Welcome to my first edition of Lunes Latinos (Latin Mondays). The idea that I have for Lunes Latinos, is to embrace my roots by cooking a traditional Dominican dish and sharing stories of other dishes that are cooked very similarly in different countries of Latin America. There is Mexican food, Cuban, Peruvian, Argentinian and so on. In Latin America, we all share many similar cooking techniques and use mostly the same ingredients. That is why, through this food series I want us to learn together about the things we have in common and the differences that makes us unique. So please share your knowledge, comments and ask questions. Lets all discover the wonderful culinary world of Latin America!
For Lunes Latinos, sometimes, ( like today) instead of cooking a traditional Dominican dish, I will cook with a staple ingredient used widely in Latin kitchens. This cream tart is not a traditional dessert but it has been elevated with a very tropical fruit that grows wild all around Latin America: Passion Fruit.
Pasiflora Edulis is the scientific name for Passion Fruit. In the Dominican Republic we know it as Chinola but it is called Maracuyá in countries like Ecuador, Nicaragua, Honduras, Perú, Colombia, Panamá; Granadilla in El Salvador, Parcha in Puerto Rico and Parchita in Venezuela. Its spelled Maracujá in Brazil and Mburucuyá in Argentina. I have found online sources with the term Ceibey for Cuba but I have not been able to officially confirm this, so if you know the Cuban term please share. What about in your country, what is passion fruit called where you are from?
There are multiple terms used but one thing is for sure, Passion Fruit makes sweet and savory dishes shine. For me, its tartness is symbol of the tropics and the vibrant culture of Latin America and that is why I am kicking off this food series with the passion of Passion Fruit.
Passion Fruit Cream Tart
For the tart crust, combine flour, almond meal, powdered sugar and lots of butter. After combining well, dough should be grainy.
Using your fingertips, press around the edges to form a base for the crust. Before baking it, prick with a fork or place pie weight balls to help keep the bottom flat.
For the filling, whisk together eggs and powdered sugar and set aside.
In a pan heat passion fruit juice with powdered sugar, once heated add to eggs and powdered sugar mixture. Place mixture back over heat, bring to a boil and keep whisking until it thickens. Add gelatin powder and butter until dissolved.
Pour mixture in a bowl, cover with plastic wrap and let it cool in the fridge for at least an hour so it can be ready to fill tarts.
Enjoy with whipped cream or if you are like me, just grab the tart like a pizza and devour it as is!
Passion Fruit Cream Tart – yields 5
- For filling
2.5 grams unflavored gelatin powder dissolved in 1 tablespoon of cold water
1/2 cup fresh passion fruit juice or store bought passion fruit pulp
1 cup powdered sugar
6 tablespoons butter at room temperature
On a pot over medium heat whisk passion fruit juice and half of the powdered sugar – do not let it come to a boil.
In a bowl mix the eggs with the rest of the powdered sugar until sugar is dissolved. Add passion fruit juice mix to the bowl with eggs and sugar mixture and whisk well.
Place mixture back over heat and bring to a boil and do not stop whisking.
Once mixture has thickened remove from heat, add gelatin and butter and keep whisking until all has blended well.
Place passion fruit cream in a bowl and cover with plastic wrap. Let it cool in the fridge for at least one hour.
- For crust
1/8 cup of almond meal
2 cup flour
6 tablespoons powdered sugar
12 tablespoons butter at room temperature
To make dough, mix all the ingredients together. Start by mixing all the dry ingredients first (almond meal, flour and powdered sugar) then add wet ingredients (butter and egg). Cover dough in plastic wrap and let it rest in the fridge for 30 minutes.
Place dough in individual mini tart pans of about 5 inches in diameter and cover all sides with dough forming a border of about ¼ inch thick. Bake at 400F for 15 minutes. With a fork, prick bottom of the tarts to help it keep flat.
Take tarts out of the oven and let them cool. Once cooled, fill with passion fruit cream filling. Chill in the fridge for at least an hour and serve cold.
- To cool down the filling faster place in a wide and shallow bowl. You can even place the filling in the freezer first for about 10 minutes and then move to the fridge to accelerate the cooling process.