Passion Fruit Curd Tart with Shortbread Crust

January 20, 2023marissamakes
A passion fruit curd tart styled with passion fruit, seasonal flowers, and citrus curls

Prep time: 30 minutes

Cook time: 1 hour 30 minutes

Serves: One 9" tart

A passion fruit curd tart styled with passion fruit, seasonal flowers, and citrus curls

While we often associate winter with bitter cold and long nights, I always like to associate it with citrus season, and peak passion fruit season. Passion fruit is such a fun and odd fruit, with a leathery exterior, and a juicy, tropical, and very acidic interior. If you’re a fan of lemony flavor, you’ll love passion fruit! This tart is made of a simple shortbread crust with some lemon zest, and a passion fruit curd filling. It’s full of bright flavors and bright colors, perfect for bringing some sunshine to a cold, wintry day.

What is passion fruit?

Passion fruit is one of those foods that I never really tried until I was an adult. It was always something I was vaguely aware of, particularly in terms of tropical juice blends, but I didn’t have much experience with the fruit by itself. Growing up in the SF Bay Area, passion fruit vines are a very common garden plant, but often times they are not pollinated, so they don’t bear fruit. It wasn’t until fairly recently that I put it together in my mind that those wild and gorgeous purple flowers belong to the same plant that bears such weirdly wonderful alien fruits!

If you aren’t familiar with passion fruit, they can seem very strange at first. They are very light fruits, with a sort of spongy and leathery exterior that almost feels like foam. They wrinkle as they ripen, and sliced open, are filled with a bright yellow pulp. This pulp is juicy and tropical, and can easily be scooped out with a spoon. Passion fruits do contain black seeds, which don’t really taste like anything. You can choose to eat them for a little bit of crunch, or discard. Since we are making a smooth curd in this recipe, you will discard most of them. However, feel free to keep some of the seeds as part of the garnish!

Blind Baking

This passion fruit curd tart is baked in two stages. First, to set the crust, then to set the filling. This is a method called “blind baking”, which means that the tart shell bakes first with no filling inside. To keep the crust from puffing too much, prick the bottom of the tart crust all with a fork (known as “docking”). This will help keep the shape of the crust during the initial bake.

For this recipe, we are only going to partially blind bake the crust, because the filling needs a short bake to fully set.

How to make the best passion fruit curd

I love making fruit curds. I think it’s an incredibly easy way to make something incredibly delicious. For this recipe, you will need around 11 passion fruits, depending on their size. Preparing the passion fruit pulp for the curd is a little bit of a labor of love, but I promise it’s worth it! You will need to spoon out the pulp and pass it through a strainer, so that you are left with only the passion fruit juice. Feel free to save the pulp and seeds to use as a topping for yogurt or oatmeal!

Many curd recipes call for the use of a double boiler, or tempering the eggs. I personally do not find either necessary. Passionfruit curd is very easy to make: everything goes into the pot at once, and it only takes about 10 minutes in total. Make sure you whisk your eggs well before you add them to the pot. To ensure even cooking, continue whisking the entire time the curd is over heat. To guarantee an extra silky smooth lemon curd, simply pass it through a mesh strainer before using.

This recipe makes a slightly looser curd, since it is baked until set. If you want to make this passionfruit curd just to eat on its own (no judgment: it’s delicious!), feel free to add a tablespoon or two of cornstarch to make it a bit thicker.

Tools for making this tart

I recommend using a stand mixer to make the shortbread crust. You can also make it with an electric mixer to cream the butter and sugar. Regardless of method, it is important not to overwork the dough.

The passion fruit curd does not need any special tools besides a strainer.

This recipe calls for a 9″ loose bottomed tart tin. It could make 4-6 mini tarts instead, depending on the size of your tins. For the blind baking, you will need a fork to prick the base of your tart crust.

How to store this passion fruit curd tart

This tart keeps very well in the fridge, covered carefully, for 3-5 days. Allow to come to room temp before serving.

Looking for more tropical and bright dessert ideas?

Why not check out my…

Meyer Lemon Italian Meringue Pie

Key Lime Pie with Speculoos Crust

Cardamom Bundt Cake with Blood Orange Glaze

I hope you give this Passion Fruit Curd Tart with Shortbread Crust a try! Be sure to tag me on instagram so I can see your bakes, and leave me a comment below! Your feedback helps other bakers who are giving this recipe a try, and I love hearing about your bakes!

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  • Prep time: 30 minutes
  • Cook time: 1 hour 30 minutes
  • Total time: 2 hours
  • Serves: One 9" tart

If you're a fan of lemony flavor, you'll love passion fruit! This tart is made of a simple shortbread crust with some lemon zest, and a passion fruit curd filling. It's full of bright flavors and bright colors, perfect for bringing some sunshine to a cold, wintry day.

Ingredients

For the shortbread crust

  • 1 cup unsalted butter, (2 sticks, 226g), room temp
  • 3/4 cup + 3 tbsp powdered confectioners sugar, (100g)
  • 2 cups all purpose flour, (240g)
  • pinch of salt
  • 1 tbsp lemon zest

For the passion fruit curd

  • 3/4 cup fresh passion fruit juice, (177ml, about 11 passion fruits), pulp and seeds strained
  • 3 large eggs, beaten well
  • 3/4 cup granulated white sugar, (150g)
  • 1/2 cup cold unsalted butter, (113g, one stick, cut into cubese

To assemble

  • passion fruit pulp
  • citrus slices
  • edible flowers

Method

For the shortbread crust

  • 1)

    Cream the butter and sugar together in the bowl of a stand mixer, or using an electric mixer. Add the salt and flour, and lemon zest, and mix on low until just combined.

  • 2)

    In a 9″ loose bottomed tart pan, evenly press the shortbread dough into the pan to create your tart shell. Use a flat bottomed glass to help smooth the surface. Using a fork, dock the base of the crust to prevent too much puffing. Chill in the fridge for 30 minutes, to allow the butter to firm up.

  • 3)

    Preheat the oven to 350° F. Bake the tart crust for 20-25 minutes, or until lightly golden brown. Allow to cool slightly.

For the passion fruit curd

  • 1)

    While the tart shell is baking, prepare the passion fruit curd. Add the strained passion fruit juice, sugar, lemon zest, and beaten eggs to a medium sized heavy-bottomed sauce pan or pot. Heat over medium heat, whisking constantly, until the mixture starts to thicken. Make sure to whisk the edges of the pot thoroughly, as this is where the curd has a tendency to burn.

  • 2)

    Stir constantly until the curd begins to thicken. This curd is a bit on the thinner side, so it will not get super thick. Remove from heat.

  • 3)

    Using a fine-mesh sieve, strain the passion fruit curd into a heat-proof container, such as a pyrex, to remove any bits of egg.

  • 4)

    Add the butter, a few cubes at a time, to the container with the hot curd. Stir continuously until all the butter is incorporated. The heat from the curd will melt it into the mixture.

  • 5)

    Allow the passion friot curd to cool slightly, before adding it to the fully baked tart shell. Use an offset spatula to smooth the top. Passion fruit curd can be stored in the fridge in an airtight container for up to a week.

Assemble the tart

  • 1)

    Add the passion fruit curd to the partially baked tart shell. Return the tart to the oven, and bake for 15-20 minutes, or until the edges of the curd is set, but the center still has a little bit of a jiggle.

  • 2)

    Allow to cool before decorating. The curd will set up more as it cools, and this process can be sped up by placing the tart in the fridge for 30 minutes. Once cool, decorate with passion fruit pulp and citrus slices as desired.

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