Most of my childhood memories involve me eating fruit- a lot of fruit. This was mostly two-fold considering I lived in the land of produce/easily importable produce and the fact that my mother often liked to give us fruit as desserts or snacks. Often before or after meals we would have a slice of melon, some grapes, or her favorite and mine: those tiny mandarin oranges that came in a can. I loved those little cans of mandarin oranges, and if it were purely based on a sole memory, yes I would have made a mandarin orange tart. However, I am not allowed to eat any type of orange right now, so I am going to the next best flavors to marry my memories.
To me, summer was my childhood. I grew up in a tropical summer climate all year round. Every time I eat a mango, guava, pineapple, passion fruit etc... I am instantly transported to feeling like I'm home, like everything is right in the universe. It brings me back to family summer trips to Marco Island or Naples, or just going to Miami Beach for the day. Going shopping in Coconut Grove or Las Olas with my mom and getting lunch, usually a salad with fresh fruit in it. Every time I taste a smoothie or margarita, I can smell the sunscreen and feel my toes crunching into the baking sand. I miss Florida very much sometimes; it was a fantastic place to grow up.
So in honor of all these memories, I've made Mango & Lime Tropical Tartlets. These little darlings are made up of my typical tart shortbread crust, a mango puree, a lime custard, topped with fresh mango. They're also small, like me as a child and now, the same height as a child. With each bite, I can smell the sunscreen now. Can you?
Mango & Lime Tropical Tartlets
3 1/2 cups GF shortbread crumbs
200 grams butter, melted
2 mangoes, pureed
1 tbs agave
2 cups milk (I use fat-free, lactose free)
2 eggs, beaten
2/3 cup sugar
1/2 cup GF flour mix
1 dash salt
2 tsps vanilla extract w/seeds
1/2 grated lime rind
1 tbs butter
the juice of 2 limes or key limes, squeezed (use 1 if you want the fragrance but not the flavor)
Chopped mango, nectarine, pineapple, lime
Although it's a bit of a process, it's not hard. Just step by step folks...
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
Combine crust ingredients and pat into a 12 muffin tin lined with parchment paper cups.
Bake crusts for about 6-12 minutes depending on your oven yield.
When light brown, remove and cool, placing tin on wire rack.
Make custard in the following steps:
Mix sugar, flour, and salt together.
Combine beaten eggs into sugar mixture slowly until well combined.
Scald milk on stove top; do not burn, do not boil!
Add sugar mixture to milk slowly, whisking constantly until thick (it takes a few minutes)
Remove from heat.
Add vanilla, lime rind, lime juice and butter and whisk together until combined. Set aside.
Coat the bottom of each tartlet with mango puree.
Top that with a huge dollop of the lime custard.
Refrigerate until slightly set.
Assemble as artistically as you would like and voila! You're done. Time to eat those suckers.
What I liked most about these (besides the obvious fragrance/flavor) is that they weren't too sweet. They were still very rich (the custard is thick and you will have about a cup leftover), but they didn't leave me feeling like my teeth were rotting. See that's what's so great about fruit. It's light, fresh and leaves you feeling fantastic. Now if it weren't for all that butter in the crust... ;)