I like to call this Macadamia Cream Lilikoi Tart my miracle tart. Not because I was won first prize for the recipe at our local Lilikoi Festival. Yes, it was awfully nice to have such a vote of appreciation. But there is a bigger reason these darling tarts are a miracle.
I am continually amazed by the beauty and abundance of our plant kingdom. So naturally, whenever I can, I love to display the leaves, flowers, and raw materials related to a recipe in my photos. I had the brilliant idea that my post for Lilikoi Tarts should include the striking flowers of the lilikoi plant.
Well, it turns out it was not such a brilliant idea. I do have a lilikoi vine, otherwise known as passion fruit, growing along the fence in my garden. It even had fruit, buds, and flowers at the time I was perfecting this recipe. However, I am learning with food photography timing is everything.
For example, picture this. You finally get the focus dialed in, and are ready to shoot a photo of sumptuous stew. Alas, you find a thin crust has formed over the surface of the hot soup. Darn. Similarly, the day I had the tarts ready for a photo shoot, I went to the garden and found there weren’t any flowers blooming.
Resigned, I picked some leaves and a few immature buds for the heck of it. Once home, I went about my business setting up the lighting and camera settings for my shoot. I had the background composition and props arranged as best I could in my scene. Satisfied, I went back to the kitchen to grab the tart sitting in the refrigerator. While I was away from the photo room, the miracle occurred. I couldn’t believe my eyes when I returned.
Guess what the miracle was? The immature flower bud I placed in the scene had opened up to a full flower! Indeed, I felt blessed by this amazing event. Can you relate to feeling a deeply personal relationship with our natural world? Call me crazy, but I literally talk to all the plants in my garden.
The delicate nature of a passion fruit flower prevents me from sending you a bouquet. But I hope to pass on to you a bit of the miracle with my recipe. These delectable tarts, garnished with candied ginger and roasted macadamia nuts are divine. Assemble them by filling your best, crisp and flaky pastry shells with my fluffy macadamia cream and perfectly sweet and tart lilikoi curd. I think it’s fair to call them heaven on a plate. After all, the Hawaiian word for lilikoi means gift from God.
Macadamia Cream Lilikoi Tarts
- 6 Pre-baked homemade 3 1/2 inch tart shells*
- Or Buy ready-made tart shells
Macadamia Cream Filling
- 1 1/2 cups raw macadamia nuts, (soak over night)
- 3 TB agave syrup
- 1 1/2 tsp. vanilla
- 1/3 cup water
- 1 cup strained fresh passion fruit juice
- 1/2 cup raw sugar
- 1/8 tsp. agar powder
- 1 TB arrowroot starch
- 1/4 cup plant-based butter
- 1 tsp. diced candied ginger
- 6 whole candied macadamia nuts
- Bake and cool tart shells if not ready-made.
- Soak macadamia nuts in refrigerator overnight with 4 cups of water. Rinse and drain nuts well.
- Place drained nuts, agave syrup, vanilla and 1/3 cup water in a high powered blender like a Vitamix*. Blend on low speed to a uniform meal. Then turn up to high speed and blend until very smooth and fluffy. Add a tablespoon at a time if more water is needed, but keep mixture thick and spoonable.
- Place passion fruit juice, sugar, agar and arrowroot in a saucepan. Whisk together really well before turning heat on. Add plant-based butter and bring mixture to a boil while whisking constantly. Once curd boils and thickens, remove from heat and cover.
- Fill each tart with a scant 1/4 cup macadamia cream and top with 3 TB warm lilikoi curd. Put a small dollop of macadamia cream on each filled tart. Garnish with candied ginger and a macadamia nut. Adjust amounts if using tart shells smaller or larger than 3 1/2 inches.
- Store tarts in refrigerator. Tarts hold well for 3 days.