Passion Fruit Tart

Bolivian, Dessert

Passion Fruit Tart

This tart is one of my favorite desserts ever and James makes it perfectly – One of the reasons I love this tart so much is that it reminds me of the passion fruit season in Santa Cruz.

Growing up in Bolivia I was used to having a specific season for all of my favorite fruits.  From Avocado, to Mango, Pineapple, Achaicharu, and of course Passion fruit.  When the fruit is in season, they are easily available in all the markets as well as in the backyards of many peoples homes.  We have the chance to really take advantage of these great ingredients – we eat them, drink them, and bake with them until we can’t take any more and then it comes time for the next seasonal fruit…

During Passion fruit season, my beloved friend Naty prepares the most amazing passion fruit juice.  Since I was young, every family gathering I remember had a large pitcher of fresh fruit juice on the table and passion fruit was always the best.

a Slice of Passion fruit tart

This tart is inspired by a version available at Sweet Obsessions bakery here in Vancouver.  Sweet Obsessions is by far our favorite dessert spot in the city and this tart is our favorite option on their varied menu.  We’ve had a bit of trial and error with re-creating this one at home, and so we are happy to be able to share it with you now.  When it comes to making the passion fruit juice we recommend buying the frozen pulp,  as we have here, as the pulp will have a more consistent flavor than buying 10-12 passion fruits –  this will cost less too!  We used the whole bag of passion fruit pulp and it yielded just under a cup of puree after it was blended and strained – we supplemented this with just under a half cup of water and a few tablespoons of lemon juice to kick up the tartness a bit and this all added up to meet the 1 1/2 cup juice requirement and the flavor was excellent.  

The pastry recipe makes one large 10 inch tart and the filling is enough for 2 full tarts.

Passion fruit Filling /  Relleno de Maracuyá

adapted from Neil Perry’s recipe available at epicurious

Ingredients / Ingredientes

  • 9 large eggs / huevos
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar / tazas de azúcar
  • 1 1/4 cups heavy cream / tazas de crema de leche
  • 1 1/2 cups passion fruit juice, strained / tazas de jugo de maracuyá
  • 2-4 tbsps lemon juice (if needed) / cucharas de jugo de limón (si es necesario)

Instructions / Instrucciones

  • Mix together the filling for this tart the day before you plan to bake the tart as resting the custard in the fridge helps to keep the tart from splitting / Hacer el relleno para esta tarta un día antes para cuando quieras hornearla, esto es debido a que el relleno debe reposar en la heladera.

Passion Fruit Puree

  • Crack the eggs into a large bowl and whisk together.  Add the sugar and whisk until the two ingredients are well blended  / Agregar los huevos en un recipiente y batir. Agregar la azúcar y batir todo junto hasta que todo este bien mezcaldo
  • Using a wooden spoon, stirring the egg sugar mixture, pour in the cream.  Afterwards, add the passion fruit juice and continue to stir until well blended.  While I know this mix is mainly raw eggs, the only way to really know how this tart will turn out is to taste the filling.  Even though passion fruits are quite tart, they can vary and so if the filling tastes a bit too sweet, I add a couple tablespoons of fresh lemon juice to bring the tartness out a bit / Con una cuchara de madera, mezclando la mezcla de huevo azúcar, agregar la crema de leche. Luego agregar el jugo de maracuyá y continúe revolviendo hasta que estén bien mezclados. Aunque sé que esta mezcla es principalmente huevos crudos, la única manera de saber realmente cómo esta tarta va a salir es saborear el relleno. A pesar de que el maracuyá es bastante agrio, pueden variar, así que si está muy dulce puedes agregar un poco de jugo de limón.

Passion fruit filling

  • Cover and refrigerate overnight / Cubrir y dejar en la heladera por la noche

Raspberry Coulis / Salsa de Frambuesa

  • 9 ounces frozen or fresh raspberries / oz de frambuesas congeladas
  • 1/3 cup sugar / taza de azúcar
  • 1/4 cup water / taza de agua

Instructions / Instrucciones

  • Heat all the ingredients together in a saucepan over medium heat.  Cook for about 8 minutes, until the sugar is fully dissolved into the mixture / Cocianar todos los ingredientes en un sartén por unos 8 minutos hasta que la azúcar se disuelva.
  • Allow to cool to room temperature then blend until smooth and strain through a fine strainer and discard the seeds / Dejar enfriar y luego licuar y colocar en un colador para sacar ls semillas.

Candied Orange and Lemon / Naranjas y limones azucarados.

  • Peel 2 oranges and 2 lemons with a vegetable peeler in wide strips / Pelar dos naranjas y dos limones con un pelador.
  • Using a sharp knife remove as much of the white pith as possible / Remover las partes blancas de las cáscaras

Candied citrus

  • Slice the wide strips into thinner ones and place in a saucepan covered in cold water and bring to a boil.  Discard water, fill again with cold water and repeat two more times /  Cortar bien delgadas las cáscaras y ponerlas a hervir con agua fría, cambiar el agua y repetir este paso dos veces más
  • Add 1 cup of sugar and 1/2 a cup of water to the saucepan and bring to a boil with the lemon and orange peels inside.  Decrease heat to simmer for about 12 minutes.  The peels will appear slightly transluscent / Agregar 1 taza de azúcar y 1/2 taza de agua a un sartén con las cáscaras de naranjas y de limones y ponerlos a hervir, bajar la temperatura del fugo y dejar hervir por 12 minutos, las cáscaras empezarán a perder color.

Candied citrus (lemon and orange)

  • Drain the peels (you can reserve the simple syrup that is leftover for cocktails as it is flavored with the citrus) and either toss the peels in sugar, coating each one, or separate and place citrus strips on a piece of parchment paper to dry / Colar las cáscaras y agregar azúcar envolviéndolas.

Shortcrust Pastry / Masa

adapted from Donna Hay Magazine

  • 1 1/2 cups flour / tazas de harina
  • 125 grams butter, chilled and cubed / gramos de mantequilla, cortada en cubitos
  • 1/2 cup powdered sugar / azúcar impalpable
  • 3 egg yolks / yemas de huevos
  • 1 tbsp cold water / cucharilla de agua fría

Instrucions / Instrucciones

  • Place flour, butter and sugar in food processor and pulse until butter is incorporated and the mixture looks like fine breadcrumbs / Colocar la harina, la mantequilla y el azúcar en un procesador de alimentos hasta que la mantequilla se incorpore y esté mezcaldo todo  bien.
  • While the motor is running, pour in the egg yolks including the tbsp of cold water and process until the dough just comes together / Mientras el motor está en funcionamiento agregar las yemas de huevo, la cucharada de agua fría hasta que la masa se una.

Shortcrust pastry

  • Turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface and form mixture into a ball and then flatten into a disc.  Wrap the disc in plastic wrap and place in the fridge for 1 hour / Poner la masa sobre una superficie plana con un poco de harina, fuselear la masa hasta que quede plana y colocarla en la heladera cubierta con papel plástico por una hora.
  • Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees, roll the dough between two sheets of parchment paper until the pastry is approximately 3mm thick.  Line a loose bottomed tart tin with the pastry, trim the edges and prick the base with a fork.  Refrigerate for 30 before baking / Calentar el horno a 350 grados, aplanar la masa entre dos hojas de papel encerado hasta que la masa esté de aproximadamente 3 mm de espesor. Colacar la masa sobre un recipiente para hornear tartas, perfeccionar los lados acorde al modelo del recipiente  y pinchar con un tenedor parte de la masa. Refrigerar por 30 minutos antes de hornear.

rolling and lining a tart tin with shortcrust pastry

  • Line the pastry with parchment paper and fill with either baking weights, or as we have here, dried beans.  This will keep the bottom of the tart flat as it bakes / Colocar a la masa papel encerado y algunos frijoles (esto es para poner peso y para que quede plano)
  • Bake for 15 minutes, then remove the paper including the beans/weights and cook for another 10 minutes, until the pastry is lightly golden / Hornear por 15 minutos, remover el papel y los frijoles y hornear por unos 10 minutos más hasta que la tarta este dorada.

Baking the Passion fruit tart

  • Decrease the oven temperature to 290 degrees and place tart on the shelf in the oven and carefully pour the filling into the tart right to the top and bake for approximately 40 minutes or until the center is just about set – the tart will firm up the final bit once it is removed, cooled, and placed in the fridge / Bajar la temperatura a 290 grados,colocar el relleno de la tarta y ponerlo al horno por 40 minutos aproximadamente. La tarta aun se afirmara mas cuando este fría y en la heladera.
  • Once the tart is fully baked, remove from the oven, balance on a coffee mug or cereal bowl and lower the sides of the tart pan.  Using a large offset spatula, slide the tart off the base and on to cooling rack – this will help the pastry crisp up as it cools.  Invert the outer ring of the tart pan to keep the edges from warping /   Después de que la tarta este horneada, sacar del recipiente y dejar enfriar.

Passion fruit tart

  • Distribute the candied lemon and orange around the outer edge of the tart, chill, slice and serve with a side of raspberry coulis… Enjoy! / Colocar las naranjas y los  limones azucarados encima de la tarta, poner a la heladera y luego servir…. disfrute!

Slice of Passion fruit tart

Passion fruit tart... Provecho!


Duck Confit with de Puy Lentils

Dinner, French

Duck Confit

Fabio and myself are rather passionate about the food we eat, and fortunately many of our close friends are as well.  There are two couple friends of ours in particular that we get together with every couple of months or so for a theme dinner that one of us hosts.  We humbly call ourselves the ‘gourmet group‘ and while the whole point is to have a nice dinner together and catch up, there a few of us who take it quite seriously (we know who we are ;)).  We try to keep things casual so whoever is the host only needs to worry about preparing the entree and the others bring either the drinks or the dessert.  A couple of dinners ago we hosted a french night in honor of our recent trip to Paris and this is the meal we served.  

While we were in Paris, we had the good fortune of being hosted by one of Fabio’s good friends and her new husband.  We stayed in their home and they showed us around the city.  While the entire trip was wonderful, a highlight of our days in Paris was getting the chance to eat at some classic french bistros, including a memorable dinner where I had the most incredible duck confit.  I couldn’t wait to make my own duck confit once I returned home.   

Duck confit is simply duck meat that is cured with salt and then slow poached in its own fat.  Once the meat is cooked you can transfer the meat to a new container, strain the cooking fat overtop and as long as the meat is entirely covered with the fat, it will stay preserved for many weeks in the fridge.  When you are ready to eat the confit duck, you simply melt the fat, remove the duck legs, drain on paper towels and then fry them in a pan or roast in the oven until the skin is crispy and the meat is heated through.  

For our French night we paired our duck confit with a french lentils recipe by Jamie Oliver from his book titled ‘Food Escapes.‘  The night and dinner were certainly a success and that is why we wanted to share this one with all of you.  Enjoy!


Duck Confit / Pato Confit

  • 6 legs of duck / Piernas de pato
  • 10 juniper berries / bayas de enebro
  • 4 cloves / clavos de olor
  • 2-3 handfuls of sea salt / pizcas de sal
  • 6-7 bay leaves / hojas de laurel
  • Small bunch of fresh thyme / un poco de tomillo
  • 3 3/4 pounds duck fat / libras de grasa de pato

Lentils / Lentejas

  • 2 Carrots (peeled and finely chopped) / zanahorias peladas y cortadas finamente
  • 2 Sticks of Celery (trimmed and finely chopped) / palitos de apio cortados finamente
  • 2 Onions (peeled and finely chopped) / cebollas cortadas finamente
  • Duck fat or olive oil / grasa de pato o aceite de oliva
  • 2 1/2 cups de Puy Lentils / tazas de lentejas
  • 5 1/4 cups chicken or vegetable stock / tazas de caldo de pollo o verduras
  • 1 Potato (peeled and roughly chopped) / papa pelada y cortada finamente
  • 7 ounces of baby spinach / oz de espinaca pequeña
  • sea salt and pepper / sal y pimienta
  • Red wine vinegar /vinagre de vino tinto
  • Sour cream or Creme Fraiche / crema agria

Bouquet garni 

  • 1 celery stick / palito de apio
  • small bunch of fresh thyme / un poco de tomillo
  • small bunch of flat leaf parsley / un poco de perejil
  • 1 bay leaf / hoja de laurel

Duck confit Instructions / Instrucciones para el Pato Confit

  • Place the duck legs in a roasting pan.  Crush the juniper berries and cloves in a morter and pestle (or with a rolling pin in a plastic bag) and sprinkle over the duck along with the salt.  tear the bay leaves and the thyme over the duck as well.  Rub the duck legs well with all the flavorings then cover the pan and place in the fridge overnight / Coloque las patas de pato en un recipiente. Machacar las bayas de enebro y los clavos en una bolasa de plástico (con un rodillo) y espolvorear esto  sobre el pato junto con la sal. Colocar  las hojas de laurel y el tomillo sobre el pato también. Mezclar bien con el pato las especias aromáticas , luego tapar el recipiente y colocar en la heladera durante la noche.
  • The next day rinse the duck legs under cold water to clean off all the salt and spices and pat them dry with paper towels /Al día siguiente, lavar las patas de pato con agua fría para limpiar toda la sal y las especias y secar ligeramente con papel de toalla.
  • Place the duck legs into a large pot over medium low heat and cover with the melted duck fat / Colocar las patas del pato en una grande caserola con la toda la grasa de pato que está ya derretida.

Duck Confit

  • Leave the pot to slowly cook the duck for the next 2 and half hours.  Once the time is up, remove the pot from the heat and allow to cool down.  To check if the meat is done, use a wooden skewer to poke through the duck meat – if it is done the skewer should easily slide in and out / Dejar cocinar el pato por 2 horas. Cuando esté listo remover del fuego y dejar enfriar, para saber si el pato está listo meter un palillo de madera en la carne y si es que está bien blando el pato queire decir que está listo.
  • Once the duck has cooled down, ladle some fat into a large bowl, then using tongs move the duck legs one by one into the bowl and cover with the remaining duck fat so that the duck legs are entirely submerged – this will allow the duck legs to stay preserved until you are ready to use them / Una vez que esté frio sacar las patas de pato a otro contenedor y colocar la grasa también hasta que tape todo el pato, esto va a ayudar a que se preserve la carne hasta cuando quieras utilizarla, colocar en la heladera.

Lentils /  Lentejas

  • Cook the chopped carrots, celery and onions in a dutch oven over medium heat with a couple tablespoons of olive oil or duck fat.  Cook for around 10 minutes, or until the vegetables have begun to soften / Cocinar las cebollas, zanahorias  y los apios sobre fuego medio con algunas cucharadas de aceite de oliva o grasa de pato. Cocianrlos por 10 minutos hasta que estén blandos.

Chopped carrots, onions, celery and bouquet garni

  • Make the bouquet Garni by tying together the celery, thyme, parsley and bay leaf with string / Hacer el bouquet Garni colocando juntos el apio, parejil y hoja de laurel atándolos juntos.
  • Once the vegetables are ready, add the lentils, the stock, the diced potatoes and add the bouquet garni  / Cuando los vegetales estén juntos agregar las lentejas, el caldo, papa y el bouquet garni.

cooking the mirepoix

  • Keep an eye on the lentils and occasionally stir to keep anything from burning and cook for 45 minutes.  The lentils should be soft and most of the liquid absorbed / Cocianr todo por 45 minutos, siempre tratando de mover con una cuchara las lentejas de vez en cuando ya que puede quemarse el fondo de la olla.
  • While the Lentils are cooking, remove the duck legs from the fat and set on paper towels to drain / Remover las patas de pato de la grasa y ponerlas sobre papel toalla.

de Puy Lentils

  • When the lentils are finished, remove the bouquet garni, roughly chop the spinach and stir into the lentils cooking everything for a couple minutes more / Cuando las lentejas estén listas remover el bouquet garni, cortar las espinacas y colocarlas a las lentejas, cocianar por algunos minutos más.

Spinach and Lentils

  • Season the lentils with salt and pepper, a drizzle of olive oil and 1-2 tablespoons of red wine vinegar.  Stir everything one last time and check the flavors again / Colcar sal y pimienta al gusto y agregar un poco de aceite de oliva con 1-2 cucharadas de vinagre de vino tinto.

Duck Confit

  • To serve, spoon the lentils onto plates add a spoonful of sour cream or creme fraiche and swirl into the lentils – top with a duck leg that you have roasted or fried till the skin is crispy and serve! / Para servir, colocar las lentejas con un poco de crema agria, encima colocar la pata de pato que haz frito o asado hasta que el cuero este crocante. Provecho!

Duck Confit... Provecho!

Pique a lo Macho

Appetizer, Bolivian, Snack

Pique a lo Macho

This is like Bolivian ‘Poutine’ and we eat in in the same type of environment, shared with friends, late at night, always with drinks.  Pique comes from the word ‘picar’ and it is slang for sharing food and macho means that the food you are going to be sharing will be for brave people (for the macho) because this dish is typically quite spicy.  

This meal is very popular in restaurants and bars all over Bolivia, every time I am back in Santa Cruz, I make sure to have it, it is the perfect meal to share with friends while out at a pub.  When me and my friends head out for a drink, we will often go to a pub in front of La Plaza in Santa Cruz for a snack like this along with some cold beer.  We have spent hours chatting and snacking on Pique a lo Macho while enjoying cold drinks during the hot evenings that Santa Cruz is known for.

There are many ways to make your Pique a lo Macho, you could use chicken or chorizo (instead of the steak as we have here), you can add cheese (queso fresco) or add mayonnaise on top, some people eat their Pique a lo macho with bread on the side or use quail eggs instead of chicken eggs as a topping.  Any way you make it will be great, I am sure you will like it, as always it will be even better when you can share it with family and friends. 

Pique a lo Macho

Ingredients / Ingredientes

  • 1 Medium green Pepper  / Pimiento verde
  • 1 Medium red Pepper / Pimiento rojo
  • 1 Red onion / Cebolla
  • 2 Jalapeños / Jalapeños o Ají picante
  • 2 Tomatoes / Tomates
  • 2 Potatoes / Papas
  • 2 tbsp olive oil / Cucharadas de aceite de oliva
  • Canola oil  / Aceite vegetal para freir
  • 1 Eggs / Huevo
  • 2 Sirloin steak / carne de lomo
  • 3 all beef hot dogs / Salchichas
  • 1 1/2 tbsp corn starch / Cucharadas de maizena
  • 1/3 cup red wine / Tazas de vino tinto
  • 1 tsp of cumin / Cucharilla de comino
  • Salt and pepper to taste / Sal y pimienta al gusto

Instructions / Instrucciones

  • Julienne the onion and the peppers, add some salt to taste and a lug of olive oil, toss together and set aside / Cortar al estilo juliana la cebolla y los pimientos, agregar un chorro de aceite de oliva y sal y dejar a un lado.
  • Cut the steaks in small cubes, if desired you can cut larger pieces.  Cut the all beef hot dogs in slices. Transfer the meat to a bowl, add some pepper to taste whit the cumin. Sit aside / Cortar la carne en cubitos, cortar las salchichas y trasnferir toda la carne a un recipiente con pimienta y comino.

Peppers, onions, steak

  • Peel and cut the potato into fries and soak in cold water for 10 minutes and dry them very well with paper towels / Pelar y cortar las papas para las papas fritas y colocar en un recipiente con agua fría por 10 minutos, luego secar bien.
  • Place the egg in boiling water to cook, you will want the egg to be hard boiled. Let it sit aside / Poner a hervir el huevo hasta que este duro y dejar a un lado.
  • Pour 2 table spoons of olive oil in a large cooking pan (I used a wook), add the beef in medium high heat. Let it cook for about 15 minutes  / Colocar 2 cucharadas de aceite de oliva en un sartén grande, colocar la carne sobre fuego medio y dejar cocinar por 15 minutos.
  • While the beef is cooking – add a few inches of canola oil to a saucepan and heat until very hot, fry the potato wedges until they are browned and crispy.  Set aside / Mientras está cocinando la carne, poner las papas en aceite bien caliente y fritarlas hasta que estén listas.

Preparing the macho sauce

  • In a small container mix the corn starch with a heavy splash of wine and set aside / En un pequeńo contenedor mezclar la maizena con un poco de vino y dejar a un lado.
  • Julienne the tomatoes and slice the jalapeños  (keep the seeds if you prefer an extra spicy sauce) and set aside / Cortar los toamtes y los jalapeńos y dejar a un lado
  • Add 1/3 of a cup of wine to the beef and keep cooking for 5 minutes more, add the corn starch mix and cook it for about 3 minutes (this will thicker the sauce), add the peppers and onion and cook it for 5 minutes  / Agregar la taza de vino a la carne y dejar cocinar por 5 minutos, luego agregar la maizena y dejar cocinar por 3 minutos, agregar los pimientos y cebolla y cocinar por 5 minutos más.
  • Arrange the fries in a large serving platter, spoon the meat and vegetable mix on to the fries and top with the tomatoes and jalapeños.  Finally place the sliced egg on top of everything with some queso fresco (cheese) if desired / poner las papas en un plato grande para servir, encima poner la carne con los vegetales, también colcoar encima los tomates y jalapeńos con el huevo duro. Puedes porner queso si lo deseas.

Serving the Pique a lo macho

  • Serve immediately and enjoy! / Servir cuando aún está caliente y provecho!

Pique a lo macho... Provecho!