Kiwi Lemon Tarts

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!

Kiwi 7

Ingredients

  • 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)

Directions

  • Preheat the oven to 425F/220C.  Bake the puff pastry shells per the package directions, then let them cool completely on a wire rack.

Kiwi 1

  • 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.

Kiwi 2

  • 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.

Kiwi 3

  • While the curd is cooling, remove the lids and uncooked centers of the puff pastry shells and discard them.

Kiwi 4

  • 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!
  • Kiwi 6

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