07 October 2011

Passion Fruit Tart

Cody and I tied the knot four years ago in Ireland.

"Why Ireland?"  (We get that a lot.)

Well, there's the Guinness, of course.

And we got engaged in Dublin.
I also had this crazy idea that I'd like to get married in a ruin.  They have ruins in Ireland.

So off we went with a big dress and 20 friends in tow.

It was an amazing day and the adventure we've had since has been so rich that I'm happy to say I'd do it all over again!

Enter Passion Fruit.

Perfect for an anniversary.  More accurately, perfect for Cody on our anniversary.  I don't know exactly when it happened, but he's gone bonkers for passion fruit.  It may even rival his affection for anything chocolate.

We went to Chicago recently and while shamelessly eating our way through several bakeshops (it's research!), we tried the Passion Fruit Tart at Floriole in Lincoln Park.

I adored this place.

It's the kind of shop I dream of having.



In a great walking neighborhood.

The case was full of beautiful sweet and savory bites.

I know it's off topic, but the Canelé de Bordeaux was dreamy.  I have a soft spot for canelé.

The passion fruit tart was light and refreshing and creamy.  The crust was thin and crispy.  It was like eating sunshine.  And how cute, right?

Cody made this face... and before I knew it the little tart was nothing but crumbs.

That's when I decided to recreate it for him as a surprise.  It added a little unexpected passion to our anniversary.

I think it turned out pretty great and he was definitely surprised.

What Happened:
This tart is not complicated, it just has a few different steps that build on to one another.  Frankly, its more difficult to explain than to do!

You make passion fruit curd--curd being one of the easiest and quickest things to make.  So versatile and packed with flavor.  Then it sets.  That's when you can make the crust.  Once the crust is cooled you finish the cream, fill and chill.

This Pate Sucre is foolproof.  It's a cookie dough crust, so you don't really have to worry about ruining it.  This is not a flaky, temperamental pie crust.  It can be rolled out cold too.  Warning:  the dough will break on you.  Don't worry.  Patch or piece it back together and move on.

You don't have to have a tart pan to make this (or any other) tart.  I used an 8-inch cake pan because I wanted plain, straight sides like the one at Floriole.  I dabbed a little non-stick spray on the pan for insurance, but it came out easily.  I trimmed the sides about 3/4 of the way up the side of the pan only because I didn't want a 2-inch deep tart, but you don't have to do this.

The Results:
Pretty.  Creamy.  Tangy.

I was very happy with it and Cody was over the moon.

The passion fruit cream was full flavored and zippy.  The smell alone was intoxicating.  The crust was crispy against all that fluffy cream.  The salt in the crust helped balance out the sweetness too.

Things I Would Change:
  • Nada.

Passion Fruit Tart
makes an 8 or 9-inch tart

Passion Fruit Cream (curd plus stabilized whipped cream)
Pate Sucre Shell
Vanilla Scented Cream

Start by making the passion fruit curd.  While the curd is setting put together the crust, roll and bake it.  Once the crust is cooled, finish the passion fruit cream.  Fill the tart shell with the cream and finish by whipping up some vanilla scented cream top, chill and serve.

Passion Fruit Curd
makes about 1 cup
4           egg yolks
2/3 c     sugar
pinch    salt
4 T        butter
2/3 c     passion fruit pulp (thawed)--in the freezer section at Latin markets

In a small saucepan whisk together the egg yolks and sugar until well blended.  Add salt, butter and 1/3 c up of the passion fruit puree.  Mix together and cook over medium low heat stirring constantly.  Do not let the mixture bubble.   Cook until curd thickens like thin pudding.  If you use a thermometer bring it to 190 degrees F.

Strain into a bowl and gently stir in the remaining puree.  Cover with plastic wrap directly onto the surface of the curd and cool in the refrigerator until set--1 hour.

(Meanwhile put together and bake the crust.)

Pate Sucre
makes up to a 9-inch tart shell

1 c     flour
1/4 c  sugar
1/4 t  salt
4 T    unsalted butter, cold & cubed
1       egg yolk
2-3 t  cream
1 t     vanilla

In a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, mix the flour, sugar and salt.  Add butter and mix until the flour looks sandy.

In a small bowl whisk together the yolk, 2 teaspoons of cream and vanilla.  Add to the flour mixture and mix on low speed until the dough starts to come together in large chunks.  Press together into a ball in the bowl.  Wrap ball in plastic wrap and press into the shape of a disc.  Refrigerate for 15 minutes or until ready to use.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

On a lightly floured surface roll the dough out to 1/8-inch thickness.  It will break, don't panic.  This is mend-able, patchable dough.

Roll dough onto the pin and transfer to the pan.  Ease dough into the pan, repair tears and trim excess crust from the sides.

Put pan into the freezer for 5-10 minutes (if you have time).

Crumble up a piece of parchment paper into a ball, un-ball and lay the paper over the dough.  Fill paper with pie weights, beans or rice to weight down.  Bake crust for 25 minutes.  Remove paper with weights and return the shell to the oven to brown--about 10-15 minutes.  You're looking for golden brown.

Remove crust from oven, let cool completely.

Finish the cream.

Passion Fruit Cream
makes about 2 cups
1 t      powdered gelatin
1 T     cold water
1 t      sugar
1/2 c  heavy cream

1       recipe of passion fruit curd

Sprinkle gelatin over water in a heatproof bowl or measuring cup.  This is called "sponging" the gelatin.  It will thicken almost instantly.  Make sure all the gelatin is wet.  Wait a couple of minutes then heat in the microwave for 10 second bursts and stir until the gelatin is dissolved.  Set aside.

Whip the cream and sugar (stand or handheld mixer or by hand) until it starts to thicken (you'll be able to see streaks in the cream as you whip) then slowly stream in the gelatin.  Continue to whip until the cream starts to form stiff peaks.

With a large balloon whisk or a rubber spatula fold the cream into the passion fruit curd.

Pour immediately into the cooled tart crust.  Refrigerate until set--about an hour.

Vanilla Scented Cream

1 c    heavy cream
2 t     sugar
1 t     vanilla

Whip the cream, sugar and vanilla (stand or handheld mixer or by hand) just to soft peaks.  This makes it billow and swoop on top of your tart.  Spread whimsically on top of the passion fruit cream and chill.


  1. Passion fruit is underappreciated. Ever heard of POG?

  2. this looks and sounds delightful...would love to taste.