A really fun perk to having kids is rediscovering all the wonderous things from childhood. (Ask me anything about dinosaurs, I probably know the answer.)
And the holidays that you totally skim over as an adult (unless you’re in university and use any excuse to paint your face and drink too much beer) become exciting again when experienced through the eyes of little ones. As a grown-up, you say Saint Patrick’s Day and I say Guinness. Irish Cream. Lamb stew. Garish (yet delicious!) green frosting.
All good things (though not in the same mouthful), but I’d completely forgotten about the more enchanting details like leprechauns and pots of gold and four-leaf clovers and the story of Saint Patrick himself (apparently he banged a drum and scared all the snakes out of Ireland, did you know that??).
When I was a kid, I got unreasonably, can’t-sleep-the-night-before, plan-for-weeks excited for all the holidays, no matter how minor. Thank god that was before the internet, if I’d known about the International Ice Cream/Pizza/[Insert Other Food Here] Days that crop up weekly, my little brain might have short-circuited.
I want to inject the fun and magic I remember into my own kids’ lives now, too. I’m not super Pinterest-y with hours to sink into DIY projects, but I do attempt two things for every occasion. The first is free! The public library. We check out seasonal books every month, it’s really fun to read stories about the holiday. And the second is really cheap! The dollar store. We get cheesy decorations, cookie cutters, pins for our clothes, stickers, little toys and games – a grand haul for under six bucks. We all get really into it. (And by that, I mean I get really into it, my older kid jumps on the bandwagon – a bit confused about what mommy’s going on about – and the baby feeds off the excitement and starts running in circles, probably with a dangerously small shamrock decoration in his mouth. The husband tolerates the chaos. Kind of.)
I would love to have small, low-key kids’ parties for things like St. Paddy’s Day and Easter, but man who’s got the energy for that with an 18-month-old, a 3-year-old and a job (or even without the job, jeez). Maybe next year.
All that to say, I made this lime and kiwi tart to celebrate Saint Patrick’s Day with a secondary shout-out to Pi(e) Day, which is tomorrow (3.14). Two holidays with one pie!
I saved the scraps from my tart dough and rolled them out to make shamrock shapes with my dollar-store cutters. I baked them alongside the tart for about 6 minutes. I used the same cutter to make shamrock-ish shapes from my kiwi slices. The lime curd is decidedly more yellow than green, which I knew would be the case. If you want it greener, you could add a touch of food colouring and I wouldn’t judge you. Especially because I just discovered this set of natural food colours for $6.99 all derived from vegetables and spices. I’ll be ordering that.
Theo (3-year-old) loved cutting out the shamrocks and dreaming about searching the park for leprechauns. We live downtown – I’m scared instead of a pot of gold, he’ll find just pot. (At least it’s green? ?)
This recipe is adapted from Williams-Sonoma Dessert of the Day.
Kiwi & Lime Curd Tart
- 1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
- 1/4 cup granulated sugar
- 1/2 tsp kosher salt
- 1/2 cup cold unsalted butter cut in small pieces
- 1 large egg yolk and white separated
- 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
- 2 tbsp ice-cold water
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 3/4 cup + 2 tbsp unsalted butter cut into small pieces
- Finely grated zest of 3 limes
- 1/2 cup fresh lime juice from about 5 limes
- 4 large eggs
- 5 kiwis peeled and sliced
- Measure the flour, sugar, and salt into the bowl of a food processor and pulse a few times to combine. Sprinkle butter over top and pulse until the butter pieces are no bigger than lentils. In a separate bowl, whisk together the egg yolk (be sure to reserve the white for the next step!), vanilla, and water. Sprinkle over the flour mixture and pulse a few times until mixture starts to form large clumps. Dump onto a parchment-paper-lined counter and gently press the dough together until it is cohesive. Form into a disk shape, wrap up in the parchment paper and refrigerate at least 30 minutes (or up to 2 days).
- Preheat oven to 375ºF. Roll the dough between two layers of parchment paper into a 12" circle and transfer to a 9 1/2" tart pan, gently pressing into bottom and up sides. Line with parchment paper and fill with pie weights (or dry beans). Blind bake the tart shell on the bottom oven rack for about 15 minutes, until it starts to look dry, then carefully remove pie weights and parchment. Continue baking until the crust is golden, 10 minutes longer. Lightly brush the inside with lightly-whisked reserved egg white (you won't need all of it) and continue baking for about 5 minutes more, until white is set shiny. Gently transfer to a wire rack and cool completely in the tart pan.
- To make the curd, bring the sugar, butter, lime zest and juice to a simmer over medium heat. In a bowl, lightly whisk the eggs. Very slowly (a tiny bit at a time) stream about half the hot lime mixture into the eggs while whisking constantly, then slowly whisk this egg mixture back into the remaining lime mixture in the saucepan. Cook over medium-low heat, stirring constantly, until mixture thickens enough to coat the back of a spoon, about 5 minutes. Press through a fine-mesh sieve into a bowl, then chill completely (either by stirring it over an ice bath, or by refrigerating at least 2 hours).
- When crust and lime curd are both cool, pour the curd into the crust and top with kiwi slices.