Welcome, this is my fourth Lunes Latino post inspired by my most recent trip to the Dominican Republic. As I share with you more about my trip, the more I wish I could be there right now. I mean, look at the picture below. We had fresh fruit every day, at any time of the day and most times we hand-picked the fruit straight from the tree. That is simply awesome. An the taste of the fruit was quite amazing too.
Here you can see huge grapefruits, baby bananas that Little L picked for breakfast with her abuelo, limes, and mandarin oranges. My parents house, where I grew up, has so many other trees. I dont have pictures to show you as their fruit were not in season but some of the trees I grew up eating from are: cereza (cherry), guanabana (soursop), aguacate (avocado), mango, manzana de agua (malay rose apple), granada (pomegranate), limón dulce (sweet yellow lime), guineo (banana), toronja (grapefruit), guayaba (guava), platano (plantain) mandarina (mandarin oranges) and limón (lime). Uff I was pretty lucky. All of this from our backyard people! That is why I also want to have fruit trees in my home now and pass that love and appreciation for nature to my daughter.
Although, my parents did not grow passion fruit in our backyard, that is the one fruit that we always had in hand. I just love it. Look at that beauty, the intense color, the sweet and juicy pulp, it is just perfect but growing up, I only had passion fruit pulp straight with some sugar or as juice. What puzzles me is that we never baked or cooked with passion fruit. Now that I know better, I am fascinated to see all the things you can do with this fruit. I love making desserts with passion fruit like this Passion Fruit Cream Tart which I shared with you before.
Because I never had a passion fruit dessert growing up, I was incredibly surprised when my mom welcomed me with what she called a passion fruit mousse. What? You made passion fruit mousse? How’s that, I asked in disbelieve. Well, she wanted to make me happy and she knew, from all the conversations we’ve had, that I am a passion fruit sweets lover. Awww… that right there warmed my heart. The fact that she was listening and remembered despite the fact we no longer live close by, made me want to listen more. I want to listen. As a mom, as a wife, friend, daughter, sister… I want to listen closely and be there for those that I love, and give them the attention they deserve. This trip to the Dominican Republic made me go back to my roots and helped me value more than ever family time. It also made me realize that you dont have to be physically close in order to be close to someones heart. I think I should take notes, and learn more from my mom…. and to start I’ve decided to recreate her passion fruit mousse (more like a trifle really, as it included two layers of vanilla cookies).
This is the passion fruit mousse she served me when I arrived to my home in the DR.
To make this wonderful dessert, as you may imagine, it all starts with passion fruit. You can use the fresh fruit pulp or you could buy frozen pulp as well. They both work. I actually used store bought pulp but got a few fresh fruits for garnishing and giving the mousse that final kick.
My mom’s mousse consist only of sweetened condensed milk plus passion fruit juice. In my case, I have whipped some heavy cream as well and folded the sweetened passion fruit mix to give the mousse more body and airy texture.
That’s it! Is that simple. You can then eat the passion fruit mousse as is, served in a beautiful cup with a few seeds on top. Because is so simple, I recommend you do a big batch. I promise you will eat it all and probably stay looking for more.
I know I did.
If you are not into plain mousse, I decided to play up my mom’s trifle idea and turn it into a passion fruit mousse napoleon. If you would like to try the napoleon idea, all you got to do is follow the passion fruit mousse recipe instructions below and build the napoleon with puff pastry sheets. My tips on building the napoleon are:
- Use store bought frozen puff pastry. It is so much easier and just as good as a homemade version.
- Thaw puff pastry according to box directions.
- Cut the sheets into your desire size for the napoleon layers. One single serving layer is generally around 3” x 5”.
- Pinch each piece with a fork all over on one side, to avoid the pastry from puffing high.
- Bake at 400 F degrees for 15 minutes on the middle rack.
- If you see the pastry sheet puffing up big, place another baking sheet on top, to create a barrier.
- Ideally the layers of puff pastry should look like this:
You can build the napoleon like a lasagna. One layer of pastry, one layer of mousse, a second layer of pastry, more mousse and lastly top it off with a final layer of pastry. Garnish with powder sugar and drizzle fresh passion fruit pulp on top of each layer of mousse. Seeds and all. Divine!
The final step will be to grab yourself a fork, be ready to indulge and get dirty. Get yourself a napkin because it is going to be messy but so worth it.
Before you get to the recipe, LET’S CHAT: What is your favorite fruit?
- 1 cup heavy whipping cream
- ¾ cup sweetened condensed milk
- ½ cup passion fruit juice (blend the pulp and sieve)
- Whip heavy cream until soft peaks form.
- Keep whipped cream in the fridge until is ready to blend with the passion fruit mixture.
- In a blender, blend sweetened condensed milk and passion fruit juice on high for about one minute.
- Chill passion fruit mix for about one hour until it gets a bit thick.
- With the help of a spatula, fold the passion fruit mixture into the whipped cream.
- Make sure you fold gently only until both mixtures are blended without mixing as this will deflate the whipped cream.
- Serve the mousse on individual ramekins or serving dishes and chill for a few hours before serving.