There is something very satisfying about blow torching sugar on a tart or any other dessert item. Although this may be fearful for some members of the population such as IQS or paleo or cavemen or whatever, I certainly enjoy sugar in moderation. And this is coming from a Public Health Nutritionist. Anyway, this is all besides the point when it’s really about the spectacular passionfruit (Passiflora edulis) from my garden. Also joining in on the fun were additional passionfruit grown in the backyard of my good friend (we produce swap). So this tart is truly a product of sharing local love. Sigh!
Growing passionfruit is so easy it gets to be point where you wish it wasn’t. It is a very fruitful vine. I grow 2 common varieties; black and panama red on a trellis along our fence which is ideal as these guys are climbers with vines that hold on for dear life. They love full sun, lots of water and well drained soil. I lightly prune once a year in Spring and throw a bit of chook poo around now and then. It took over a year for my plant to fruit from a decent seedling (you can grow more developed plants to reap rewards sooner). Just make sure the root system is always covered to protect from the elements. Another passionfruit bonus; they’re high in Vitamin C and A, fibre and antioxidants.
Usually recipes on the blog are my own, however I had to spruik this one; it’s from Homemade (2011) by Anna Gare and the best passionfruit tart recipe around. I try not to do the attachment thing but there are pleasant memories surrounding this cookbook. Anna is an ambassador for Jamie’s Ministry of Food and personally gave us a copies of her book when I worked there. It was on the day Jamie came to meet and cook with us; you don’t tend to forget Jamie Oliver thanking you for doing his work in a hurry! Anyhoo, you may have a favourite shortcrust pastry recipe but I thought I’d also include Anna’s. Extra yummy with raw cream on the side.
P A S S I O N F R U I T T A R T
1 large sheet good quality sweet short pastry (see below)
1 ¼ cups caster sugar
5 organic eggs
300 ml double cream
150 ml passionfruit pulp
¼ cup lemon juice
2 tablespoons extra caster sugar to caramelise top of tart
Preheat oven to 180 degrees.
Lightly grease a 24 cm flan tin and line it with pastry. Put the pastry case in the fridge for 30 mins to rest.
Blind bake the pastry case by covering it with baking paper and filling it to the top with pastry weights (or dried beans or rice). Bake the case in a moderate oven for about 10-15 mins.
Remove the weights and paper then bake the pastry case, uncovered, for a further 5 mins.
Turn the oven down to 150 degrees.
Put the caster sugar, eggs, cream, passionfruit pulp and lemon juice in a bowl and whisk them until they are well combined.
Pour the filling into the pastry base and bake the tart in oven for about 25 mins, or until it’s just set.
Remove from oven and allow to cool.
To serve, sprinkle the top of tart with the extra caster sugar and caramelise the sugar with a blowtorch or under the grill. If you use the grill, cover the edges of the pastry with foil to prevent burning.
S W E E T S H O R T P A S T R Y
:: makes enough for two 24 cm tarts
300g plain flour
125g icing sugar
150g unsalted butter, diced
1 egg (or 2 yolks), lightly beaten
½ teaspoon vanilla extract
Blend the flour and icing sugar in a food processor to remove any lumps.
Add the butter and pulse the mixture a few times until it’s the consistency of breadcrumbs.
Add the egg and vanilla to the mixture and pulse 2-3 times.
Put the pastry into a bowl and, using your hands, gently push it together to form a ball. (Do not overwork it).
Wrap the pastry in cling film and rest it in the fridge for 30 mins