Every summer, as if like clockwork, we would pile into the family car, my precocious cousin included, and make the twelve-hour journey together to the beach. I remember those car rides as if they were yesterday, filled with travel games, back seat squabbles, my mom’s famous egg mayonnaise sandwiches for sustenance, countless “are we there yets” and loads of anticipation and adventure. Our two-week escape of sun, sand castles, spontaneity and shorelines lay ahead.
Our beach holiday would not be complete without indulging in our favourite dessert – a litchi topped tart so decadent it is impossibly mouth watering. Each bite from the first to the last was like a cool drop of summer. For me, this nostalgic treat – tangy, sweet & creamy – is still synonymous with the beach and those simple summer days of my childhood long past now. Best of all, when I enjoy a bite today (or two, who could blame me, really?) I can close my eyes and still see the boundless ocean of my childhood, hear the cracking waves, feel the sand between my toes and remember the enormity of each memory made.
1 cup fresh cream
¾ cup lemon juice
1 carton cream cheese
1 tin condensed milk
1 or 2 tins of litchis, set aside juice (substitute with pitted sour cherries if preferred)
6 tsp. of gelatin, placed in approximately ½ cup of boiling water
graham crackers, digestive biscuits or Rich Tea biscuits, with melted butter, to make the base (½ cup or approximately 125ml of melted butter)
- Whip cream until stiff
- In another bowl, mix lemon juice, cream cheese and condensed milk
- Add this mixture to the stiffened cream
- Next, combine 3 tsp. of gelatin powder to approximately ¼ cup boiling water, stir vigorously and immediately to fully dissolve the gelatin powder
- Add dissolved gelatin to creamed mixture
- Evenly place the cookie base in a non-stick dish and top with the cream mixture, allow to set in the refrigerator for 1 hour
- Decoratively place the litchis on the formed tart
- Add the remaining 3 tsp. gelatin to the remaining ¼ cup boiling water to again dissolve the gelatin powder, mix this liquid with the litchi juice set aside earlier
- Pour mixture over the tart and allow it to set overnight in the refrigerator
So whether Summer or Winter, on a beach vacation or not, do yourself a favour and try this treat…no one would blame you if you had more than one piece!
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