I very distinctly remember the first time I tasted passionfruit. It was May 2010 and I was in Wellington, New Zealand. I was visiting for a month with a college group and we were bar hopping that particular night. I don?t drink alcohol but all the people I was with did, so I tagged along on their bar hopping adventure. At one particular bar the bartender offered to make me a virgin drink. I had no idea what it was but it had a distinct orangish yellow syrup on top with what looked like black watermelon seeds throughout it. I was skeptical but I took one sip and instantly fell in love. It was like nothing I had ever tasted before. It was tart like a lemon but sweet and tropical. I immediately asked the bartender what it was and he said, passionfruit! This is where my obsession with passionfruit began.
Fast forward a couple years and every chance I got to try something passion fruit flavored, I did. Most of the time these occurrences happened while visiting other tropical places like Mexico, Aruba, the Carribean, etc. It was very rare to find passionfruit anything here in the United States.
One day I was shopping at Costco when I saw out of the corner of my eye a 2 pack of passion fruit juice!! I was so freaking excited! I of course grabbed a few bottles in hopes that I could recreate some of my favorite passionfruit drinks and desserts I had had over the last several years.
I posted about the juice on my instagram story and mentioned something about wishing I could find actual passionfruit or passionfruit puree here in Utah. Well lo and behold a follower messaged me and said that our local Asian grocery store carried bags of whole frozen passionfruit. I was sold! I went and grabbed some the second I had some free time. I was also able to snag some frozen passionfruit juice from concentrate too and it still had the seeds in it!
If you are able to snag some real passionfruit and passionfruit juice, I highly recommend making this recipe!
For the cake:
1 ? cup AP Flour
1 cups sugar
1/4 tsp baking soda
1/2 tbsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1 1/2 sticks unsalted butter (room temp)
3 egg whites (room temp)
1 tbsp pure vanilla extract
1/2 cup whole milk (room temp)
1/2 cup sour cream (room temp)
For the mousse:
1 packet gelatin
1 ? cup heavy whipping cream
1 8oz package softened cream cheese
Pulp from 2 passionfruit
1 can sweetened condensed milk
1 cup passionfruit juice
For the curd: (recipe adapted from The Flavor Blender)
1 cup passion fruit pulp w/seeds
? cup passionfruit juice + ?-1 cup reserved
? cup sugar
1 ? sticks unsalted butter
8 egg yolks
For the graham cracker crust:
1 1/2 cups graham cracker crumbs
5 tbsp melted butter
? cup sugar
For the syrup:
2 cups passion fruit juice concentrate with seeds
For the curd: (Make a day ahead of time)
- Place the passion fruit pulp and sugar in a small saucepan. Then place the saucepan over low-medium heat and heat while stirring until the sugar has dissolved.
- Add the egg yolks and ? up passionfruit juice into a separate jug or bowl, and whisk to form a smooth paste.
- Pour the warm passion fruit and sugar in a thin stream into the eggs, WHILE whisking constantly to temper the eggs.
- Next pour the egg and passion fruit mix back into the saucepan, and return the saucepan to the stove.
- Add the unsalted butter to the warm passion fruit curd. The butter will melt as the passion fruit curd heats, and the whisking will help emulsify the butter into the passion fruit curd.
- Stir well (or whisk) constantly, while cooking the passion fruit egg mix. I prefer to use a rubber spatula to prevent any scratching of the saucepan. Make sure to scrape the bottom and sides so that the egg doesn?t cook and stick to the bottom. It’s very important to keep the passion fruit curd constantly moving to prevent curdling (eggs cooking).
- Stir or whisk frequently until the passion fruit curd thickens. This can take up to 10 minutes (the time depends on the heat of the stove, lower heat gives you better control over the cooking process, but will take longer).
- If you feel that the curd is heating too fast, remove the saucepan from the heat and mix well to disperse the heat.
- The most accurate way to ensure that the passion fruit curd is cooked well is to use a temperature probe and check the temperature of the curd often, while stirring. When the passion fruit curd registers 160? F, then it’s ready!
- Allow to cool then place a sheet of plastic wrap directly on top of the curd and press down. This will prevent a skin from forming on top of the curd. Store in the fridge overnight.
- Check the consistency of your curd. Mine was too thick so I added the reserved passionfruit juice a little at a time until it was more of a thick pourable consistency vs a thick pudding consistency.
For the mousse: (Make a day ahead of time)
- To a blender add whipping cream, cream cheese, condensed milk, passionfruit pulp and passionfruit juice. Blend for 3-5 minutes until thick.
- Add your gelatin to a small bowl with ? cup water. Stir and let it sit for 2 minutes. Then microwave for 20 second intervals until gelatin is dissolved.
- With a slow stream slowly pour gelatin mixture into the cream mixture while stirring constantly.
- Cover and store in the fridge overnight to set up.
For the cake:
- Preheat the oven to 340 degrees. In a large bowl beat butters and sugar on medium speed for 3 minutes.
- Add egg whites one at a time, beating and scraping down the sides of the bowl between each addition. Once all egg whites are added beat for an additional 2 minutes on medium speed.
- In a separate small bowl, whisk together sour cream, milk and vanilla extract.
- In an additional large bowl combine flour, salt, baking powder and baking soda.
- Starting and ending with the flour mixture, alternate adding milk mixture and flour mixture to the butter mixture. Once all added, scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl and mix for an additional minute.
- Pour into a well sprayed 9×13 baking pan and bake for 20-25 minutes or until a toothpick in the center comes out clean. Set aside to cool
For the graham cracker crust:
- Combine graham crackers, melted butter and sugar in a bowl. Press firmly into a 9×13 pan or a quarter sheet pan sprayed with cooking spray or lined with parchment paper and bake at 375 degrees for 8 minutes. Set aside to cool.
For the syrup:
- In a small saucepan simmer juice over medium high heat for 10-15 minutes until reduced into a thick syrup, set aside to cool.
- Using a large bowl or a trifle dish, break up the cake into small chunks and place them in the bottom of the bowl, next do a layer of curd, then the mousse, then the syrup and then the graham cracker crust. Alternate layers in this order until the dish is completely full.
- Serve immediately or store in the fridge until ready to serve.