Recipe: How To Make Lilikoi Passionfruit Curd

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The world seems all kinds of FUBAR-ed right now, but there are still times when I look around — at nature, at creatures under the sea, at fruits and flowers like this lilikoi — and I’m completely, 1000% certain there’s a higher power out there. To me, something as gorgeous (and delicious) just can’t be random.

I’m lucky enough to have a neighbor that doesn’t have a clue what these incredibly strange and beautiful fruits produce, so I’ve been picking passionfruit OFF THE SIDEWALK as they fall, hopefully getting to them before the birds peck their crimson rinds to find the tart seeds inside. (The struggle is real, these birds are aggressive early risers!)

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Lilikoi, or passionfruit as we call it here on the mainland, is the perfect fruit for making curd, and I became obsessed with it on Kauai when I tried Monkeypod Jam’s version. It’s aromatic acidity and tropical pucker remind me of a hybrid between a pineapple and sour orange, and it’s the perfect match for curd-making.

I paired mine it with an ube coconut scone from Sugarbird and some pineapple coconut cream — the same one I used for these piña colada cupcakes. But TBH, I’ve ended up just eating most of my lilikoi curd straight out of the jar. It’s just that good.

This is all a really long winded way of saying, holy cow, nature is magic and lilikoi curd is totally worth the hassle. Get your hands on some at the farmers market right now and use this recipe, inspired by Garlic and Zest, and enjoy!

Ingredients

8-9 passionfruit (yields about 3/4 cup juice)

7 large egg yolks

1 cup organic superfine sugar (or cane sugar if superfine isn’t available)

10 tablespoons cold, unsalted butter cut into chunks

Pinch of pink Himalayan sea salt

Method

Cut each passion fruit in half and scoop the pulp into your Vitamix or blender. On the lowest speed, give the blender a couple quick pulses in order to separate the seeds from their gelatinous membrane, but not enough to puree the seeds into the mixture.

Rest a fine mesh sieve or chinoise over a small mixing bowl and pour the passion fruit into the sieve little by little. Use the back of a spoon to press out the juice, stirring and pressing several times, until you're just left with pulp and seeds in the sieve. Take your time, that stuff is liquid gold, and you don’t want to waste a drop!

Toss out the remaining pulp and seeds from the sieve. You should be left with about 3/4 cup of passionfruit juice. (I like my curd to be more like a glaze, but if you want it thicker, you can do 1/2 cup like Garlic and Zest does.)

In a small saucepan, combine the egg yolks, passion fruit juice and sugar. Turn the heat to low and consistently stir constantly your mixture so that the sugar dissolves and the mixture thickens slightly. Be sure to not get the mixture too hot, or your eggs will scramble. You want this all to be done slow and low.

Remove from heat, and then start add salt and butter, one small cube at a time, stirring after each addition until the butter melts. If your curd cools too much, put it back on the lowest setting just so that the butter can melt in.

Place your sieve over the mouth of a large Mason jar, and slowly strain the curd in. Push the curd gently through, removing any of the egg solids and bits that may have not dissolved. This makes your curd velvety and smooth! (I’m a crazy person and like to eat the stuff that you strain out because dang it lilikoi is a jewel not to be wasted!)

You can strain it a second time if you’re feeling ambitious and really want the velvet factor. Then, refrigerate until chilled and enjoy with your favorite baked good, or if you’re like me, by the spoonful straight out of the fridge!