Browsing Category


Dessert, Fruit, Lactose Free, Recipes

Lilikoi Cream Cheese Tart

January 26, 2017

Lilikoi Cream Cheese Tart

The lilikoi fruit is like no other…tart, sweet , aromatic, exotic, delicious, and the plants do very well in our tropical climate.  The lilikoi blossom is one of the most gorgeous of all flowers though the fruit on the other hand is nondescript, tucked between the plant’s vigorous vines.  As the fruits ripen, they drop to the ground.  The skins will begin to shrivel up and look quite homely, but the pulp inside will be at its peak flavor.  At this stage you might choose to eat the pulp and seeds alone or with yogurt, or strain the juice and use it to make a refreshing lilikoi margarita.  The vines are very productive, so I freeze the juice in small containers to use later for lilikoi jelly.  This recipe for lilikoi cream cheese tart is one of the most beautiful and delicious desserts. It is a terrific culmination to a fine dinner party.

Lilikoi Cream Cheese Tart

Lilikoi Flower

The most beautiful blossom!


Most fruits when peeled or sliced are faintly aromatic.  The lilikoi on the other hand is exotically fragrant.  It’s hard to describe the scent but your entire home will smell wonderful.

Lilikoi Pulp

I use a food mill to process the lilikoi fruit.  The seeds and heavy pulp are left behind leaving you with the most fragrant lilikoi juice.

Lilikoi Glaze

The lilikoi cream cheese tart does not require a glaze however if you prefer to use one, there are a couple of options.  Sometimes I gently soften homemade lilikoi jelly in the microwave and brush it over the top of tart. Other times I will prepare a glaze made with lilikoi juice, sugar, and gelatin that I adapted from The Baking Wizard.  Either way, it’s best to do this the day you plan to serve it as the glaze has a tendency to soak into the cream cheese tart.  You may also add some of the lilikoi seeds to the glaze for a pop of color.

Lilikoi Cream Cheese Tart


Lilikoi Cream Cheese Tart
Inspired by Little Ferraro Kitchen blog
Serves: 10
  • Special Equipment - 10" tart pan with removable bottom
  • For the crust
  • 13 full sheets Honey Maid honey graham crackers
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 6 tablespoons Earth Balance Buttery Sticks (or butter), melted
  • For the Cream Cheese Tart
  • 1 8 ounce container + 9 level tablespoons (1½ c + 1 tablespoon total) of Green Valley lactose free cream cheese at room temperature (or regular cream cheese)
  • ⅓ cup sugar
  • ⅓ cup + 1 tablespoon fresh lilikoi juice
  • 1 large egg, beaten
  • For the glaze
  • 3 tablespoons water
  • 1¼ teaspoons unflavored gelatin
  • 5 tablespoons + 2 teaspoons fresh lilikoi juice
  • 2 tablespoons + 2 teaspoons sugar
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees
  2. Pulse graham crackers in a food processor until finely ground. Add sugar and pulse a few times to combine with the graham cracker crumbs. Transfer to a large bowl and stir in melted Buttery Sticks. Press mixture into the bottom of the pan and up the sides. I find that using a small pyrex custard cup helps with forming the crust perfectly around the edges. Disposable gloves come in handy as well when pressing the crust into the pan. Bake the crust on a baking sheet for 13-15 minutes until lightly browned. Remove to a cooling rack while you prepare the filling.
  3. Using an electric hand held mixer on medium speed, mix together the room temperature cream cheese and sugar until smooth. Add lilikoi juice and mix until combined. With a rubber spatula, stir in the beaten egg. Pour mixture into the graham cracker crust. Bake on a cookie sheet for 40 minutes. The cream cheese tart is done when the cake's center has a slight jiggle when you gently shake the pan. It will firm up as it cools. Transfer to a cooling rack and cool completely before adding your glaze.
  4. Once the tart is cool, prepare the glaze. Place the water in a small bowl and sprinkle with the gelatin. Let this sit undisturbed for a few minutes. Meanwhile in a small saucepan, combine the lilikoi juice and sugar over medium heat and stir until the sugar dissolves and the mixture feels hot to your fingertip. The mixture should not boil or the gelatin may not set properly. Remove the pan from the heat and pour half of the hot liquid into the gelatin mixture. Stir quickly to dissolve the gelatin making sure the mixture is smooth. Transfer the gelatin mixture back to the pan, stirring to combine with the remaining juice. Prepare an ice water bath in a medium bowl that will comfortably fit the saucepan. Place the saucepan in the ice water bath and with a spatula stir the lilikoi mixture constantly until it is cold and becomes syrupy. Pour some of the glaze over the cooled cream cheese tart spreading it evenly. You may not need all of the glaze. Refrigerate until set, at least 3 hours. Another option for a light glaze is to soften lilikoi jelly in the microwave and brush it over the top of the tart.



Dessert, Fruit, Lactose Free, Recipes

Mango Cream Popsicles

October 5, 2016

Mango Cream Popsicles

Though I look forward to cooler weather that slowly appears in November, at the same time, I will miss our extended mango season that is with us from May through October.  Images of sweet Pirie and Rapoza mangos that cover our dining room table and sometimes overflow into boxes stored on the living room floor, will soon be gone.  This year I decided to freeze containers of mango purée so that I will be able to make popsicles throughout the year.  It will be such a treat to sit on the porch in December or January with a refreshing mango cream popsicle. After all, the weather is warm all year-long in Hawaii.  I adapted this recipe from Sarah & Jessica at Pretty Providence. These popsicles remind me of a Creamsicle, one of my favorite childhood desserts.

Rapoza Mango

Our two mango trees are heavy producers delivering the sweetest mangos imaginable.  The Rapoza is creamy and fiberless with very large fruit and small seeds. The White Pirie mango is a small-medium sized mango with a golden hue.  I have never tasted a mango sweeter than this one.

Diced Pirie Mango

Good news for those of us who are lactose intolerant.  There are excellent products these days that are made just for us.  Green Valley and Organic Valley offer delicious, real dairy products that are lactose free.

Lactose Free Yogurt and Half & Half

Popsicle Mold

The Norpro popsicle mold is inexpensive, simple to use, and makes 10 perfectly sized popsicles.

Mango Cream Popsicles

Mango Cream Popsicles
Serves: 10
  • 3 medium mangos
  • ¼ cup cream of coconut (such as Coco Real brand)
  • ¾ cup lactose free half and half
  • 6 tablespoons sugar
  • ¼ teaspoon vanilla extract
  • ¾ cup Green Valley lactose free plain yogurt (2% or whole milk)
  1. Peel and dice mangos discarding seeds. Puree in a food processor or blender until completely smooth. Whisk in cream of coconut. Pour puree into a 2-cup measuring cup. You want to have a minimum of 1¼ cups of mango puree.
  2. In a medium bowl, whisk together the half and half and sugar until the sugar has dissolved. Stir in vanilla extract. Whisk in yogurt until mixture is smooth. Pour into a 2-cup measuring cup. You want to end up with a total of 3 cups of filling including the mango puree. This amount will fill the Norpro 10 piece popsicle maker perfectly.
  3. Layer cream & yogurt mixture into popsicle molds, alternating with mango puree. Use a wooden chopstick to create a marbled effect. Leave a little space to allow for expansion when frozen.
  4. Place lid over popsicle mold, add popsicle sticks and freeze overnight. Remove popsicles by running warm water around the outside of the mold. Gently squeeze the bottom of the popsicle mold while lifting each popsicle stick from the mold. Try your best not to use too much warm water which may cause the popsicles to melt. Quickly wrap a small piece of waxed paper around each popsicle and store in an airtight container or freezer bag until ready to eat.



Dessert, Fruit, Lactose Free, Recipes

Blueberry Crumb Cake

March 17, 2016


blueberry cake - 1 (4)

Like many others, I am a fan of Ina Garten’s recipes.  I miss her Barefoot Contessa cooking show on Food Network.  The cooking channels seem to have cancelled their actual cooking shows such as Ina’s.  These days, you’re hard pressed to find such a show though there is no shortage of reality/competitive cooking shows. Now on to Ina’s blueberry crumb cake!  Blueberries are plentiful and so now is a great time to make this cake.  My version uses lactose free ingredients but go ahead and use regular sour cream and butter if you get along with them just fine.

blueberry cake - 1 (5)

The recipe calls for a stand mixer but I’m sure you could use a hand mixer as well.  The batter is quite thick, which makes for a beautiful cake.

blueberry cake - 1 (6)

blueberry cake - 1 (7)

I kept sprinkling the streusel over the batter as instructed.  I thought I had way too much, but I kept going until I used it up.  All that streusel (see top photo) makes this the crumb cake of your dreams!

blueberry cake - 1 (8)


Blueberry Crumb Cake
Lactose free, adapted from Ina Garten's Blueberry Crumb Cake Recipe
Serves: 8 servings
  • For the streusel:
  • ¼ cup granulated sugar
  • ⅓ cup light brown sugar, lightly packed
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • ⅛ teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • ¼ pound (1 stick) Earth Balance Buttery Sticks (or unsalted butter), melted
  • 1⅓ cups all-purpose flour
  • For the cake:
  • 6 tablespoons Earth Balance Buttery Sticks (or unsalted butter), at room temperature
  • ¾ cup granulated sugar
  • 2 extra-large eggs, at room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • ½ teaspoon grated lemon zest
  • ⅔ cup Green Valley lactose free sour cream (or regular sour cream)
  • 1¼ cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • ¼ teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 cup fresh blueberries
  • confectioners sugar for sprinkling
  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Butter and flour a 9-inch round baking pan.
  2. For the streusel:
  3. Combine the granulated sugar, brown sugar, cinnamon, and nutmeg in a bowl. Stir in the melted butter and then the flour. Mix well and set aside.
  4. For the cake:
  5. Cream Buttery Sticks or butter with the sugar in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment on high speed for 4 minutes, until light. Reduce speed to low and add the eggs one at a time, then add the vanilla, lemon zest, and sour cream.
  6. In a separate bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. With the mixture on low speed, add the flour mixture to the batter until just combined. Fold in the blueberries and stir with a spatula to be sure the batter is completely mixed.
  7. Spoon the batter into the prepared pan and speed it out with a spatula. With your fingers, crumble the topping evenly over the batter. It may seem as though there is too much streusel, but keep sprinkling until you use it up!
  8. Bake for 40 - 50 minutes until a cake tester comes out clean, Cool completely and serve sprinkled with confectioners sugar if desired.
  9. This cake freezes beautifully.


Dessert, Fruit, Lactose Free, Recipes

Mango Yogurt & Banana Popsicles

December 2, 2015

Mango Yogurt & Banana PopsiclesNow that mango season is over (we still have two lonely Rapoza’s on our tree) I have to buy fruit at the market again.  Not that there isn’t good fruit available, but for me, nothing is as good as a sweet mango. I did plan ahead this year and froze mango slices to use in my favorite popsicle recipe.  Here in Hawaii, with our warm temperatures, popsicles are popular year round.

Mango Popsicles - 1 (5)

Rapoza MangosThese Rapoza are beauties.  They are huge and juicy, sometimes weighing up to 3 pounds!

Chopped Mango

Cream of Coconut

Mango Puree with YogurtAfter sharing some of my popsicles at work, my friends and co-workers were hooked.  They all bought the same popsicle maker that I use and now everyone is trying out different recipes of their own.

Mango Yogurt & Banana Popsicles

Mango Yogurt & Banana Popsicles
  • 2 heaping cups coarsely chopped mango
  • 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 6 ounces vanilla yogurt (I used Green Valley lactose free yogurt)
  • 3 tablespoons cream of coconut
  • 2 medium bananas, cut into 20 thin slices
  1. Puree mango with sugar in a blender or food processor. Transfer to a measuring cup.
  2. In separate measuring cup, whisk yogurt with coconut cream until smooth.
  3. You may combine the mango and yogurt mixture together or alternatively, pour a little mango puree, then a little yogurt into each popsicle mold and continue layering. The yogurt flavor will be more prominent if you pour it in separately, alternating with the mango puree. Leave about 1-inch of headspace at the top.
  4. Using a wooden skewer, push banana slices down both sides of mold, one on top of the other. Pour extra mango puree to fill each mold about ⅓-inch from the rim to allow for expansion when freezing.
  5. Place cover on popsicle mold and insert wooden sticks (they should be exposed about 1¾-inch from top of popsicle cover). Freeze for at least 6 hours or overnight.
  6. To release popsicles, remove cover and run warm water around the outside of the popsicle mold for a few seconds. Do one side at a time. Pull firmly on sticks while holding on to mold to release. Run more warm water around mold if needed. Wrap popsicles individually with a small piece of waxed paper and freeze in a plastic container.


Dessert, Fruit, Lactose Free, Recipes

Strawberry Yogurt Popsicles

November 8, 2015

Strawberry Yogurt PopsiclesThese popsicles are so easy to make I can’t believe I never thought of making them before.  It all began a few months ago when my sister in-law, Paula, brought over a refreshing mango popsicle she had made.  From that day on I was determined to make my own.

Fresh Strawberries 16 oz.There’s a plethora of popsicle recipes out there in internet land.  It seems you can pretty much use any type of fruit whether it be fresh or frozen.  From there, you can keep it simple and add nothing more, or you might add cream, milk, nuts, coconut milk, or yogurt which I did in this case.  They are very easy to make and homemade popsicles taste so good.

Crushed Strawberries

Cream of CoconutCream of coconut is normally found in the liquor section of the market where the drink mixers are sold.

Ice Pop MakerI bought this popsicle maker from Amazon the moment Paula came over with her mango popsicle.  It’s just $12.99 and with Amazon Prime you get free shipping.  It’s easy to use and makes 10 refreshing popsicles at a time.  If you don’t have a popsicle maker, I urge you to get one right away!  Popsicles are great all year round.

Strawberry Yogurt Mixture for PopsiclesLeave a little space at the top for expansion otherwise it will be difficult to remove the top of the ice pop maker once they are frozen.  I didn’t do that the first time around but with a little nudging I was able to remove it without disturbing my precious pops.

Strawberry Yogurt Popsicles

Strawberry Yogurt Popsicles
Cuisine: Dessert
Serves: 10
  • 16 ounces fresh strawberries, rinsed, hulled, and halved if large
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 6 ounce container Green Valley lactose free strawberry yogurt (or your favorite brand)
  • 1 6 ounce container Green Valley lactose free vanilla yogurt (or your favorite brand)
  • 3 tablespoons cream of coconut
  1. Crush strawberries with a pastry cutter or potato masher. Stir in 2 tablespoons white sugar and set aside
  2. In a medium bowl, whisk yogurt and cream of coconut until smooth. Fold in crushed strawberries
  3. Pour mixture into ice pop maker leaving a little space at the top to allow for expansion. Place cover over ice pop maker and insert popsicle sticks. Freeze for at least 4 hours or over night.
  4. To remove popsicles, run warm water around the mold for a few seconds to loosen them slightly. Wrap popsicles with a small piece of waxed paper and store in an airtight container.


Bread, Breakfast, Fruit, Lactose Free, Recipes

Sunrise Muffins

September 21, 2015

Sunrise MuffinsIt’s hard to tell there’s a fence under the lush, thick lilikoi vines in our garden.  Their tendrils grab on to everything within their reach, which includes our mango trees.  We’ve thought about removing the vines since we can’t keep up with all the fruit they produce.  Our freezer is still full of lilikoi juice packed away in small containers.  But we just can’t bring ourselves to do it.  Every time we make something with lilikoi juice, whether it be jelly, tarts, bars, vinaigrette, the entire house is permeated with that exotic aroma.  Virtually everything made with lilikoi tastes fantastic.  There’s nothing else quite like it.  Always on the look out for new ways to use our fruit, I found this recipe on the Tasting Kauai blog and one of the ingredients was lilikoi juice so I had to try it.  They turned out to be the most delicious breakfast muffins with a nice hint of lilikoi flavor.

LilikoiThe lilikoi fruit itself is nondescript  until you cut it open.   Inside you’ll find jelly like pulp with numerous (edible) seeds and a fragrance so appealing.  The lilikoi blossom has to be one of the most beautiful in the world.

Lilikoi Blossom

Apple Banana & Maui Gold PineappleLocal Apple bananas, Maui Gold pineapple and roasted macadamia nuts make their way into this recipe along with the lilikoi juice and a bit of shredded coconut.    If you don’t have macadamia nuts you may substitute with walnuts or pecans.

Toasted Macadamia Nuts

Sunrise MuffinsA dozen muffins minus one for a taste test.

Sunrise Muffins

Sunrise Muffins

Sunrise Muffins
Delicious tropical flavors and 100% whole wheat flour make this a healthy breakfast snack
Serves: 12
  • 2 cups white whole wheat flour
  • ½ cup sugar
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • ¼ cup shredded coconut
  • 2 large eggs
  • ¼ cup canola oil
  • ⅔ cup 2% milk (I used lactose free milk)
  • ⅓ cup lilikoi juice
  • 2 apple bananas, diced into ¼ inch cubes (about 1 cup)
  • ½ cup fresh pineapple, diced into ¼ inch cubes
  • ½ cup coarsely chopped macadamia nuts, toasted (may substitute walnuts or pecans)
  1. Preheat oven to 500 degrees
  2. Lightly butter a muffin pan or spray with Pam
  3. Combine flour, sugar, salt and baking powder in a small bowl and mix to combine
  4. Stir in shredded coconut
  5. In a medium-sized bowl, add eggs, oil, milk and lilikoi juice and whisk until combined
  6. Fold in bananas, pineapple and macadamia nuts
  7. Divide batter evenly into muffin tin
  8. As soon as the muffins are in the oven, reduce the temperature to 400 degrees and bake for about 20 minutes. Test after baking for 17 minutes to see if the muffins are done.



Get every new post delivered to your Inbox

Join other followers: