Last summer I moved from Prospect Heights, Brooklyn to Park Slope, Brooklyn. Even though Prospect Heights is only a few blocks away I don’t spend much time there anymore. One of the main things I miss from the old neighborhood, aside from my lovely duplex with a backyard, is Joyce Bakeshop. It’s a neighborhood café/bakery that’s always packed with freelancers working on their MacBooks, kids stopping in for a cookie, and commuters getting their morning coffee. Their macaroons are top notch and they’ve never failed me for great cupcakes, coffee, and baguettes.
When my sweet tooth reared its ugly head the other day I decided to walk over to Joyce Bakeshop. I opted for their lemon tart. I love fruit curds (such an awful name for something so delicious). Generally, I only find lemon curd (think lemon bars and lemon tarts) which is good stuff available commercially but there are many other exciting curd options that you can explore if you make your own. My favorite is passion fruit curd which makes a lovely bright yellow passion fruit tart.
The first time I had passion fruit I was at a market in Christchurch, New Zealand and one of the most popular vendors was selling yogurt (surprisingly thick and creamy yogurt) with fresh fruit toppings. I thought it was odd that this yogurt was such a hit but I assumed that locals knew something I didn’t. This was about ten years ago and Greek yogurt than been introduced to the States yet. I was feeling adventurous and decided to try the distinctly funky looking passion fruit topping on my yogurt. That was the best yogurt/fruit combo I’ll ever have.
I digress. Fruit curd is best when its made with a tart fruit which is why lemon is so popular but lime, grapefruit, even blackberry and of course passion fruit, all make great curd. If your grocery store doesn’t carry unsweetened passion fruit pulp (mine has it in the freezer isle next to the frozen berries) sub in an equal amount of fresh grapefruit juice.
I like curd with zest in it, but then I also prefer my orange juice with a little pulp. The zest is totally optional. If you enjoy a little pulp in your OJ you’ll probably appreciate the zest but if you like your OJ straight up, leave out the zest.
After making more passion fruit tarts than I really should have, I still had one cup of curd left over but it keeps for several days and is great with ginger scones, angle food cake, sugar cookies, strawberries etc. so I’m sure it won’t go to waste.
Passion Fruit Tarts (yields 1 large tart or multiple smaller tarts)
(Active time: 25 minutes Total time: 3-4 hours)
- 1 pre-baked tart crust or multiple individual tart shells (I cheated and used Pillsbury’s pie crust)
Passion Fruit Curd (yields 2 cups)
- 1 cup sugar
- 1/2 cup unsweetened passion fruit puree
- 6 large egg yolks
- 4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
- zest from one lemon (optional)
Fill a medium pot with an inch or two of water and bring the water to a simmer. Place the egg yolks in a heatproof bowl, preferably stainless steel, and whisk them until they’re frothy. Whisk in the sugar, and then the passion fruit puree.
Set the bowl over the pot of simmering water and adjust the heat to keep the water barely simmering. Cook, whisking constantly, until thick enough to coat back of spoon, 8 to 10 minutes. Remove from heat. Stir in the butter, piece by piece, until melted; blending well after each addition. Stir in the lemon zest. The curd can be made and refrigerated up to 3 days in advance.
Pour the hot curd into a pre-baked and cooled tart shell(s) and chill for several hours before serving.
*This Passion Fruit Tart is great paired with raspberries, strawberries and champagne. Enjoy!
-My Passion Fruit Tart recipe was adapted from a passion fruit curd recipe by Martha Stewart Weddings