Talk about generous! Each Tuesday the company where I work fills up our staff kitchen with fruit for us to snack on all week long. I know what you must be thinking right now and yes, I do have a day job thankyouverymuch. But yeah, this is a really cool thing for any company to do for its employees -- we all love it, of course. Since our building isn't near a lot of food outlets this ensures that when we get the munchies, there is usually something healthy around for us to nosh on.
At your first look on Tuesday you will see the kitchen is full of baskets containing apples, pears, and all manner of citrus. Platters full of strawberries and blackberries sit next to trays of pineapple spears, papaya, kiwifruit, and mangoes! There are even a few dozen lemons and limes that people squeeze into their iced teas and Diet Cokes during the week.
Fruit lover's heaven! You would think there is so much fruit that it would last all week long, but it doesn't. Well, some of it does. Much of it goes quite quickly. Some, alas, does not.
Simple observation has revealed a rather rigid and predictable hierarchy of fruit-snacking desirability. Not all varieties of fruit will make it to Friday for our snacking enjoyment. The progression from fruit abundance to 'slim pickings' is predictable and always plays out the same way. An hour or two after the full spread is put out on the staff kitchen table early consumption reduces the berries to just a few bruised morsels left in their containers. By lunchtime even these will be gone. Strawberries are always a hot commodity, even in the winter when I personally find them tasteless and not worth even trying. (They must be grown in someone's closet under a grow light?)
By the end of the first day the pineapple spears and mango will also be gone.
By the time Thursday afternoon rolls around we are usually left with a basket still full of apples. The visually perfect ones will have been chosen leaving just those sporting some sort of blemish. They are otherwise perfectly good and stand a good chance of being enjoyed before trash day. A few stray pears yet to ripen will remain along with somewhere just short of one dozen Kiwifruit.
Oh yeah, a few tenacious lemons and limes still linger for the Friday afternoon iced tea crowd. I'm sure if our office threw a daily Happy Hour during the week there would be a much higher demand for these garnish essentials! I hope someone gets on that.
Curiously, nobody ever seems to eat the kiwifruit? Why do you suppose that is? Do they even know what those egg shaped fleshy goodies are? Or are they just lazy because enjoying kiwifruit also requires some peeling beforehand?
Friday's fruit selection invariably includes half a dozen kiwifruit just a few hours past their prime. These puppies are "dead kiwi walking", marked for the trash at quitting time. Being the kind soul that I am, however, I try to save them from their fate by taking them home with me. As the last one out the door the duty falls on me to issue a pardon.
Which is why I always enjoy a kiwi with my Saturday breakfast.
On a recent Thursday there were quite a few kiwifruit sitting unloved and I felt a duty to rescue them from certain demise by taking them home and nursing them back to desirability. (This is nothing I wouldn't also do for an injured animal.)
Probably the handiest thing I have learned since starting this blog is that it is always a good idea to make an extra pastry crust each time you have to make one. They freeze for quite a long time and I am always grateful to have one ready to go for times such as when I get the urge to escort a lonely, unloved kiwifruit home from work.
This particular week after escorting some kiwi home with me on Thursday I ended up escorting them right back to the kitchen the next morning where I served them up for breakfast in the form of this tasty, simple to make kiwifruit tart.
The tart was gone in 10 minutes leaving only a few bruised apples and a lemon by the time everyone left for the week. Just perfect to make apple cake with.
Yeah, I suppose they are just too lazy to peel it!
- 1 (9-inch) round of refrigerated pie dough (from a 15-oz package), thawed and unrolled or unfolded
- 6 oz cream cheese, softened slightly
- 2 tablespoons sugar
- 2 tablespoons milk
- 1 teaspoon finely grated fresh lemon zest
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
- 4 firm-ripe kiwifruit, peeled and thinly sliced
Put oven rack in middle position and preheat oven to 450°F.
Fit dough into tart pan, leaving a 1/2-inch overhang, then fold overhang inward and press against side of pan to reinforce edge. Lightly prick bottom and side of shell with a fork.
Line shell with foil and fill with pie weights. Bake until edge is pale golden, about 10 minutes. Carefully remove foil and weights and bake shell until golden all over, about 5 minutes more. Cool shell in pan on a rack, about 20 minutes.
Meanwhile, beat together cream cheese, sugar, milk, zest, and vanilla in a bowl with an electric mixer until creamy and smooth, 2 to 3 minutes.
Spread cream cheese filling in cooled shell and top with kiwifruit slices.