This passion fruit tart recipe makes six small, perfectly-sized individual tarts filled with a gloriously sweet and tangy tropical fruit curd. The lilikoi filling is paired with a smooth macadamia cream inside a crisp pastry shell, and the easy-serve tartlets are decorated with candied ginger.
🏆 Top tip
The combination of arrowroot and agar powder is what gives the vegan lilikoi curd its perfect consistency. Measure carefully and whisk well before cooking.
⭐ Why it works
- Adorable individual passion fruit tarts.
- Serve easily. No slicing and crumbling a larger tart.
- Lilikoi curd with sweet-tart flavor in spades.
- Creamy dairy-free whipped macadamia filling.
- No-bake fruit filling is cooked on a stovetop.
- Ready-made tart shells save time.
- Vegan dessert.
- Passion fruit puree - Make your own, or purchase unsweetened lilikoi puree without added ingredients.
- Tart shells - Flaky 3 ½ to 4-inch pastry shells, pre-baked or purchased.
- Vegan butter - clean-tasting vegan butter, block style, or soft are both okay.
- Macadamia nuts - raw, untoasted, unseasoned macadamia nuts.
- Arrowroot - powder or arrowroot starch are the same and make a clear, glistening filling.
- Agar powder - be sure to use powder and not flakes.
- Ginger - look for crystalized or candied ginger. A small touch is so delicious on the top of the passion fruit tarts.
- Candied macadamia nuts - are optional if you have trouble finding vegan ones at the store. However, they are easy to make with the instructions in the recipe card below.
Whether you call these cuties passion fruit tarts or lilikoi pies, they are simple to assemble.
- Blend macadamia cream filling.
- Cook lilikoi curd.
- Fill tart shells with macadamia cream.
- Top tarts with lilikoi curd, crystalized ginger bits, and candied macadamias.
💭 What is passion fruit puree?
This recipe calls for lilikoi puree that you purchase or make yourself. I thought you might like to have a little breakdown because the terms juice and puree can be confusing when describing lilikoi products.
That's because the puree that is left when seeds are strained from passion fruit pulp is not as thick as other fruit purees. Thus, it's tempting to mistakenly call it juice.
Here's the breakdown of the distinctions if you are shopping for the recipe.
- Pulp - the soft, juicy edible portion of passion fruit, including the seeds.
- Puree - the smooth product obtained after blending and straining passion fruit pulp to remove the seeds.
- Juice - The natural juice obtained from pressing or extracting the liquid from passion fruit. It is often sweetened and thinned with water.
🥣 Make puree
It only takes a few minutes to make fresh puree at home. The advantages are you can use the ripest fruit for the most intense, fresh flavor.
Plus, you won't risk buying a product that has grainy bits of broken seed left in it.
It takes about 24 ounces of uncut, whole lilikoi to yield 1 cup of puree. Make sure you let the fruit ripen until the skin is wrinkled for the sweetest puree!
- Cut washed fruit in half.
- Scoop the pulp into a blender and process for 2 minutes at the lowest speed.
- Strain pulp through a standard kitchen strainer.
- Stir your fruit puree, and it's ready to use.
👩🏻🍳 Expert tips
- Flaky 3 ½ to 4-inch pastry shells make the best crust for these tarts.
- Homemade puree - Blend fresh passion fruit pulp at the lowest speed to loosen seeds from the flesh without breaking the seeds up.
- Soak - macadamia nuts ahead of time. Cover with 4 cups of water and refrigerate while soaking.
- Measure - the arrowroot starch and agar powder carefully for the lilikoi curd. The combination and proportion are what give the curd its perfect consistency.
- Blend - macadamia cream filling in a high-powered machine like a Vitamix until very smooth and fluffy. An ordinary blender will leave the mixture grainy.
- Chill tarts for 4 hours before serving.
- Cover and store extras for up to 3 days in the refrigerator.
Passion fruit has a truly unique taste! The pulp is juicy, succulent, and filled with seeds you can swallow. The flavor is, first and foremost, tart with a fresh tropical perfume. As the fruit ripens, it gains sweetness. Then it's both intensely sweet and tart. Because it's so unique, it's hard to compare its flavor to other fruits, but pineapple, mango, guava, and kiwi all have similarities.
Passion fruit pairs well with strawberries, citrus, and other tropical fruits, especially ones like banana, papaya, and dragon fruit that lack acidity. Whipped cream, meringue, and macadamia nuts are all dreamy when paired with tart passion fruit. Sugar, vegan honey, ginger, and vanilla bring out the sweetness in passion fruit desserts and drinks.
🍰 More vegan desserts
Passion Fruit Tart
- 6 Pre-baked homemade 3 ½ inch tart shells*
- Or Buy ready-made tart shells
Macadamia cream filling
- 1 ½ cups macadamia nuts soaked overnight
- 3 TB agave syrup
- 1 ½ tsp. vanilla
- ⅓ cup water
- 1 tablespoon candied ginger diced
- 6 whole candied macadamia nuts
- Bake and cool tart shells if not ready-made.
- Soak macadamia nuts in refrigerator overnight with 4 cups of water. Rinse and drain nuts well.
- Place drained nuts, agave syrup, vanilla, and ⅓ cup water in a high-powered blender like a Vitamix. Blend on low speed to a uniform meal. Then turn up to high speed and blend until very smooth and fluffy. Add a tablespoon at a time if more water is needed, but keep the mixture thick and spoonable.
- Place passion fruit juice, sugar, agar, and arrowroot in a saucepan. Whisk together really well before turning the heat on. Add plant-based butter and bring the mixture to a boil while whisking constantly. Once the curd boils and thickens, remove it from heat and cover.
- Fill each tart with a scant ¼ cup macadamia cream and top with 3 TB warm lilikoi curd. Put a small dollop of macadamia cream on each filled tart. Garnish with candied ginger and a macadamia nut. Adjust amounts if using tart shells smaller or larger than 3 ½ inches.
- Chill tarts for 4 hours before serving to allow lilikoi curd to set.
- Cover any leftover tarts and store them in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.