Remove from oven and let cool thoroughly in the muffin tin. Removing them before they are completely set will cause them to fall apart.

5. When completely cool, remove shells from the muffin tin. A thin, flexible knife may be of use here. At this point, lightly re-grease the muffin tin and place cool shells back in the wells. You do not want to do the second baking outside of the tin, as the shells will lose their shape.

6. While your shells are cooling, peel all of your kiwis. Slice one as thin as you can, reserving 6 slices for the top of each tartlet. Place the rest in a medium-size sauce pan.

7. Take a second kiwi and puree it. Strain through a fine sieve over the sauce pan. Reserve seeds for whipped cream. Alternatively, if you do not want seeds in your whipped cream, skip this step.

8. Add the other kiwis to the sauce pan with the leftovers from steps 6 and 7. Mash with a fork until you produce a chunky consistency. If your kiwis are ripe, this should be easy.

9. Mix cornstarch in water and add to the sauce pan. Then add 1/4 cup sugar, and the juice of 1 lime.

10. Bring kiwi mixture to a boil, lower heat and simmer for 5-6 minutes, stirring constantly. Your filling is done when it's thick and sticks to a spoon. Let cool.

10. When both filling and shells are cool, spoon filling into each shell and nestle in a thin slice of kiwi. Bake at 350F for 5-6 minutes, until the kiwi slices appear to be done. If need be, cover with foil.

11. Allow tarts to cool completely in the tin. If you remember to spray your tin the second time, they should be easy to remove.

12. If making whipped cream, whip the heavy cream, superfine sugar, the juice of 1 lime and the reserved kiwi seeds on high. You may add more lime juice to taste.

13. Top your tartlets with a little whipped cream and some toasted coconut if you're feeling fancy.

Note: Shells will absorb moisture if left in the fridge, so I suggest covered in plastic wrap on a plate left on your counter for no more than 2 days. If you want to make them ahead of time, make the filling (store in fridge) and complete the first baking for the tart shells (store on counter), and about two hours before serving, fill the shells and do the final baking.

DISCLAIMER: No Kiwis--birds or people--were harmed in the making of this post. I can't say the same for the fruit. This, however, is my official entry for the Zespri Kiwi A-Go-Go Bloggers' Contest. Zespri is also holding a non-blog sweepstakes, The Great Kiwi Adventure, in which you can win a trip for 4 to New Zealand. You should enter, 'cause NZ is awesome and there is no purchase necessary.

Photo of Kiwi bird at top is credited to and properly licensed from Mario Alberto Magallanes Trejo.


sara @ CaffeIna said...

I am not a big kiwi eater but after having read this post I decided I have to listen to Mr Kiwi Aotearoa. Plus, anything put in form of tartlets is addictive to me so you really sold me these ones :)

Julie M. said...

How creative! I love your smiling kiwi as well. Good luck in the contest!

gringarl said...

Tho I'm not a big kiwi fan I love your tartlets, they look so adorable

Sommer J said...

Looks absolutely gorgeous! Love the almonds and coconut along with the graham cracker used in the tart shells. I can imagine how well all of those flavors go together as well as the kiwi filling. Man, forget about imagining, I will bookmark this and make it myself. Love the talking kiwi and the comments disclaimer! ha!

Anonymous said...

can one be saved for the traveling mommy? remember i am the one that buys the E.C.
(emergency chocolate)


Cake Duchess said...

These look delicious. I love kiwis and now have a reason to bake with them :)


You mean you can't eat the first two kiwis!?!

These are awesome little tarts!

Hot Polka Dot's Mom said...

Oh my, oh my. Many of my favourite flavours combined. I am drooling on my keyboard. LOVE your recipe and your pics are absolutely stunning. I am definitely going to make these. Very yummy!

Hot Polka Dot's Mom said...

p.s. Mr Kiwi is really cute and I would love the opportunity to see a real kiwi bird. So ugly they're adorable :)

Monet said...

We love kiwis here too! My sister just made strawberry kiwi bread (but I must say that your dessert looks far better...don't tell her though!) These are just stunning...but I'm not surprised, you always impress me!

Yesim said...

it looks soooooo delicious..

Dimah said...

These look so amazing!! Love them :)

Jan/Thella said...

yummy kiwi! :) and your kiwi man, he's adorable :P btw i happened to squint my eyes and for a short while i thought i saw hello kitty on your last photo!

The Cilantropist said...

I think I might have to enter this contest too! I got some Zespri kiwis last month at Camp blogaway and they were HUGE and tasted amazing. I made some kiwi sorbet, but I should probably get a little more creative (like you) for this contest. ;) Love these tartlets, they are just too cute. And of course, the talking kiwi is cute as well.

Theresa said...

Haha, thanks for advertising NZ! So glad you enjoyed your visit.
By the way, I'm one of those hidden readers who've been following your blog for awhile - and love it. :)

Just two notes about visiting New Zealand:
1.Don't come in your summer holidays unless you like skiing and miserable weather.
2.Don't expect to see a Kiwi (bird) in the wild, there are only a few hundred left and you won't see them!

Love your blog!

Savory Sweet Living said...

What a great recipe and flavor combination! These tartlets look so delicious, and the lime whip cream must be amazing. Good luck with the contest.

Torviewtoronto said...

delicious pictures and tart

Lindsey @ Gingerbread Bagels said...

I don't eat kiwis very often but after seeing your recipe, I now have a strange craving for kiwis?! Maybe it's because you made such an amazing and delicious looking dessert with them. YUM! It looks so good and good luck with the contest.

Amy said...

I have never seen kiwi used like this before! These are beautiful! Great job :)! Good Luck with the contest!

Suchitra said...

The dish rocks! all the best- you deserve to win the contest

Serena said...

Now that's quite the kiwi and such an innovative recipe. Good luck with the contest - this one is a winner.

Eileen said...

Those little gems look very tasty! Good luck in the contest!

Foodiva said...

These kiwi tartlets totally rock! I also totally love the flavor combinations AND your bright blue spatula.. Best of luck with the contest!

Cuisine by Emme Ribeiro said...

Omigod....this looks soooo good! I love kiwi (the fruit). I will definately be trying this.

Cristina @ TeenieCakes said...

I luv kiwis and these are adorable little tartlets. Like the crust!

Le said...

I love this post!! You make a kiwi (currently abroad) very proud! Please do visit lovely ol' NZ again soon!

I plan to do a road trip of it once I head home from Korea. I realised Ive travelled all over Korea and yet I haven't seen much of NZ.

Your kiwi tarts look deeeliish!

The Cuisinerd said...

Congrats lady!!

Pierre Zado said...

Well done Stephanie. These look delicious. Any chance I can talk you into making some for me and my moderating team. Kia Ora!
Pierre Zado

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