What’s a girl to do when she’s got a bunch of kiwis lying around that need to be eaten? Make tarts with lemon curd, of course! These are lemony, cold, and oh-so-refreshing as the temperatures heat up around us with the onset of summer. I poked around the interwebs for ideas for pastries using kiwis and was inspired to do this when I found this recipe. I’m a sucker for lemon, though, so the cream cheese it called for didn’t interest me and I went all curd, all the way. The curd recipe came from Ina Garten, and is fantastic – in a rare move for me, I didn’t change a thing.
This was my first time making curd of any kind, and man is it like magic. The sugar, butter, and lemon mixed together before you cook them look disgusting – all granulated and unappealing. But put that baby on some heat and stir and you get to watch it go from awful to amazing in about 10 minutes. I’m a big fan, and may be making an unhealthy amount of fruit curds in the future.
This concoction is pretty simple, really – puff pastry shells with a thick slice of kiwi on the bottom, a few spoonfuls of lemon curd, and a thin slice of kiwi on top. I made 24 for a barbecue that featured way too much food for everyone to do more than graze, but all 24 got snapped up…a ringing endorsement!
- 3 lemons
- 1 1/2 cups sugar
- 1/4 pound unsalted butter, room temperature
- 4 extra-large eggs
- 1/2 cup lemon juice (3 to 4 lemons)
- 1/8 teaspoon kosher salt
- 2 tbsp of corn starch
- 4 packages of puff pastry shells (24 shells)
- 10 kiwis sliced into 24 slices as thin as you can get them and 24 thick slices (I only had 7 kiwis and ran out of slices for the top)
- Preheat the oven to 425F/220C. Bake the puff pastry shells per the package directions, then let them cool completely on a wire rack.
- While they’re cooling, use a carrot peeler to remove the zest of your 3 lemons, being careful to avoid the white pith. Put the zest in a food processor fitted with the steel blade. Add the sugar and pulse until the zest is very finely minced into the sugar.
- Cream the butter and beat in the sugar and lemon mixture. Add the eggs, 1 at a time, and then add the lemon juice and salt. Mix until combined.
- Pour the mixture into a 2 quart saucepan and cook over low heat until thickened (about 10 minutes), stirring constantly. The lemon curd will thicken at about 170 degrees F, or just below simmer. Mix the 2 tablespoons of cornstarch with a little cold water in a small bowl until it’s smooth, then add it to the pan. You need a thick curd so it won’t seep through the side of the puff pastry shells too badly, so the corn starch helps make it a little less runny. Remove from the heat and refrigerate to cool it down and help it thicken further.
- While the curd is cooling, remove the lids and uncooked centers of the puff pastry shells and discard them.
- Place a thick slice of kiwi in the bottom of each puff pastry shell, then spoon two big spoonfuls of lemon curd into each. For the finishing touch, put a thin slice of kiwi on top of the filled shells. Refrigerate for at least half an hour before serving to give the curd a chance to set. If you’re strapped for time, 10-15 minutes in the freezer should also do the trick. Serve and enjoy!
Did you like this recipe? Like Aching for a Baking on Facebook!