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Passionfruit curd bars with fresh raspberries


I have already explained my deep sorrow in living in a place where passionfruit do not grow. I like to watch youtube baking videos, and one baker in particular lives in Australia, where lovely purple passionfruit grow on the vine, are readily accessible, and are inexpensive. As a result, this baker uses them in so many recipes, it makes me see green. Passionfruit is sour like a lemon, but also sweet and floral. I am smitten.

Since I cannot reliably source fresh passionfruit around here (although my local Market Basket did carry them one lovely day, at $3.99 per fruit- which resulted in an expensive grocery cart) I buy a juice concentrate on amazon. It lacks the seeds, though- those lovely crunchy seeds add so much texture and flavor to any passionfruit dessert (plus those black beauties contrast so deliciously with the orange yellow of the juice). If you can find real passionfruit, snap them up. Otherwise, I recommend Maguary passionfruit juice concentrate.

I adore raspberry streusel bars. I love the buttery shortbread crust, the raspberry jam layer, and the sweet, oat-y streusel topping, scattered with whole raspberries no top, lightly drizzled with glaze. After making a batch of passionfruit curd, I was struck with the idea of using the curd instead of raspberry jam in the middle layer. I have already used passionfruit curd with great success in my jam thumbprint cookie recipe, so I decided to experiment. Happily, it was a great success.

These passionfruit bars with fresh raspberries may be my new favorite dessert. It is a classic bar with a tropical twist. I implore you to give them a try; enjoy them with a lovely cup of tea on a rainy spring day, with a cold glass of milk late at night, with a strong cup of coffee right before a hard day’s work, or bring them to your next gathering and wow everyone. Be careful; these guys are addictive! Enjoy!



Passionfruit Curd (makes a little over 2 cups)
1 cup passionfruit juice ( I used Maguary brand from amazon) 
OR 6-8 fresh passionfruit (the more wrinkled, the riper!)
3 large eggs
2 tablespoons corn starch
10 tablespoons of cold butter, cut into cubes
1 cup sugar

Method:
If you are using fresh passionfruit, cut them in half and scrape the flesh out into the bowl of your food processer. Blitz for a few seconds to separate the seeds from the flesh. Pour the contents of the food processor into a side set over a bowl and push through as much pulp and juice as you can. Reserve 2 tablespoons of seeds and discard the rest (or save and freeze them for use in a future passionfruit recipe!).

In a medium saucepan, add your sugar, eggs and cornstarch. Whisk together until fully incorporated and the eggs are pale in color. Add in the passionfruit juice and mix to combine. Turn the heat to medium low, and whisk constantly. Add the butter 1 to 2 tablespoons at time, allowing them to melt before proceeding with your next addition.

Stir constantly on medium low to low heat, until the mixture has thickened to a pudding like consistency. Do not turn up the heat to speed up the process or you risk curdling the eggs. Once thickened, pass the curd through a fine sieve to remove any lumps. Add the reserved seeds if you have them. Pour into a jar and store it in the fridge for up to a week. We will use 3/4 of a cup for our bars.



Passionfruit and Raspberry Streusel Bars

Ingredients:

For shortbread crust:
1/2 cup melted butter
1 teaspoon vanilla bean paste
1/4 teaspoon almond extract
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1 and 1/4 cup all-purpose flour

For filling:
3/4 cup passionfruit curd
12 fresh raspberries

For streusel:
1/2 cup rolled oats (not instant)
1/3 cup light brown sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla bean paste
1/4 teaspoon almond extract
1/4 cup al-purpose flour
1/4 cold butter, cut into cubes

For glaze:
1/2 cup powdered sugar
1/8 teaspoon almond extract
1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
1-2 tablespoons light cream

Method:
Preheat your oven to 300 degrees F. Spray an 8 inch by 8 inch pan with baking spray (I use Baker’s Joy).

Mix together the melted butter, sugar, vanilla bean paste, almond extract and salt. Add in the flour and mix until it forms a dough. Press it into your prepared pan with your hands or a spatula. Bake in the middle rack of your oven for 15 minutes.

Remove the pan from the oven and increase the temperature to 350 degrees F. Combine the oats, brown sugar, vanilla bean paste, almond extract and flour together in a bowl. Cut in the cold butter cubes with a pastry blender, fork or two knives intel it resembles coarse crumbs.

Spread 3/4 of a cup of passionfruit curd onto your crust. Top with the streusel and scatter the raspberries on top. Bake in the oven for 30 to 35 minutes, or until the streusel is golden brown and the passionfruit curd is bubbling.

Remove and cool completely, then refrigerate for 2 hours or overnight.

In a bowl, mix together the powdered sugar, extracts and cream, 1 tablespoon at a time, until the glaze is your desired consistency. Drizzle it over your bars. Cut them into squares, remove the from the pan, and enjoy! 

You can serve them at room temperature or cold from the fridge. They keep in a sealed container in the fridge for four days, or you can freeze them up to three months (thaw them in the fridge overnight before serving and glazing).





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