In the past few years I've become enamored with the flavor of passionfruit. I had a passionfruit macaron from a French-style bakery over a year ago and I still think about it! I guess I'm just a sucker for sweet and tart flavors together: I love pineapples, green grapes, and watermelon Sour Patch candy. Passionfruit, if you're new to the flavor, is all that and more -- it has a deep tropical deliciousness that's hard to put your finger on. It's tart like lemon, uniquely flavorful like mango, and sweet like kiwi. And SO perfect to be made into a passionfruit tart!
I decided to make a passionfruit tart to highlight this under-utilized tart fruit flavor, and I knew right away I had to share it! This passionfruit tart is so easy, but it's full of bright fruit flavor, and the gluten-free almond crust adds a delicious buttery touch!
The style of this tart is similar to that of a French tarte au citron, a lemon tart. The curd filling is made with many of the same ingredients, but in this case we've swapped the traditional pâte sucrée for an almond flour press-in crust. This crust not only makes the passionfruit tart gluten free, but it also adds a subtle nutty flavor that balances so nicely with the tart passionfruit! Finally, the tart is topped with a dusting of powdered sugar (and don't worry, I'll share with you how to make those decorative star stencils!).
Is passion fruit supposed to be tart?
This passionfruit tart is filled with a passionfruit custard filling that is essentially a curd. If you've had lemon or orange curd before, you'll recognize the fruit, eggs, sugar, and butter in the ingredient list. It's surprisingly easy to make, and when added to our easy gluten-free almond crust, it produces amazing flavor and texture!
But the first step in our passionfruit tart is that delicious passionfruit curd! It's cooked on the stovetop, then strained for the best texture. Finally, we add in butter to add some more rich flavor to our passionfruit tart.
Gluten-Free Almond Tart Crust
The biggest way this passionfruit tart departs from the traditional French pastry is the crust. This almond flour tart crust is gluten free, with a rich buttery texture and a nutty almond flavor. While developing this recipe I experimented a lot with different ratios of almond flour to butter and egg. Some were too buttery and fell apart after baking. Others were too dry and barely came together in the first place.
When I finally settled on the recipe for this gluten free tart crust, it was just right. I love how it sets up so nicely after blind baking, and then provides the perfect vessel for the amazing passionfruit curd.
This passionfruit tart is so classic and elegant, but really easy to make! And don't be intimidated by the idea of cooking with passionfruit. We're actually using frozen passionfruit pulp that you can find in your grocer's freezer section! Here's what you'll need to make it:
For the gluten-free tart crust:
- almond flour - I used Bob's Red Mill superfine almond flour.
- unsalted butter - although I typically use salted butter in baking, I opted for unsalted butter to be precise about the level of salt in this almond tart crust.
- granulated sugar - adds some sweetness to the tart crust to balance out the nuttiness of the almond flour.
- egg - helps bind the crust together.
- salt - brings out the almond and buttery flavors!
For the passionfruit curd filling:
- frozen seedless passionfruit purée - this is generally easier to find and use than fresh passionfruit. I found mine at a local supermarket here in Chicago. You can usually find it at international groceries, if not at your regular supermarket. It's sold in the freezer section, near the other frozen fruit.
- whole eggs and egg yolks - these give the filling some structure and bind it together. The yolks also add richness and color!
- granulated sugar - sweetens the passionfruit curd.
- vanilla extract - because this is a gluten-free recipe, double check that your vanilla extract is gluten-free. Or better yet, check out my post on how to make vanilla extract at home with just 2 ingredients!
- unsalted butter - we melt butter into the curd as a last step to make it silky and buttery. it's the perfect finishing touch right before baking our passionfruit tart!
This passionfruit tart is pretty simple to make, but it does require a few important ingredients. First, you definitely need a 9-inch tart pan. This is the one I use, and I love that it's nonstick and easy to clean! Plus the removable bottom makes serving and slicing tarts so easy.
Tips and F.A.Q.
Fresh passionfruit is delicious on its own — it’s got a distinctly tart flavor that is truly incredible! It’s made up of a thick rind that surrounds a pulp filled with juice and edible seeds. It can be enjoyed with a spoon, with a sprinkle of sweetener to cut the tartness, or strained for use in smoothies or recipes like this passionfruit tart!
Passion fruits taste very tart and sweet, with a fruity, floral, tropical scent. If you haven't tried passionfruit yet, this passionfruit tart is a great way to introduce yourself to their amazing flavor.
Before you press your almond tart crust into your tart pan, be sure to spray the bottom and sides of the pan with some cooking spray. I forgot this step in one of my rounds of recipe testing and although I was able to remove the tart from the pan, it was much more difficult.
It's important not to overfill the tart pan with the passionfruit curd filling -- the filling will rise a bit while baking and you don't want it to overflow. But either way, to prevent messes in your oven, place a baking sheet lined with foil on a lower oven rack to catch any drips.
You can make designs similar to the ones I made in powdered sugar using parchment paper! Just fold a piece of parchment paper in quarters and cut a design (similar to how we used to make paper snowflakes in school)! I cut from both sides of the folded paper to make a star shape, but you could make circles, diamonds, whatever you like! I'd love to hear what designs you made in the comments below, and be sure to share them on Instagram with the hashtag #cheneetoday!
This passionfruit tart recipe is definitely a showstopper! But if you're in the mood for another elegant dessert that won't take all day in the kitchen, you'll love my orange rosemary olive oil cake! It whips up in just a few minutes and tastes amazing.
Or now that you have a tart pan, you can also try my brown butter peach tart -- it's got a brown sugar shortbread crust and topping, a brown butter cinnamon peach filling, and a brown butter icing drizzled all over! Plus, it's made with either fresh or frozen peaches, so it's perfect anytime of year!
Equipment you may need
- 9-inch tart pan
Almond Flour Tart Crust
Passionfruit Curd Filling
- 1 cup seedless frozen passion fruit puree - thawed (I use El Sembrador Frozen Passion Fruit Pulp), see note
- 3 large eggs + 4 large egg yolks - beaten well
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon pure vanilla extract - double check that it's gluten-free
- 5 tablespoon unsalted butter - cut into small cubes
- powdered sugar - for dusting (optional)
Prepare Almond Flour Tart Crust
- Preheat oven to 350°F. Spray tart pan lightly with nonstick cooking spray.
- In a large bowl or the bowl of a stand mixer, mix almond flour, sugar, butter, salt, and beaten egg until well combined.
- Press crust evenly onto bottom and sides of prepared tart pan.
- Bake tart in preheated oven for 15 minutes. Remove and cool.
Prepare Passionfruit Curd Filling
- Reduce oven temperature to 325°F.
- In a saucepan over medium-high heat, bring passionfruit purée, eggs and egg yolks, sugar, and salt to a simmer, whisking constantly.
- Simmer about 10 minutes or until thickened, whisking often.
- Strain through a fine mesh strainer into a bowl and stir in vanilla and butter until butter is melted and mixture is smooth.
- Pour filling into crust, leaving about ¼ inch of crust visible. Don't overfill!
- Carefully place tart into oven and bake at 325°F for 25-30 minutes. Tart is done when it only jiggles slightly when tapped.
- Cool completely. Dust with powdered sugar before serving.
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