I am sure I am not alone in my excitement at the start of the Olympics this weekend. I was so lucky to go to The Games and the Paralympic Games when London hosted them back in 2012, what an amazing experience. I don’t particularly follow sport, but there is something infectious about the enthusiasm, hope, fun and cheerleading that gets to me and whilst I sadly won’t be going to Rio, I will endeavour to bring a bit of Rio to me!
I would love to visit South America one day, such wonderful food and incredible sights. When I think about the flavours of Brazil I think of luscious tropical fruits such as guava, passionfruit, melon and pineapple. When I was daydreaming about what to create this week to bring the Rio spirit, I wanted to use some of these flavoursome ingredients. I decided on a passionfruit tart with lime crust and caramelised pineapple with rum.
I used a simple sweet shortcrust pastry recipe and added the fresh zest of one lime, but you could add any citrus zest you fancy.
Give the pastry time to chill in the fridge, at least half an hour, before rolling it out and lining a 24cm tart tin. Next prick the bottom of the tart all over with a fork, trim the edges of the pastry and then place in the freezer for 30 minutes to chill and set.
Blind bake the tart case in the oven at 180ºC. To do this, line your chilled pastry case with baking parchment, cover with baking beans and bake for 10 minutes. Remove the tart case from the oven and carefully remove the baking beans and baking parchment. A top tip for sealing the bottom of the tart case and preventing any of the filling from finding any gaps or holes in the pastry, is to brush the base with a beaten egg – then place back in the oven for another 10 minutes, so that the base can also become golden and crisp. Remove and leave to cool.
Whilst the tart case is cooling, you can whip up the filling – you will need;
4 Large eggs
178g Caster sugar
178ml Double cream
2 Teaspoon of lemon zest
4 Tablespoons of lemon juice
3 Passionfruit pulp
Whisk all these ingredients together in a bowl until combined, pour this mixture into your cool pastry case then place the tart back in the oven at 180ºC for 30-35 minutes or until the filling has just set. Remove from the oven and allow to cool. Once cooled down leave the tart in the fridge to fully set.
Now for the final tropical layer – pineapple and passionfruit. For me, there is not a more exotic tasting fruit and it reminds me of hot countries and a refreshing taste that wakes the mouth up when you are battling with the humidity. Add in the flavour of passionfruit and rum and it is a taste bud fiesta!
To make this final flourish take 500g of fresh chopped pineapple, the pulp of 4 passionfruit, 90g of soft brown sugar and fry in a pan for 10 minutes to cook and caramelise the sugar, stir the mixture occasionally. Finally add 60ml of rum and cook for a further 3 minutes. Allow the pineapple to cool and then pour all the fruit and its juices over the top of your tart and it is ready to serve.
I hope this gets you into the Olympic spirit, ready for the start of The Games this weekend.
Whilst I was in the greengrocers picking up the passionfruit for today, I spotted lots of beautiful jewel like cherries, so this will definitely be on my shopping list for next week’s blog post – keep an eye out for next week!