Friday, October 14, 2011

Lemon Lime Passionfruit Cream Tart

Expat. Expatriate. Person who lives in a country that is not his or her own native land.  I have figured out over my last 25 years as same, that the term expat is not widely known among people who do not live overseas or travel extensively.  Those who are familiar with the term often have some exaggerated preconceived notions of what it means and they usually involve a fancy lifestyle and living high on the hog. 

I cannot deny that there are many advantages to expat living, especially if one is sent somewhere wonderful (And here I quote my friend, Valorie, who, upon being told that my family was being transferred from our mutual location of Balikpapan, Indonesia, to Paris, France, exclaimed, “People don’t LIVE in Paris, Stacy!  They go there on holiday!) but there are also disadvantages.  The biggest one is saying goodbye to people we have worked with, cheered at school sporting events with, parented our children with, grown to love. 

This is a long and very round about way of saying that I went to a going-away party last night.  And the only thing that eases the pain of saying of goodbye is good food and good drink. And spending the evening laughing with good friends.

Here’s what I brought along:

Lemon Lime Passionfruit Cream Tart

This recipe has three parts but don't be alarmed. None of them are tricky. We will blind bake a crust though, which just means we are going to bake it for a little bit before we put the filling in. 

For the crust which fits a large 11-inch tart tin:
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup shortening (Crisco is my preferred but I have had to use butter in some countries where Crisco is not available. It works but the crust is not as flaky.)
5-6 tablespoons of cold water
1 egg for the egg wash after the crust is blind baked

For the filling:
8 large eggs
1 1/2 cups or 340g caster sugar
1/2 cup or 120ml double cream170g of passionfruit pulp in syrup (which is just a dab less than 150ml or a little more than a1/2 cup) or the same volume of fresh passionfruit pulp plus an extra 1/2 cup or 115g sugar) 
1/3 cup or 85ml lime juice
1/2 cup or 120ml lemon juice

Confectioner's or powdered sugar for sprinkling

For the optional topping:
5-6 fresh passionfruit
1 tablespoon cornstarch or cornflour
2 tablespoons sugar
1 teaspoon of butter

Put the flour, shortening and salt together in one bowl. Using a pastry blender or two knives, cut the flour into the shortening until you have small crumbs.

Add the cold water a tablespoon at a time, blending with the tines of a fork, until the mixture forms a soft dough which can be rolled into a ball.   

Flatten the ball into a patty and wrap it in cling film and chill in the refrigerator for at least half an hour.

When you are ready to bake, preheat your oven to 400°F or 200°C.  Roll the dough out into a circle to fit your pie pan.

For more information about this handy rolling bag, check out my quiche recipe.  You can, of course, do it the old-fashioned way but it will be easier to insert in your tart pan if you roll it out on some parchment or waxed paper. 

Put the inside of your tart pan on the dough or the whole pan if that's what you are using. 

Center the rim part and put your hand under the whole thing.  Flip the crust over and remove the rolling bag or your parchment. 

Gently ease the crust into the tart pan. 

Turn the edges over and crimp them to make them look nice.  Poke the crust all over with a fork to help it stop puffing up when baking.

Cut a piece of parchment paper the width of your tart pan.  Fold it in half and then in half again.

Now fold it one side to the other so it has a point, as if you were making a paper airplane.

Fold that in half again so the point is very pointy. 

Trim the paper to the diameter of your pan and open up to reveal a circle. 

Push this gently into your crust and top with dried beans or ceramic baking beads. 

Bake for around 10 minutes.  Meanwhile, start the filling.

Whisk together the sugar and eggs in a bowl.  Set aside.  

Remove from crust from the oven and allow to cool slightly. Turn the oven down to 350°F or 180°C. Remove the beads.

Beat your spare egg from the crust ingredients and add a splash of water.  Apply it to the crust with a brush. This eggwash will keep the crust from getting soggy when the filling is put in it. 

Give the egg-sugar mixture another good whisk and slowly stir in the cream and the juices.

Put the cooked tart shell back into the oven and then pour the filling into it – This helps reduce spillage.

Bake for around 40 to 45 minutes or until the filling is set, but still semi-wobbly just in the middle. Give the baking pan a gentle shake at 40 minutes and, if too much jiggles, leave it in again for 10 minutes and test again.  Just the very center should wobble.

After cooling for an hour, the semi-wobbly filling will have firmed up to the perfect consistency; soft and smooth. If you cut it before it has had time to rest it will pour out or be extremely gooey.

Now we are ready for the topping. (You can skip this step and serve with just a sprinkling of confectioners' or powdered sugar but it sure looks pretty and tastes good too.)

Cut the passionfruit open and gently scrape the pulp out into a fine sieve, over a bowl to catch the juice. You don’t want to get the white part of the peel, just the pulp.  

Let it drain for a few minutes then pour the juice into a small pot.  Whisk in the cornstarch and sugar and make sure there are no lumps before putting the pot on the heat.

Turn the heat on, to medium, and keep adding in the juice that is dripping into your bowl from under the pulp as the mixture warms.  Whisk constantly until the sauce starts to get hot and thicken ever so slightly.

 Add in the pulp and cook until it is thick but still pourable. Take the sauce off the heat and whisk in the teaspoon of butter. 

Pour the sauce on top of the tart and spread it around.  Allow to cool completely before trying to serve.


This recipe was adapted from Jamie Oliver’s Lemon Lime Cream Tart in The Naked Chef, now available, apparently, in paperback or, if you prefer, the version I have.


  1. wow what an amazing tart its sad when folks move away I am an expat Brit in the US but we can visit new places

  2. @Rebecca: I'm an expat American in Kuala Lumpur. My husband's a Brit. Traveling to visit friends who have moved on is one of the upsides of being an expat! We have friends all over the world.

  3. Hi SLR, thanks for visiting me over at Simply Cooked. I'm an expat in Hong Kong - I'm from Canada originally but my husband is British and now I hold a British passport, too. Depending on the context I describe myself as a British or Canadian expat. Your tart looks delicious and I'm sure it was well received. Do you want to say hello when you visit HK?

  4. Hi - thank you for your visit to my blog which has led me to yours!
    Great blog you have here, I love the step by step pictures.
    Nice to meet you! Jan


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