Ok, I’ll admit it. I had several spoonfuls of that passion fruit curd before I was overcome by guilt/shame that motivated me enough to “do” something with it. Since my grandmother’s birthday was coming up and we had a family dinner on the calendar to celebrate, I made these tropical passion fruit tartlets for the occasion.
Oh. My. Gawd! It was like a swarm of vultures were hovering over fresh road kill. That is not an exaggeration. Picture it: There were twelve of us for a sit down birthday dinner that night. We had gone through drinks and hors d’oeuvres, starters, a substantial main course, cheese and bread and wine — a lot of wine. There was still birthday cake to come.
My tarts were chilling in the refrigerator and was beginning to doubt that we’d need them because there had been so much food, I pulled them out anyway and started to arrange them on a platter. Everyone was busy bringing the dirty dishes into the kitchen, loading the dishwasher and putting out dessert plates for cake.
Spying my tray of tarts in the kitchen naturally garnered some interest. Then it happened. Someone swiped one. And the squeals of delight couldn’t be contained. Now, I am not patting myself on the back or boasting unnecessarily here. I can’t describe the frenzy that ensued… My aunt, who is very particular about her diet, kept coming to the platter for another tart.
My cousin was swooning. My Mom moaned. Dad’s eyes bugged out! They are THAT GOOD! Like the dessert version of crack cocaine!
The punch from the passion fruit curd is so intense — sweet, tart and distinctive, that it’s just impossible to ignore. Or resist. Of course the crumbly shortbread shells don’t hurt either. I embellished mine with a few slices of kiwi and some fresh passionfruit seeds, but it’s not necessary. One bite and you will be completely smitten.
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Tropical Passion Fruit Tartlets
With a rich buttery shortbread crust and an impossibly addictive passion fruit curd, your guests will be swooning over these little tarts!
For Shortbread Tart Shells
- 2 sticks butter at room temperature
- 1/2 cup powdered sugar
- 3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/4 teaspoon vanilla powder or 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 2 cups all purpose flour
- 1 recipe Sweet Tart Passion Fruit Curd from this site
- kiwi raspberry, strawberry, blueberry or other fruit for garnish
- mint leaves for garnish
- mini muffin pan
- tart tamper
- Preheat the oven to 325 degrees. Spray a mini muffin tin with vegetable spray and set aside.
- In a small bowl, mix together the flour and salt. (if you have vanilla powder, mix it into the dry ingredients. If you're using vanilla extract, add it with the sugar and butter mixture) Set aside.
- Add the butter to a large mixing bowl and beat on medium speed with electric mixer to a creamy consistency. Add the powdered sugar and beat for 1-2 minutes until pale yellow and fluffy. (If using vanilla extract, add it here.)
- Add the flour to the butter mixture and beat on low speed until incorporated, scraping down sides of bowl as necessary.
- Scoop 1 level tablespoon of dough into each muffin tin. Use floured dough tamper, to tamp the dough into the muffin tin to form little shells. Refrigerate for 10-15 minutes until chilled.
- Bake for 10 minutes remove from oven and use your dough tamper again, to press the puffed dough down into the shell. Bake another 5-8 minutes until golden brown. Allow the shortbread shells to cool in the pan. Carefully slide a very thin knife between the tart and the pan and remove the shortbread crusts. (Shortbread is naturally crumbly, so don't worry if a little cookie falls away (I call these chef's tastes). Cool to room temperature on a wire rack.
- When shells are at room temperature, pipe or spoon curd into the shortbread shells. Top with a piece of kiwi, or other fruit and mint leaves for garnish. Cover loosely with plastic wrap until ready to serve. Best if served the same day.
For quicker tart shells - use a ready made pie crust cut into rounds with a biscuit cutter and tamp them into place with your tamper.