From the Diary of a Kitchen Goddess: Magical Miniature Fruit Tarts
Wednesday, June 13, 2012~An Early Midsummer Celebration
A Sweet Day's Beginning
Both Esperanza and I were up by 7:30 a.m. this morning. We harvested fresh strawberries to eat with our oatmeal, and put some aside to make a batch of tasty fruit tarts to share with our neighbors. The Summer Solstice will soon shine upon us and the weather has been just warm enough to wear my long, flowing skirts and tops that keep me cool. Inspired to dress like a goddess, I was also inspired to throw a party for my neighbors, just to bring an early splash of cheer into their lives.
Planning the Party
Over dinner, Esperanza and I planned our day. We printed out invitations for the party, which would begin at 8:00 p.m. In our invitations, we invited the neighbors to send their children to us as soon as they could, so that they could help decorate and make some of the treats that would be served. A couple of items on the party menu were zesty fruit tarts and ambrosia salad. Esperanza delivered the invitations while I filled a giant glass jar with fresh well water and put some green tea bags in the water. Then I placed the jar out on my back patio for the sun to warm.
Children Young and Old at Play
Lily was the first child to arrive, and Esperanza greeted her warmly at the front door. It only took 15 minutes for her to walk the five blocks from her house to my cottage. She brought a beeswax candle made by her mother, and a jar of honey. I thanked her as I poured a tall glass of iced sun tea for her to sip as she worked.
Esperanza guided Lily to a table on the back patio, where she had paper soaking in a tub and had formed some round lanterns. There were paints and brushes by the lanterns, and smocks on the edge of a bench. Lily put on a smock, picked up a brush, and began painting the paper màché lantern blue.
While Lily painted and Esperanza sculpted more lanterns, Amanda arrived with a few of her friends: Xavier, Maggie, and Spencer. Xavier brought a jar of mead, Maggie brought a basket of cream puffs, and Spencer brought bread. After I thanked them, I led them out to the back yard to paint and sculpt with Esperanza until it was time to eat tuna salad sandwiches for lunch. With our sandwiches we sipped more sun tea. After lunch, I hung the colorful lanterns on wire trellises that formed an octagon around the patio, while Esperanza led the children into my kitchen to make some fruit tarts, ambrosia salad, and guacamole.
Sweet Midsummer Refreshment
A Festive Evening Celebration
At 4:00 p.m., the children returned to their homes and everyone dressed in our finest summer party outfits. I brought out my chest of feathery boas and masks, which Esperanza helped me carry to the back yard. As our guests began to arrive, we gave each a boa and a mask. Some of the children brought their instruments and began to play a song. At 7:00 p.m., the children brought out the food that they made that afternoon. I blessed our guests with sage smoke, and our food with a prayer:
"Great Spirit of Love and Light
Thank you for your smiles and tasty bites to eat with friends.
You are welcome here to dance with us.
We offer you our night of revelry.
The fruit cups were tartly delicious, and the recipe for them is provided below. The guacamole was tangy, and the cream puffs were sweet ~ especially with a drizzle of honey on top.
At sunset, with a wave of Esperanza's cherry wood wand, the lanterns began to glow with a golden light. Fireflies floated around us like faeries, and our bodies began to move with the music played on flute, mandolin, guitar, harmonica, and concertina. Scarves floated in the gentle evening breeze as the children formed a circle, holding hands, then twirling. They looked like a school of rainbow fish swimming in a shallow stream.
How magical are these mini fruit tarts?
- 2-3 packages Miniature Filo Dough Fruit Tarts, Laid out on a serving tray
- 4 Lemons, juiced; zest grated
- 4 Eggs, whisked
- 1 cup Sugar
- 1 stalk Rhubarb, finely cut
- 1 Kiwi, cut finely
- 4-5 Strawberries, cut finely
- 30 or so Blueberries
- 15-30 Raspberries
- 15-30 Blackberries
Steps to making magical tarts~
- Make the Lemon Curd: Whisk together the lemon juice, lemon zest, eggs, and sugar in the top of a double boiler (I use a smaller pan inside a larger pan). Takes 20 minutes to thicken.
- Let the lemon curd cool for 15 minutes.
- Place a small spoonful of lemon curd in each filo dough cup.
- Place pieces of rhubarb, strawberry, and kiwi in the lemon curd.
- Place at least 1 blueberry, blackberry, and raspberry among the other fruit in each cup.
- Chill the fruit tarts for at least 30 minutes so that the flavors mix.
- Serve them to your guests with style.
Each tart is packed with flavorful nutrition
|Serving size: 1 mini fruit tart|
|Calories from Fat||9|
|% Daily Value *|
|Fat 1 g||2%|
|Saturated fat 0 g|
|Unsaturated fat 0 g|
|Carbohydrates 0 g|
|Sugar 6 g|
|Fiber 4 g||16%|
|Protein 5 g||10%|
|Cholesterol 0 mg|
|* The Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet, so your values may change depending on your calorie needs. The values here may not be 100% accurate because the recipes have not been professionally evaluated nor have they been evaluated by the U.S. FDA.|
© 2012 Karen Szklany Gault