When I lived in the UK, kiwi fruit were always an exotic treat to me. I had no idea what the plants looked like, only the fruit. Kiwis are a prime example of why it’s best not to judge by appearance. They may be ugly, brown and hairy on the outside, but slice them open and you get a feast for the eyes with their jade green flesh and uneven ring of tiny black seeds. When ripe, they’re deliciously juicy and sweet but if you try eating them before they’re quite ready, they can be face-screwingly tart.
Kiwi plants are climbers and in Portugal they are often trained up and over trellises to provide shade from the summer sun. The fruit dangle and ripen until they’re ready for harvest around November. Fruit shopping in Portugal is heavily influenced by the seasons so all of a sudden, mountains of kiwi fruit appear in the supermarkets.
We haven’t had to buy any kiwis at all this season because generous friends and neighbours gave us more than we knew what to do with.
This excess of kiwi fruit forced me to look out for recipes and I’ve found two that are well worth sharing. One is for a kiwi sorbet which I’ve given a Portuguese twist by adding Licor Beirão. Unfortunately, I didn’t think quickly enough to take photos before we scoffed the lot so you’ll have to use your imagination.
Kiwi sorbet with Licor Beirão
serves 4 (it’s quite rich so you don’t need huge helpings)
5 kiwi fruit, peeled and sliced
2 tablespoons of Licor Beirão
100g soft light brown sugar
1 egg white
- Put the kiwi fruit, Licor Beirão and sugar in a blender and whizz until smooth. Pour this into a freezer-proof bowl and freeze for two hours.
- Remove it from the freezer and break up the crystals. Beat the egg white until it forms stiff peaks then gently combine it with the fruit. Pour the mixture into a decorative, freezer-proof dish and freeze.
- Take it out of the freezer to soften for a few minutes before serving.
The other recipe is for kiwi crumble, which is the next best thing to rhubarb crumble so if you’re a Brit pining for rhubarb, give this a go.