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follow your passion

Recipe: passion fruit bars

Happy new year, everyone! Did you make any new year’s resolutions?

As some of you know, I don’t do new year’s resolutions. I was wondering about this the other day. I realized that it’s not because I don’t do resolutions, it’s just that I am too impatient to wait until the first of the year to start one if I think of it on any other day of the year. That’s how I roll. In the past few months I’ve readjusted my goals a smidge. It’s always ultimately been about passion – the things I’m passionate about – but a little course correction was warranted. I think I’m on the right track.

This morning, Kaweah is happily romping about and disemboweling her plush toys with great gusto. Jeremy and I have eaten something sweet first thing in the morning to ensure that “sweet words” come out of our mouths all year long! I think it’s going to be a very good year. In fact, let’s all agree to make it so, okay?

geese at sunrise

And speaking of passion… this past week I got a small package in the mail from Todd and Diane – those two hilarious green thumb, photographer, videographer, practical joker extraordinaires. It was a box of precious passion fruits from their garden. I know, right?! Those two are freaking awesome!

a box of california sunshine in colorado

I began looking for passion fruit recipes to put these gems to good use when I ran across a blog entry for passion fruit bars. Passion fruit bars! That’s like lemon bars without the lemon, but with passion fruit. I’m a huge fan of lemon bars as it is, so I was all over the passion fruit bars.

cutting butter into the flour and powdered sugar

pressing the coarse crumbs into the bottom of the baking pan

In hindsight, I should have lined the baking pan with parchment because the bars didn’t release nicely. So if you don’t care about a clean release, then do whatever you want. If you want the bars to look presentable without mangling them, then line the pan.

six eggs to be beaten

add the sugar gradually

Now I was all excited to split open the passion fruits, scoop out their ever-loving guts, and make passion fruit bars – but the recipe called for purée. I had purée in the freezer. It’s also precious, but I actually have a lot of it because I hoarded that stuff in the past few months. In the hierarchy of preciousness the fresh passion fruit pulp is king. Next comes the purée. If we can get by with purée, then that is what we do.

good stuff

mixing in the dry ingredients

The hardest part is procuring the passion fruit purée. Once you’ve got that, you’re golden and these bars come together with minimal effort. I think my eggs were slightly overbeaten because I walked away from the stand mixer for longer than I had anticipated and when I returned they were super frothy.

add the passion fruit

pour the batter over the baked crust

The batter practically filled up to the rim of the baking pan and I think that’s because it was still fluffy from overbeating the eggs. It puffed up quite a bit during the baking process, but never overflowed and eventually settled out when the pan cooled.

out of the oven and cooled

slicing into bars

The passion fruit bars are intensely fragrant, floral, sweet, and tart. And sticky. When I was cutting up the squares I’d clean some sticky from my wrist by licking it off only to discover that there was more passion fruit sticky goodness elsewhere on my hand that was now on the side of my face. It went on like that for a few minutes. I think the shortbread crust is really just a mechanism for holding the gooey luscious passion fruit topping. It’s lovely with a spot of tea.

hope your new year is sunshiney, awesome wonderful

Passion Fruit Bars
[print recipe]
adapted from The Go Lightly Gourmet

2 cups (295 g) flour
1/2 cup (75 g) confectioner’s sugar
8 oz. butter
1/4 tsp salt

6 large eggs
2 cups (400 g) sugar
1/4 cup plus 2 tbsps (55 g) flour
1/1/2 tsps baking powder
2/3 cup (5.3 oz.) liliko’i puree or passion fruit puree
confectioner’s sugar (for dusting)

Crust: Preheat oven to 350°F. For the cookie base, mix the flour, confectioner’s sugar, and salt in a medium large bowl. Cut the butter into the dry ingredients with a pastry cutter until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Press the dough into the base of a 9×13 baking pan. [I had a hell of a time getting these suckers out of the pan when they were done. Next time I will butter the pan, line the pan with parchment, and butter again for ease of removal.] Bake for 15-20 minutes until just golden. Remove from oven.

Filling: Reduce the oven temperature to 325°F. Whisk or beat the eggs until frothy (I think I overbeat the eggs – you don’t want it TOO frothy). Gradually whisk in the sugar. Then beat in the flour and baking powder until well-mixed. Pour in the passion fruit purée and whisk or beat until thoroughly combined. Pour the filling over the crust in the baking pan and bake for 30-35 minutes until the top of the bars are golden brown and the center is firm. Cool completely and refrigerate for a few hours before slicing into squares. Makes 2 dozen 2×2-inch squares.

36 nibbles at “follow your passion”

  1. sara says:

    Mmmm, this looks delightful! :) Perfectly sunny, which is just what we need this time of year!

  2. Kate says:

    Wow! Wonderful way to start the new year! And fruit from Todd and Diane’s own vines, just extra special. Looking for recipes for passion fruit made me think of a passion fruit marshmallows recipe I came across when I decided to make homemade marshmallows a few weeks ago (Australian Gourmet Traveller). But I’m putting this recipe aside so I can try it. Looks better than wonderful. Happy Healthy New Year to you, Jeremy and Kaweah! I haven’t done new year resolutions for several years now, easier just to change things/adjust as needed and keep going.

  3. schlachtplatte says:

    Happy New Year! If I were banned on a deserted island and I only got to pick one fruit to eat for the rest of my life, I soo would choose passion fruit!

  4. Linda says:

    The chances of me finding passion fruit puree in a store near me is about zilch, so just curious…how would you make the puree? I’m a passion fruit virgin. (That sounds like an oxymoron, doesn’t it?) Are there seeds? What part gets used?

  5. kathy says:

    They look outrageous, and you’re right…a spot of tea would be perfect with one or two.

  6. Lisa says:

    I am with Linda on this one! Is The Perfect Puree on the web? I would love to try this out… well because your recipes are awesome! And when my family and friends eat the food I make (with your help) they think I am awesome. I love that they love my cooking. Lots of awesome love here.

    Did you use the fruit or the puree in the container?

  7. Dinewithleny says:

    This looks amazing. I was originally from Indonesia and we have abundant passionfruits there. My mom used to make fresh passionfruit juice. Would’ve been perfect to make this with fresh passionfruit as well but it’s so hard to get fresh passionfruit here in Australia. Thank you for sharing your recipe. love your blog.

  8. Inna says:

    These look fantastic! My dad and I were JUST talking about how much we love passionfruit at breakfast this morning while spreading mango/passion fruit spread on our toast. I’ll definitely have to give this a try when we get some passion fruit in the stores.

  9. amy says:

    Did you find the puree somewhere here locally in Boulder? Looks so good!

  10. Dana Zia says:

    Wow! I’m so excited that you found my bars! Aren’t they just like eating sunshine? Have a happy new year filled with love, laughter and great food.

  11. Jessalyn says:

    Here in Virginia we have an Edible Landscaping nursery that offers such plants as paw-paws, pomegranates, and flying dragon lemons (as well as some more “normal” things like blueberries that I bought recently). This passionfruit treat makes me want to try growing my own! I also love your idea of eating something sweet to start the new year off sweetly.

  12. Hsin says:

    Those bars look so good. I’ll have to see if I can track down some passion fruit puree, although I’m not terribly optimistic in central Illinois.
    I’m with you on the resolution thing. It never made sense to me that once a year people would make resolutions that many knew they wouldn’t stick to. For me, on a day to day basis I’m trying to be a better person than I was the day before (I have a long way to go) and hopefully help make the world a better place (or at least not contribute to f—ing it up).

    If I were to do the resolution thing, I’d make some grand pronouncement that was worthy of an entire year, it might be too much for me, and I’d wait 11 or 12 more months to try again. That’s why for me it’s something to take day by day. And if one day doesn’t go so well or productively, then the next day is a clean slate.
    Hopefully a bunch of little things (be compassionate, try to be aware of other points of view, don’t shit on people, don’t judge, do offer comfort or help to someone who needs it, don’t turn a blind eye to a wrong) that I actually accomplish will be worth as much or more than something big that I can’t. Sometimes even the little things aren’t easy at times, which is why it’s nice to have 365 chances a year rather than just one chance to do something right.

    Cheers to the new year, and may 2011 see us healthy and happy.

  13. Tamar@StarvingofftheLand says:

    I wouldn’t go so far as to call it a resolution. It’s more like an ongoing effort. I want my life to be filled with joy, good will, optimism, and really good things to eat. And, right here, I have one-stop shopping — with beautiful illustrations as a bonus.

    Happy New Year, Jen. I have a good feeling about 2011.

  14. Beyond Kimchee says:

    Wow, this looks so good. I love passion fruit. I have tried pavlova with this glorious fruite drizzled on and it was so delicious. I going to try your recipe some day when I get hold of fresh passion fruits. Thanks for sharing.

  15. Annie says:

    I feel the same way you do about new year’s resolutions. And these bars look wonderful – I love passion fruit! I’ll have to look into getting some of the puree.

  16. Margie says:

    Now I’m off to search for passionfruit puree….I knew I was in trouble when I saw there was a shortbread crust to this lovely item.

  17. Joy says:

    That looks utterly lovely. I love passionfruit, I just wish I was able to find it readily.

  18. The Wind Attack says:

    I loveeee passion fruit. I would have never thought to make it into a lemon bar type confection! In fact, I love eating them fresh so much that I guess I never thought about making it into any sort of confection at all. You’ve inspired me!

  19. Mary says:

    I just lucked into a huge bag of fresh passion fruit and have been looking for ways to use it. I chose a bavarian cream, but I sometimes replace the lemon juice in my favourite lemon bars with passion fruit juice, for something very much like these. They look gorgeous. And thank you for the rag quilt info. I’m not much of a seamstress, but I’d like to give it a try, and I promise not to ask any stupid questions!

  20. jenyu says:

    Okay everyone! Since so many asked… I didn’t use the fresh passion fruits, but the purée instead. If you were to use fresh, I suppose you’d either run the pulp through a food mill or sieve, but be sure to beat the pulp a little to separate the juice from the seeds. If you are looking for purée, I got mine in California (in the Bay Area) at a Draeger’s grocery store (a rather high end store) in Danville. Not all of the Draeger’s carry passion fruit flavor purée – so be warned. They also carry this brand on Amazon, but the shipping is through the roof. Other flavors include blood orange, raspberry, mango, etc. I’ve also been told that good Mexican markets will carry frozen passion fruit pulp or purée, but I haven’t looked around for any yet.

    Linda – yes there are seed. They are edible though, like kiwi seeds are. I like them, personally, but having passion fruit purée is also nice for desserts. The pulp with seeds is really nice for fancy desserts.

    Lisa – the purée. You can find it on amazon, but it’s $$ for shipping.

    Dana – thanks and thanks for the great recipe!

    Hsin – cheers and happy new year to you too :)

    Tamar – Happy new year, my dear. I hope I will SEE YOU in 2011!

    Mary – I think you’ll find the rag quilts really fun to make. Good luck :)

  21. Stephanie says:

    I love anything passion fruit so this recipe is looking soooo good! I’m going to make it real soon…as in TODAY! Thanks for sharing yet another wonderful recipe for passion fruit!

  22. Karen says:

    Hi Jen, I bought the same passionfruit puree you used to make this recipe. Did you dilute the puree or use it straight? The package gives instructions about diluting it so I wasn’t sure what to do.
    Thanks, I am really looking forward to making these!

  23. jenyu says:

    Karen – I didn’t dilute the purée, although I wondered if I should have. That might be why it’s intense, although I’ve never met a passion fruit that wasn’t intense ;) If you dilute, please let me know if it’s good?

  24. Hettar7 says:

    I’d like to say I’m Passionate about Passionfruit, but that would be a bad joke,no? I only recently found out how tasty these ugly little brown wrinkled gems are. Thanks so much for posting this. Whenever I get some puree or the fresh fruit, neither or which are readily available in Tennessee (that I’ve seen), I’ll certainly try this.

  25. fran says:

    I live in Michigan and found the puree at a Hispanic grocery store – not at all a fancy place. it’s made by Goya and half a package was just right for these. the rest went into smoothies (Delish). The bars are lovely, too. Great recipe!

  26. sharilyn says:

    I have lilikoi growing wild in my yard. I love your recipe… I’ve made this several times already, and it’s my favorite. Thank you!!

  27. amy says:

    Yummers! My son and I just made these from the passion fruit. We just smashed the pulp around in a sieve until getting 2/3 c. It took about 6. Thanks for the recipe!

  28. Anna says:

    Made these fruit bars and absolutely loved them, but can i use some other fruit puree also, like mango for instance?

  29. jenyu says:

    Anna – yes!

  30. megan says:

    these look so so so good! passion fruit is my favorite fruit..i must try!!

  31. megan says:

    and i wish I had awesome greenthumb friends who sent me passion fruit!!!!!

  32. Shari Ogg says:

    This recipe looks great and I can’t wait to try it! I live in the Highlands of Papua New Guinea and about once a year the locals bring passion fruit to our door to sell to us by the dozen. So far I have made lots of juices and a couple of times have made a passion fruit gel for topping cheese cake. (turned out delicious) Today I was scooping out the “ever-loving guts” from about 30 of them and wondering what new dish I could try. I was thinking about using the puree in place of lemon juice for lemon bars so thought I would look it up online. Very happy to see your recipe and excited to try it! While I was typing this another local came to the door with more passion fruit so I’d better get busy! Happy New Year to you too!

  33. Provecho Peru says:

    […] Passionfruit Bars on Use Real Butter […]

  34. christine warren says:

    I grow yellow passionfruit in San Fernando Valley. I make curd frequently. I will try the bars for my club meeting, that is CRFG. Thanks for the idea.

  35. Debbie V. says:

    Hey, all you Passion Fruit LOVERS!!! I found passion fruit puree on the “MONIN” website! They make amazing syrups, purees and dessert sauces. Although It’s not the frozen type, it’s pasteurized and shelf stable, so I don’t know if that will make a difference in a recipe, but I will post again after I have had a chance to “play” with it! Hope to have an answer soon.
    BTW-just the fact that when you want to buy the frozen puree, you must purchase 3 containers and the shipping is $30.00 was enough to send me searching for the product elsewhere… I sure hope this works, that’s an awful lot of money to satisfy a “craving”!

  36. Marylou says:

    I have been getting Goya brand frozen purée at a Mexican supermarket called Vallarta, but now my local Von’s is carrying it, so happy! I’m in north San Diego county.

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