Pies & Tarts

Kiwiberry Tartlets

At the grocery store in Anchorage, Alaska, where I live, we don’t always get interesting things. I usually have to go to around three stores to gather what I need for any really interesting culinary project. So, you can imagine how excited and surprised I was to find, in a small corner of the produce section above the grapes, a pint of something I hadn’t seen before. Kiwiberries.

 

The Elusive Kiwiberry– Ripe and wrinkled.
Well, I had to buy them!! I took the little box home and did my research. When I’m looking for recipes I usually google whatever is my seasonal ingredient. In this case I typed in “kiwiberry recipes.” Nothing interesting. So I tried a lot more, but I didn’t find anything too interesting.  They seem to be used in cocktails a lot, or simply eaten like grapes.
Kiwiberries are grown mostly is Oregon. They grow on vines and are completely edible; no fuzzy skin! My favorite part: they are the size of a grape and look just like a kiwi inside. Oh the possibilities!
They are ripe when the skin stops being shiny and gets wrinkled. When they ripen they become really really sweet! The taste before they’re completely ripe is exactly like a kiwi. I let mine ripen and they turned into something amazing. The taste reminds me of a pineapple guava, another amazing fruit that I ate like crazy when I was at boarding school in California.
I made a lovely tartlet with the berries. I only made one to try the recipe, which I created. I baked some leftover pie dough in a 4.5’’ tartlet pan.
I filled it with a strange creation. I wanted to use a very light zabaglione with a little bit of white wine, brandy, and vanilla, but for some reason it wasn’t thickening. I used the same recipe a few days ago and it turned out great! No idea. You have to be plastic if you’re going to cook. I didn’t throw it out in despair. Instead I took my failed sauce added a little bit of cream mixed with cornstarch, put it back on the stove, and cooked it until it was thick. I made a very odd pastry cream. It is golden and delicious.
I cut the berries in half and arranged them on the tart. I think they’re beautiful! There aren’t many green desserts. This is a keeper.

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