I can never stray too far from tarts. They are the one thing I always come back to, happily.
I have made these passion fruit curd tarts once every week for the past three weeks (also a version with a torched Italian meringue top). Yes, these are crazily addictive.
While the passion fruit curd is not quite tart as compared to a lemon curd, it has a sweet-sour, tropical flavour that is unmistakable.
I have always loved passion fruit, however, I have really not been eating or including it in my desserts. Hence, I’m going to dedicate the month of May to this humble and under-rated fruit. I’ve kicked off the passion fruit series with these passion fruit tarts.
These passion fruit curd tarts are pretty quick to make and would make the best desserts.
You can choose a pâte sucrée (sweet tart dough) which is sweet, buttery and crumbly or a pâte brisée (shortcrust pastry) which is not sweet at all, but very buttery and flaky.
I think the pâte sucrée works better if you are opting to make this without an Italian meringue so it helps to balance the tartness of the curd.
If you are going to top the curd tart with Italian meringue, by all means decide between the pâte sucrée and the pâte brisée; both will result in really delicious tarts.
As for the curd, it is important to know when to stop cooking it. Many who begin making curd tend to take it off the heat slightly before it is done, resulting in a runnier curd. You want it smooth, creamy and thick.
The key is to make sure the curd coats the back of a wooden spoon and when you run a finger through the middle of the curd coated spoon, you should see a define path left behind. The lines of curd should not run off the spoon.
The passion fruit curd tart alone is enough to be a winner. But, if you want to impress, make and pipe some Italian meringue on top of the set curd tarts.
Add the finishing touches by using a blowtorch to lightly toast the meringue peaks. You can determine how brown your meringue should be but always do it with a gentle flame and keep moving the torch (do not keep it at one spot for too long). Oh and don’t get too carried away with the toasting. The meringue does get burnt! (i.e very dark brown or black).
Now, would you excuse me while I savour the last bite of my passion fruit curd tart.
Recipe: Passion fruit curd tarts
Makes 4 tarts (4.75″) or 1 large 9″ round tart
Pâte sucrée (Sweet tart dough)
This recipe makes double the portion required for the four tarts (or the 9″ tart). You can either cut down the recipe by half. I prefer to make the full recipe and keep the remaining dough for another use. This dough keeps well for a week in the fridge and a month in the freezer. Allow the dough(the one in the freezer) to thaw in the fridge for a day before trying to roll it out.
250g all-purpose flour, sifted
125g unsalted butter, room temperature and cut into cubes (Your butter should not be melting though)
125g caster sugar
60g egg (add more egg if needed, if the dough still feels dry)
grated zest from a lemon, orange or grapefruit
1 tsp vanilla extract
- Rub in butter with flour and caster sugar to fine breadcrumb-like consistency
- Add in egg, vanilla and zest till mixture is well combined. Alternatively, you could opt to use a food processor for the first two steps. Be very careful not to overwork the dough.
- Roll the dough into a flat disk, cling wrap it and place the dough in the fridge to rest for at least 20 minutes.
- Dust flour sparingly on the dough and rolling pin, roll dough to approximately 3mm thick.
- Transfer the dough into the tart pan. Rest dough in the tart tin for about 15 minutes before baking.
- Place a sheet of crumbled parchment paper over the top of the tart shell and weigh it down with baking weights or uncooked rice/beans. This will prevent the sides of the tart from sliding. Another tip is to bring the tart dough slightly over the edge before baking.
- Blind bake the tart shell in a 180 degree celcius pre-heated oven for about 25 minutes, or until golden brown. Remove the rice/beans during the last 5 minutes of the baking time and continue baking so that the tart base can brown. The large tart shell will take a longer time in the oven.
- Allow the tart shells to cool down before filling.
Passion fruit curd
Enough to fill 4 (4.75″ tart) or 1 large (9″ tart)
125g granulated sugar
125ml passion fruit puree
200g unsalted butter, cubed
1. Put the eggs, sugar, passion fruit puree into a stainless steel bowl. Whisk them over a bain-marie.
2. At first, the mixture will go frothy and bubbly. Continue whisking until it thickens until a ribbon stage. This means that as you lift the whisk from the mixture, it will fall back upon itself but should leave a trail or ‘ribbon’ across the surface. This ribbon will not immediately sink back in on itself but will hold firm. This will take a while so be patient. You can also check to see if it coats the back of a wooden spoon. You should be able to run your finger through the middle of the curd coated spoon and see a define path left behind. (shouldn’t run off)
3. Take the thickened mixture off heat and add in the cubed butter and whisk vigorously until incorporated. Cling wrap the bowl of curd and allow it to cool in the fridge. Fill the tart shells (cooled) with the curd (cooled).
4. Chill the filled tarts in the fridge before serving (for at least 2 to 3 hrs or overnight). Decorate with berries (raspberries or blackberries), passion fruit seeds, and chocolate if you wish.
*Storage tip: Store the filled tarts in an air tight container in the refrigerator. Best eaten within a day or two. The curd will start to soften the tart shell if it is kept for too long.