roasted broccoli and farro salad with feta sparkling champagne margaritas cranberry hazelnut seed crisps cioppino


copyright jennifer yu © 2004-2014 all rights reserved: no photos or content may be reproduced without prior written consent


i’m sending you to hawai’i

Recipe: passion fruit malasadas

So, I just thought I’d ask… Are you guys tiring of my snow pictures?


more snow and more skiing over the weekend



Because if you are, I get it. See, even though I LOVE skiing and I LOVE the snow and I LOVE the cold, there are times when I think fondly of places that are not cold, snowy, and skiable. I had a typical conversation on The Book of Face a few weeks ago where I declared my love of Colorado winter and my friend Cindi declared her love for tropical beaches. I told her she ought to live in Hawai’i and I sent her a link to my Big Island of Hawai’i write up from a few years ago. I glanced through the post and was reminded of how beautiful the island is.

crazy beautiful waipi’o valley

the ohia flower

green sea turtle snoozing on the beach



And then I saw photos of the (many) malasadas we sampled researched. Oh yeah, I was supposed to learn to make malasadas – those sweet fried doughnuts of Portuguese origin that are now ubiquitous across the islands. My favorites on the Big Island were from Tex Drive In in Honoka’a on the North Coast and I happened upon their recipe online. Awesome!

water, sugar, salt, vanilla, butter, eggs, flour, evaporated milk, quick rising yeast

blend an egg, the sugar, and butter together

add the yeast

and 5 cups of flour



You’re supposed to blend the yeast and flour into the butter mixture before adding the liquids, but I was distracted and added them all at once. It’s fine. This should be relaxing. Hawai’i.

pour in the warm water and the evaporated milk

add the remaining eggs and half cup of flour

you should get a smooth, but slightly sticky dough

cover and let rise



Malasadas can be flavored or plain or filled. The ultimate malasada that screams Hawai’i to me is the passion fruit filled malasada. Maybe pineapple is your thing, but passion fruit (liliko’i) is absolutely 100% my thing. You can make the passion fruit curd while the dough rises, but I prefer to make the curd well before making the malasada dough so that the curd has time to cool down.

sugar, butter, lots of eggs, lemon, passion fruit (and passion fruit juice), salt

the pulp inside a passion fruit

straining the pulp through a sieve



If you live where I live, you know that passion fruits are pricey little buggers. We pay $3 per fruit. That’s why I hoard them when I travel to Southern California or Hawai’i and freeze the pulp for moments of inspiration such as this. If you can’t get fresh passion fruit, then try a Mexican grocery store to see if they carry frozen pulp or purée. You can also drop a pretty penny to order frozen passion fruit concentrate. I hoard those too and have a couple in my freezer.

bring the sugar, salt, butter, lemon juice, and passion fruit juice to a boil

have yolks at the ready

gradually whisk the hot liquid into the yolks

passion fruit curd



I made a double batch of the passion fruit curd recipe when I realized how many malasadas Tex’s recipe would yield. A little extra passion fruit curd is never a bad thing… Based on my experience, you can get a cup of pulp (seeds and all) from 6-8 medium to large passion fruits which will result in a half cup of juice once you press it all through a sieve. Just remember that a little goes a long way.

When the dough is ready, punch it down, cut it in half and roll the first half out to a rectangle 12 by 16 inches. They cut their dough to 4-inch squares, but I did some large ones and some small ones. I can’t resist the temptation to make small versions – I like small foods.


half the dough on a lightly floured surface

rolling the dough out

cut into squares

fried malasadas



Before you ask if these can be baked, my answer is: I don’t know. Nor do I care. If I’m going to use my precious precious passion fruits, we’re going to fry these suckers. Most of the malasadas I’ve had are solid fluffy sweet bread through and through. When I fried mine, about a third of them ballooned up much like a sopaipilla. Once fried, shake the malasadas in a bag of granulated sugar. This is traditional although I like them without the sugar too. Poke a hole in the side with a chopstick or knife and then pipe some passion fruit curd into the malasada.

fluffy, sweet, wonderful

toss in sugar (i used a ziploc)

ready to fill

a piping bag fitted with a piping tip makes the job easier



How were they? HEAVENLY! These were as good as Tex Drive In’s malasadas and if you closed your eyes, you could almost convince yourself you were on the Big Island. Like I said, this recipe makes a lot of malasadas, so I gave several away to our neighbors and friends. The feedback has been extremely positive. You should have seen the look on Jeremy’s face when I handed him the last one – he was simultaneously elated and devastated. As with most fried doughs, they are best eaten fresh so the crisp outside and soft, tender inside are preserved. And you don’t have to use passion fruit curd – fill it with chocolate pudding, pastry cream, whipped cream, chocolate mousse, lemon curd, orange curd, raspberry jelly, whatever you like. Just be sure to love on the malasada.

cheaper than a trip to hawai’i

such happiness in a little nugget of yum



Passion Fruit Malasadas
[print recipe]
from Tex Drive-In via Epicurious

3 cups passion fruit curd
3 large eggs, room temperature
3/4 cup sugar
5 tbsps unsalted butter, room temperature
3/4 tsp salt
5 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
2 envelopes quick rising dry yeast
1 cup hot water, 110°F – 120°F
1/3 cup evaporated milk
2 tsps vanilla extract
oil for frying (vegetable or canola)

passion fruit curd
modified from The Cooking of Joy

1/2 cup passion fruit juice (strained from 1 cup passion fruit pulp which equals 6-8 passion fruits)
2 cups sugar
1 cup butter
1/4 tsp salt
3 tbsps lemon juice, fresh
12 egg yolks

Make the passion fruit curd: If using fresh passion fruits, slice them in half and empty the pulp and any juice on the cutting board into a measuring cup. Strain the pulp through a sieve to yield a half cup of juice. Combine the passion fruit juice, sugar, butter, salt, and lemon juice in a medium saucepan. Set over medium high heat and stir to dissolve the sugar. Bring to a boil. Remove from heat. Place the yolks in a medium or large bowl and whisk to break them up. Whisk a half cup of the passion fruit liquid into the yolks. Repeat until half of the liquid has been whisked into the egg yolks. Scrape the egg yolk mixture back into the saucepan with the rest of the passion fruit liquid and whisk to incorporate. Set the pan on medium heat and stir constantly until the curd thickens. Remove from heat. Pour into a bowl and refrigerate. Makes about 3 cups.

Make the malasadas: Place one egg, the sugar, butter, and salt in a bowl and beat until blended with paddle attachment. Add 5 cups of the flour and the two envelopes of yeast and beat for a minute. Switch to the dough hook. Pour the hot water, evaporated milk, and vanilla into the mix and beat until blended. Beat in the last 2 eggs until smooth. Add the remaining 1/2 cup of flour and beat until smooth, soft, and slightly sticky – about 10 minutes. If the dough is really sticky, add a tablespoon of flour at a time. Scrape the dough into a bowl and cover with plastic and a towel. Let rise in a warm, draft-free location for 2 hours or until it has doubled in volume. Punch the dough down and cut it into two halves. Roll one half out on a lightly floured surface to a rectangle about 12 by 16 inches. Cut the rectangle into twelve 4-inch squares. Repeat with the reamining half of the dough.

Heat 1 1/2 inches of oil in a large pan to 350°F (use a thermometer). Fry 2-3 malasadas at a time until the bottoms are golden brown and the pastry is puffed (about a minute or two). Flip the malasadas over and fry for another minute or two until golden on the bottom. Remove from oil with a slotted spoon or tongs and drain on paper towels. Repeat for the remaining malasadas. Sprinkle the malasadas with sugar or shake them in a sealed ziploc bag with some sugar. Poke a hole in the side of each malasada with a chopstick or a knife. Fill a pastry bag fitted with a small plain tip with the passion fruit curd. Pipe a tablespoon or two of curd into each malasada. Makes 24.


more goodness from the use real butter archives

sopaipillas french crullers macadamia shortbread cookies strawberry daifuku mochi

29 nibbles at “i’m sending you to hawai’i”

  1. irenalana says:

    Thanks for reminding us of that post that I was not aware of. Your snow pictures are beautiful and I like snow but this beaches are breathtaking.

  2. Julia says:

    Ohia blossoms and sea turtles were things that I wanted to see when I was growing up in Hawaii. That’s what I got for living in Honolulu. Now, I live in Colorado.

    Either way, malasadas are awesome. I never had them filled. Leonard’s was the place to go in Honolulu.

  3. Kristin says:

    Mmmmm. They look scrumptious. And you’ve ALMOST made me regret I’m not going to Oahu in 2 weeks with most of the high school’s marching band…almost, but not quite You’re turning into quite the frying machine!

  4. Katrina @ Warm Vanilla Sugar says:

    I love that you stuffed these with passion fruit! Yum!

  5. Eva @ Eva Bakes says:

    I am in love with Hawaii’s malasadas. We had them at Leonard’s on Oahu, and I’ve been itching to make them myself. Next time I see passionfruit puree, I am going to hoard some as well!

  6. laura b says:

    This takes me back! I went to the Big Island last year and used your blogs as a travel guide. Tex Drive In was the best! I also consumed WAY too many malasadas throughout the whole trip, but hey, that’s what vacation is for right? I’m going to have to try these out ASAP.

  7. Lisa says:

    Surely, Hawaii has warm weather and many people love that ocean breeze and walking on the beach. I do too sometimes. We just spent three weeks of February in California and it was warm there. Right now I really enjoy seeing 3 inches of snow that is just enough covering the ground here in Williamsburg. Places with four seasons are great place to live. Love the malasadas.

  8. Joy says:

    A little (or a lot of) extra passion fruit curd is most definitely never a bad thing!

  9. Nate @ House of Annie says:

    I’m in love! Thanks for posting this recipe.

  10. GG Mora says:

    Interesting. I went to art school in New Bedford, MA, which has a significant Portuguese population. We used to get malasadas on Sunday mornings…a quick walk to the bakery…the brown paper bag would quickly soak through with the oil on the walk home, the treasure inside still warm, toothy, sugar-crunchy excellence. They were nothing like a doughnut in shape: flat, misshapen, about the size of my whole hand. Road Food has a photo on the page linked here: http://www.roadfood.com/Restaurant/Overview/8199/carreiros-barcelos From a bakery in Fall River, MA – practically New Bedford’s twin city.

    And I’m only sick of your pictures of snow because ours has been so crapulous here (Vermont) this winter: watching while New York, Boston, Hartford, Philadelphia, DC, get dumped on again and again, and we get a little dusting or a perfunctory 2 – 4″. We did get a few good dumpings, but they were followed in short order (a matter of days) by melting temperatures and torrential rain. No justice, i tell ya.

  11. Pey-Lih says:

    Oh, very nice! Never cut open a passion fruit to know this, so this recipe was an interesting read. Nope, not tired of your snow pictures at all….given we don’t have any here in socal, it’s a nice viewing because I don’t have any (thankfully). But I must say, it makes me want to go snow shoeing though. OK, back to the books…your food blog better than learning cardiology.

  12. Trisha G. says:

    Personally, I have been enjoying the snow pictures. My first winter in Paris has been very mild, and I am missing my Colorado snow! So thank you for treating me to a bit of it through the beauty of your lovely photos. Having said that, Hawaii is my most favorite place on earth, and I have missed the malasadas. Paris has no malasadas, and while they have things that look like donuts, they are NOT. So I am off today in a hunt for passion fruit, which my husband says he has seen in several ethnic grocery stores. We will see if he is right. Thank you once again, Jen. You are the best!

  13. Louise says:

    Will never tire of your snow or any other pictures! Only need to see more pics of the pup ;-)

  14. Fiona says:

    Hah – I know you posted this recipe for me so I can use up some of our endless supply of big yellow Panama passion fruit – and add in some vanilla. And just when I am racking my brains for a great recipe for the next Broken Nose Vanilla news. Thanks so much. Looks like a tropically rainy weekend coming up, so I will stock up on ingredients.

    And your beautiful snow pics make me think about a trip somewhere cold again next northern winter…

  15. Robin says:

    Jen, I will never tire of your photos, especially SNOW photos!

  16. M. K. says:

    Your snow inspire & delight and are food for the soul…keep ‘em coming!
    PS ~ I found those posted with the Potato Masala recipe to be especially delicious!

  17. Juliet says:

    Awww, so I’m living in Colorado now (originally from Hawaii) and although I do love the seasons and snow at times I do miss home. Thanks for all the wonderful blogs about your culture (I am ABC too) and food.
    If you ever make it to Windsor, come visit me at our Okole Maluna Hawaiian restaurant, (although we don’t have malasadas on the menu all the time we have lots of other yummy foods). Mahalos!

  18. Kurt Jacobson says:

    What’s not to love about passion fruit. Every time I visit New Zealand I eat all I can of this amazing fruit.

  19. Kurt Jacobson says:

    What’s not to love about passion fruit? Every time I visit New Zealand I eat it often.

  20. Allie says:

    Coincidentally I watched the movie The Descendants last night which is filled with gorgeous shots of Hawaii. Much needed when I spent 30 minutes scraping ice off my car this morning and slid all over intersections on my way to work. Ever since you posted about malasadas in Hawaii I’ve wanted one!

  21. CoffeeGrounded says:

    You are my greatest inspiration! Seriously, when I look at your step-by-step approach, your total commitment to the process(es), I am beyond amazed. You give so much, spoil us rotten and leave us filled with admiration. Just so you know, because I think you should, we know you are human, generous beyond measure and we will always be grateful. Can you show us a few mistakes from time to time? Our love would not be diminished, your reputation not tainted. We know your spirit dances alongside our journey. That’s why we love you, you build us up by giving us hope that we might also find we can do anything when we are inspired. :)
    Love you, kiddo…really, really do.

  22. jill says:

    Never get tired of any of your photos!
    These look like my grandmother’s “pummelkins”! Her recipe just says a scoop of flour, a scoop of sugar…but doesn’t say what size the scoop is! I’m going to forward this to my sister. Of course, grannie just made them plain, and they were delish!

  23. Rachel S says:

    What a coincidence! I’ve had passion fruit malasadas on my to-do list for ages. These are gorgeous, I’d glaze them with chocolate ganache because I’m greedy! Seriously drool-worthy post!

  24. Kate says:

    Lilikoi malasadas! Thanks for the recipe. I associate lilikoi and malasadas so strongly with Hawaii that it’s hard for me to imagine eating them on the East Coast. And thanks for the reminder about Hawaii. I go to Oahu about once a year since my boyfriend’s family is from there, but the Big Island is something else entirely… more rural and ranchy, and with such a spectacular coast.

  25. Ben says:

    Wonderful post. I grew up in Kona and have been to Tex’s many times. Good job on the Lilikoi. My families technique is to blend the pulp and seeds up first and then push it through a sieve. It seems to yield more juice.

  26. Becky says:

    Wow, do those look tasty! I lived for a year in Kenya after college. A native Oklahoman, I had never seen or eaten a passion fruit until I lived there. Along with sweet bananas, mango and papaya, passion fruit is grown there. One of my Kenyan friends would often slice one open, give me half, and spoon-feed the other to her 9 month old son. It certainly is mushy enough for a baby with no teeth. The flavor and texture of the fruit took some getting used to for me. But, because it makes me think of Kenya when I have it now, I do smile and enjoy it! I am not tired of your snow pictures. They are so beautiful!

  27. Bonnie Eng says:

    Oh…wow! They look incredible!! If you are ever on Oahu you must go to Leonard’s…the best malasadas ever…always made to order! Thanks for posting–just gorgeous! =)

  28. Christine says:

    What a lovely idea to fill these malasadas with passion fruit curd! I purchase reasonably priced packages of unsweetened passion fruit pulp from the local Portuguese grocery stores. The packages are sold in the freezer section. Here in San Jose, CA, there are a couple of Portuguese food shops. I imagine that Brazillian stores would carry it as well.

  29. jenyu says:

    Kristin – I’m getting over my fear of frying, but I still hate doing it (especially dealing with the leftover oil – but at least I can recycled used cooking oil in Boulder!) :)

    laura b – awesome! I hope you guys had a great time there!

    GG Mora – I think we’re hitting that pattern of 2-4 inches and then sunny warm days. Spring is here.

    Trisha – I hope you were able to find something. If not, at least you’re in Paris! ;)

    Louise – I’ll work on that :)

    Fiona – ahhhh, passion fruits of any kind are marvelous.

    Juliet – wow, I didn’t know you had a resto in Denver. I’ll make a note of that next time I’m in the area (I don’t get to Denver often at all, but who knows!).

    CoffeeGrounded – the mistakes happen, but they’re not useful to anyone and don’t get posted :)

    Ben – thanks, that’s a great tip!

    Christine – great! Thanks for the heads up. I’ll have to look next time I’m in SJ!

leave a reply