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Passion Fruit Tart (like lemon but better)

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Passion fruit is one of my favorite flavors. I love it in pots de creme, in pâte de fruit, and in popsicles. But one of my favorite ways to enjoy its bright, sweet-tart, tropical flavor is in a classic passion fruit tart.

If you’re a fan of lemon desserts, odds are you’ll be into this.

I tend to think of the passion fruit curd here tasting like lemon curd, but somehow fuller and rounder and—no disrespect to lemon curd—better.

Rolled out tart dough

I sometimes think people hear passion fruit and think it’s some sort of impossibly fancy, pastry-cheffy ingredient, but there’s no reason to be intimidated.

It’s just a tropical fruit with a marigold-colored pulp that

You can use fresh passion fruit if you come across the wrinkly purple fruit at your local grocery store. Seek out fruit that’s heavy for its size and know that the wrinklier they are, the riper they are. Then just slice them in half, scoop out the juicy pulp and strain out the seeds.

(The seeds are totally edible and sometimes used as garnish on passion fruit desserts, and you can throw them on as garnish at the end if you like, but you don’t want them in the smooth curd.)

Unbaked tart crust getting trimmed

But I tend to have an easier time finding frozen passion fruit puree.

It’s generally available in the frozen fruit section at Mexican grocery stores (and is available online if your local stores don’t have it) and is high quality and easy to use.

You can thaw the frozen puree gently on the stove or in a bowl in the microwave just until it turns liquid.

Be sure to use something where passion fruit is the only ingredient and avoid shelf stable passion fruit nectars or juice with added sugar.

Fresh passion fruit

The crust on this one is crisp and tender and delicate. The generous dose of powdered sugar gives it a lovely melt-in-your-mouth texture that I just love.

It’s worth noting that the crust is on the fragile side, which means the edges tend to come out looking a little, ahem, rustic. Which, honestly, only adds to its charm.

Passion fruit tart before decoration

But if you have a favorite sweet tart crust (also known as pâte sucrée) recipe feel free to use it here.

(If you’re looking for a less-fussy crust, you could use my easy shortbread tart crust.)

The passion fruit curd filling comes together easily.

Some recipes for citrus curds ask you to mess around with double boilers and have you temper the eggs, but I’ve found that if you heat everything gently in a heavy-bottomed pan there’s no need to dirty extra dishes.

Just heat it slowly until thickened and strain it and pour the curd into the tart crust and the whole thing goes into the oven until it sets just so (just until it loses its wiggle).

(The same basic technique applies to this cranberry curd tart.)

Passion Fruit Tart. From Blossom to Stem | www.blossomtostem.net

Then it needs to cool. Waiting on that is the hardest part.

Then I like to top this with a swirl of whipped cream. It isn’t strictly necessary, but it is nice.

Give this passion fruit tart a try, and after you take a bite, just try not to smile. I dare you.

Passion Fruit Tart. From Blossom to Stem | www.blossomtostem.net
Yield: 8 servings

Passion Fruit Tart

Passion Fruit Tart. From Blossom to Stem | www.blossomtostem.net

This passion fruit tart is one of my all-time favorite desserts. It's like a lemon tart (or lemon meringue pie) but better. The tart crust has a lighter, airier texture than most because of the long creaming time. This makes it more delicate and rustic than some might prefer, but I love it. That said, if you have go-to tart crust or pâte sucrée, feel free to use it. I tend to use frozen passion fruit puree for this. It's often available at Mexican grocery stores and at some big chains. I usually use Goya brand, but I'd recommend sticking to a brand that lists passion fruit as the only ingredient. (You can also order it online.) If you have fresh passion fruit, though, you can absolutely use them.  Just slice open the fruit, scoop out the pulp and remove the seeds and use it here. 
This tart doesn't need any adornment, really, but I like to top it with some lightly sweetened whipped cream.
You'll need a 9.5-in tart pan and a half sheet pan for this recipe.

Cook Time 1 hour
Additional Time 2 hours 30 minutes
Total Time 3 hours 30 minutes

Ingredients

Tart Crust

  • 8 tbsp unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 2/3 cup powdered sugar
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/4 tsp kosher salt
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour

Passion Fruit Curd

  • 6 egg yolks
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup passion fruit puree
  • 8 tbsp unsalted butter, cut into 1-inch chunks

Instructions

Tart Crust

  1. Add the butter to the bowl of a stand mixer and beat on medium speed for one minute. Add the powdered sugar. Cream together the butter and sugar on medium-high speed until the mixture turns pale and looks almost fluffy, about 7 minutes, occasionally stopping the mixer to scrape down the sides of the bowl. Add the egg yolk, vanilla extract, and salt and mix until incorporated, about 1 minute. Add the flour and mix on low speed until no dry flour remains, about 1 minute.
  2. Turn the dough out onto a large piece of plastic wrap, pat into a disk about 1-inch thick, and wrap well. Chill in the refrigerator for at least 2 hours or overnight.
  3. Take your dough out of the refrigerator and let it sit for 5-10 minutes. On a lightly floured surface, roll out the dough into a circle about an 1/8-inch thick and about 11-inches in diameter. Have a 9.5-inch tart pan ready and carefully press the dough into the pan and trim off the excess. Freeze for 30 minutes.
  4. Preheat oven to 350°F. Place the tart pan on a rimmed baking sheet. Line the tart shell with parchment paper or aluminum foil and fill with pie weights or dried beans. Bake for 30 minutes. Remove from the oven, let cool for 5 minutes, remove the liner, and bake until golden brown, about 15 minutes. (Don't panic if the tart shell shrinks a little in the oven.) Let cool.

Passion Fruit Curd (and baking the tart)

  1. In a medium, heavy-bottomed saucepan, add the egg yolks, whole egg, sugar, vanilla extra, and passion fruit puree and whisk together. Gently heat over medium-low heat, whisking constantly, until the mixture has thickened, about 7-10 minutes. Immediately pass through a fine mesh strainer and stir in the butter. 
  2. Preheat the oven to 325°F. Place the prepared tart shell on a rimmed baking sheet, pour the passion fruit curd into the tart shell, and bake until the curd sets, about 12-15 minutes. To see if it's set, gently tap the edge of the tart pan to see if the center of the tart jiggles. If it doesn't jiggle, it's set. Let cool to room temperature. Serve with whipped cream, if desired.

Notes

Will keep, stored in the refrigerator, for 3 days.

Nutrition Information:

Yield:

8

Serving Size:

1

Amount Per Serving: Calories: 417Total Fat: 28gSaturated Fat: 16gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 10gCholesterol: 246mgSodium: 97mgCarbohydrates: 38gFiber: 2gSugar: 23gProtein: 5g
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Nic

Sunday 28th of June 2020

Wondering if it’s possible to make the curd the day before baking?

Mary Kasprzak

Sunday 28th of June 2020

Yes, that's fine. Keep it refrigerated in an airtight container. You might have to extend the bake time by a few minutes for it to set.

michael

Monday 23rd of December 2019

Nevermind. Moving on to a different recipe. Rolling out this crust was a disaster...completely crumbled. I think it's because of the amount of sugar. Will use a more standard pate sucree.

Mary Kasprzak

Monday 23rd of December 2019

It's a delicate crust, but I've never had it crumble when mixed according to the written instructions. I'm not sure what went wrong for you, but I've made this many times and I can attest that it's structurally sound as written. If you want a simpler tart crust, I recommend my foolproof shortbread tart crust.

Michael

Monday 23rd of December 2019

Hello! Thank you for posting this recipe. I was wondering if you have tried this with the Boiron Passion Fruit puree (since you have it listed on this site). You wrote that you usually use Goya brand. I will be using the Boiron brand and was curious as to the tartness of the fruit. Was 1/2 cup enough to bring out a strong passion fruit flavor with the Goya brand? Many other recipes I've seen (French), seem to add a bit more. My concern is that with your sweeter crust and the 7 eggs(6 yolk), I didn't want the passion fruit flavor to be underwhelming. I will also be adding an Italian meringue topping, which will be providing an additional sugar hit. Thank you in advance for your response!

Mary Kasprzak

Monday 23rd of December 2019

The Boiron brand is top-notch and frequently used by pastry chefs and it works here (I often use Goya because it's available at grocery stores in my neighborhood, but anything that's pure passion fruit puree should give you similar results). The passion fruit flavor comes through clearly and the sweetness of the crust works with the sharp passion fruit flavor of the curd, and it's well balanced as written.

I haven't made it with an Italian meringue, which, as you say, will add sweetness. I still think the passion fruit flavor will come through, but I haven't tested it that way. If I were doing that I might opt for a less-sweet tart crust rather than messing with the curd.

Cheryl

Tuesday 26th of November 2019

I grow passion fruit at my home in SoCal! I’m always looking for ways to use them so this dessert is on my Thanksgiving menu this week!

Chelsey

Monday 18th of November 2019

The Tart Crust instructions call for cream to be added with the powdered sugar, but it is not in the ingredients list. How much cream and what type specifically should be used for the crust? Thanks!

Mary Kasprzak

Monday 18th of November 2019

Chelsey,

In the tart crust instructions, "cream" is actually meant as a verb, as in the technique where you beat the butter and sugar together to form a light fluffy, creamy mixture—there's no cream in the crust. But I get the confusion and I'll edit to clarify!