Passion Fruit Tarts

  • Filling:
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, melted
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 2 large eggs, lightly beaten
  • 1/2 cup passion fruit juice (see Note)
  • Crust:
  • 2 1/4 cups allpurpose flour
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup lard, cut into eight pieces
  • 1/4 cup unsalted butter, cut into 4 pieces
  • 3 tablespoons ice water
  • 1/2 cup coarsely chopped pistachio nuts, for garnish
  • For the filling: In the top of a double boiler, whisk together the butter, sugar, eggs, and passion fruit juice until the mixture is thick and will hold a line, about 12 minutes. Transfer the doubleboiler insert to a larger bowl filled with ice and cold water, and stir occasionally until cool. The mixture will be quite thick.

  • For the crust: In a large bowl, combine 2 cups of the flour, the salt, lard, and butter and rub together with the tips of your fingertips until the mixture resembles small peas. Add the remaining 1/4 cup flour and bring together into a rough mass. Add the ice water, 1 tablespoon at a time and press into the mixture with a fork or your fingertips just until the mixture adheres into a dough. You may not need all the ice water. Press the dough into a ball and refrigerate for 2 hours.

  • To assemble the tarts: Roll the dough out to 1/8inch thick and, using a small plate or a cardboard template, cut the dough into six 4 1/2inch diameter rounds. Transfer the rounds to 2 baking sheets, prick all over with a fork, and freeze for 20 minutes. Preheat the oven to 425/.

  • Bake the tart bases for 12 to 15 minutes, until slightly golden. Using a large heavy spatula, transfer them to a rack (they crumble easily) and, when cool, spread with a nice thick layer of the passionfruit curd almost out to the edges of the pastry. Scatter the pistachio nuts around the very edges of the tarts and serve. Yield: 6 servings

  • Note: Unsweetened passion fruit juice, which is very sour, is sometimes available frozen. Or, in season scoop out and, if desired (it is not necessary), strain the pulp of 1 passion fruit for each 2 tablespoons juice required.

  • If you use regular storebought passion fruit juice, which has been sweetened, add 2 tablespoons of lemon juice for each 1/2 cup of the juice.

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