Those of you who know me, or have been reading this blog, have probably discovered that although Rachel and I share a love of cooking and laughter, she’s definitely “Felix” and I am “Oscar” in this Mother-Daughter Odd Couple.
When she and her husband Jared were visiting us this year,Jared was hungry and so I told him,”Jared, just scrounge in the fridge! You never know what you’ll find in there.” To which Rachel instantly deadpanned,”Or what might jump out at you.” It wasn’t long before she offered to give me a hand cleaning out my fridge. At one point she held up a lime that was, okay, a little brownish-black, but I figured the juice might be salvageable.
“What’s this?” she asked, dubiously eying the shriveled citrus.
“It’s a lime,” I offered, hopefully.
She shook her head. “Not a lime.”
“Not a lime?” I echoed.
“Not a lime. Mom, face it. This thing died weeks ago, you just couldn’t bring yourself to bury it. Grieve the lime and Let. It. Go.”
I sighed and let her toss it in the trashcan.
This week I sent Rachel the following picture of a lime that I found in the recesses of my kitchen.
To which she offered this advice. “Mom, when limes start looking like kiwis, they are no longer limes. Toss it out.”
But (and this is the way my ADD mind works), when she said “kiwi” and “lime” together in the same sentence, I started thinking how great those two flavors would taste together. That rabbit trail led to others and finally to the creation of the following yummy, easy, tart, fresh and pretty dessert featuring kiwis and limes.
But do not worry: No dying limes were harmed in this recipe. In fact, it features a store-made lime product from Kroger’s. This “Preferred Selection” brand of jarred key lime pie filling is truly scrumptious: tart and just-right-sweet, loaded with real key lime juice. It also happens to be vegan. You can make the shortbread cookie crumbs from scratch (see recipe) or if you are in a hurry, just put a few of your favorite store-purchased shortbread cookies in the food processor to make fine crumbs.
I served this to six women on my back porch today. So pretty and refreshing–the kiwis look like the center of a flower, the strawberries make perfect “petals.” And the women just nearly licked their sherbet bowls clean!
Kiwi-Strawberry Key Lime “Flower” Tarts
Shortbread Cookie Crumbs (See recipe below or purchase your favorite cookies and whirl in the blender to make 1 1/2 cups fine cookie crumbs. Add 1/4 c. melted butter and whirl again.)
Kroger’s Key Lime Pie Filling (or your favorite brand)
8 strawberries, sliced into “petals”
2 kiwis, peeled and sliced into rounds for centers of the flowers
Put 3 T. of cookie crumbs in each of six small dessert bowls (I used my old-fashioned sherbet bowls.) Using the back of a spoon press the crumbs around the bottom and sides to create a miniature tart shell.
Spoon 2 to 3 Tablespoons of key lime pie filling over each shell, smoothing the top gently.
Arrange kiwi and strawberry slices into “flowers” as shown in the pictures.
I filled the bowls with the cookie crumbs (pressed against the sides) ahead of time, and then at the very last minute — filled them with the filling and topped them with the fruit. (A volunteer to help you assemble is nice, and a fun way to chat in the kitchen while doing something creative together.)
Shortbread Cookie Crumbs (Vegan)
Heat oven to 350 degrees
1 c. flour (can be mixture of whole wheat and white)
1/2 cup Earth Balance Butter (you can use regular butter if you aren’t vegan and prefer it)
1/4 cup powdered sugar (or brown sugar for a darker more caramelized crust)
1/2 c. finely chopped walnuts or pecans
Pulse the first 3 ingredients in the food processor (or use your hands to blend). Add nuts. Pat or roll the dough onto a cookie sheet that has been sprayed with cooking spray. Dough can be any shape or form, just make the giant free from “cookie” about 1/3 inch thick. Bake 10 to 15 minutes or until light golden brown. Let cool completely. Break up the shortbread and pop it back in the food processor to make fine crumbs.