If this dessert had a name it would be Fields of Passion. Not only is it beautiful to look at, but it is also very easy to make and tastes divine. With fresh ripe strawberries nestled within a creamy, decadent passionfruit curd atop a flaky sweet tart crust, you won’t be able to not sink your teeth into it.
I know what you’re thinking “a passionfruit curd from scratch? Is she nuts?” Actually this curd is probably the easiest part of the whole recipe. It only calls for four ingredients and doesn’t require you to stir anything over low heat for any length of time – perfect for a hot summer night. This curd comes together using only the microwave and a little bit of elbow grease. And very very little elbow grease at that. In fact the hardest thing about it is getting the passionfruit pulp out of the wrinkly fruits in the first place.
Passionfruit came into my life while living in Australia. We met casually at an ice cream stand. Then again as the juice in my mimosa. But our love affair came full circle when it appeared in curd form nestled delicately within a tart shell topped with kiwi, teasing me from inside my favorite bakery’s glass case. I couldn’t resist. We’ve now been in a serious relationship for over ten years.
The tart shell recipe I used here comes from my blog inspiration SmittenKitchen. The dough comes together quickly and easily, and doesn’t shrink. It’s genius.
The final step to this magnificent dessert was some fresh farm-stand strawberries. If those are no longer in season, just grab whatever is. Kiwis? Yes! Raspberries? Of course! Blueberries? Why not? Whatever you got, slice it, layer it and enjoy it.
Strawberry Passionfruit Tart
Tart Shell (9 inch tart)
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup confectioner’s sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 stick plus 1 tablespoon (9 tablespoons; 4 1/2 ounces) very cold (or frozen) unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
1 large egg*
1. Pulse the flour, sugar and salt together in the bowl of a food processor. Scatter the pieces of butter over the dry ingredients and pulse until the butter is coarsely cut in. (You’re looking for some pieces the size of oatmeal flakes and some the size of peas.) Stir the yolk, just to break it up, and add it a little at a time, pulsing after each addition. When the egg is in, process in long pulses–about 10 seconds each–until the dough, which will look granular soon after the egg is added, forms clumps and curds. Chill the dough, wrapped in plastic, for about 2 hours before rolling.
2. To roll the dough: Butter a 9-inch fluted tart pan with a removable bottom. Roll out chilled dough between two pieces of plastic or parchment paper (this avoids a messy counter.) Using paper as aid, turn dough into your tart pan and peel off the paper. Seal any cracks in dough. Pierce crust all over with fork.
3. Freeze the crust for at least 30 minutes, preferably longer, before baking.
4. To fully or partially bake the crust: Center a rack in the oven and preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Butter the shiny side of a piece of aluminum foil (or use nonstick foil) and fit the foil, buttered side down, tightly against the crust. And here is the very best part: Since you froze the crust, you can bake it without weights. Put the tart pan on a baking sheet and bake the crust for 30 to 35 minutes.
5. Transfer the pan to a rack and cool the crust to room temperature, and proceed with the rest of your recipe.
1 cup passionfruit pulp
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup (8 tablespoons) butter, melted
2 large eggs
1. Combine all of the ingredients in a large microwave-safe bowl. To avoid bubble-overs, the contents should fill no more than 1/4 of the bowl; an 8-cup measure works well here.
2. Microwave the ingredients in 1-minute increments, removing from the oven and stirring to combine after each minute.
3. When curd starts to thicken; coats the back of a spoon; and starts to mound a bit as you stir, it’s done. This can take anywhere from 4 to 8 minutes, depending on your microwave.
4. Stir the curd one more time, spoon it into a storage container, and refrigerate until firm.
5. Keep curd refrigerated for up to 3 weeks; freeze for longer storage.
Yield: a scant 2 cups of passionfruit curd curd.
Once the crust is cool, add in the passionfruit curd and top with your sliced fruit of choice.