Gus and I have made it one year! That sounds a little ridiculous to say, considering we’ve been together for years, but we just celebrated our one year wedding anniversary. Should I tell you all the things I’ve learned one year in? I have a lot of marriage wisdom. Just kidding. I don’t have any. This is our paper anniversary for goodness sakes. We’re highly flammable at this point.
Why don’t I tell you about our wedding cake instead, huh?
That seems more appropriate. Truth is I didn’t even want a wedding cake when it
came down to it. It just didn’t seem that important in the grand scheme of
wedding to do lists. (Those lists get loooong.) I briefly entertained the idea of making my
own cake but once I came to my senses (*phew*) I sort of lost interest. That is
until my sweet mom intervened. That’s what sweet moms do. My parents had been
generous and wonderful in all the planning steps, letting me take the wedding
far from anything they had ever dreamed of for the day. Gus and I got married at a NYC restaurant called Public. Even though getting
hitched in a restaurant was just about the weirdest thing they’d ever
heard, my dear parents went right with the flow. So when mom begged for a classic cake, something
wedding-y and familiar, I caved. After a decadent (almost sick-making) tasting
with my buddy Merritt I chose a lovely 3-tiered citrus-infused white cake
filled with passion fruit curd and covered in passion fruit buttercream from the hipsters over at Baked bakery in Red Hook. Traditional meets
tropical! (Just like me! Sort of.) Unfortunately, true to wedding cake form,
the beautiful slices laid all around the restaurant were mostly ignored at the wedding. By
that point in the evening, after many long, tasty courses, people either
wanted to get the heck to bed or get the heck to the dancefloor/bar. Sometimes dancing trumps cake.
Fast forward a year and here we are. Now that there is no wedding to plan I can get back to focusing on our desserts. Balance has been restored. I decided that our family tradition should be a newly created passion fruit and citrus dessert baked every anniversary from here on out. We’ll see if I can keep it up. This year’s obstacle: Gus’ new status as gluten reluctant and lactose sensitive. I’m game. This year’s treat: Gluten Free Passion Fruit and Lime Tart.
Gluten free pastry. Oh boy. I know I could have
gone down the well traveled gluten free flour blend road, but that kind of felt
like cheating. I’ve been into nut flours lately and I knew they wouldn’t let me
down. It took a couple tries but I got to something good with an easy blend of
almond flour, egg, butter, sugar, and salt. If I have to eat a gluten-free
crust I want it to be nice and satisfying on its own merit – not a subpar
version of the original. This crust stands on it's own two (?) feet. It’s basically a crunchy, yummy
almond cookie. Delish. It behaves like a cookie dough too so don't even think about trying to chill it and roll it out. Hide the rolling pin lest you get the urge. Please. Grab that
little offset spatula instead. This dough wants to be shaped into a crust. Lovingly
slathered into a tart pan and then carefully eased into the edges. It’s fun! It’s like
spackling. Reminds me of a time in 1998 when I spent a month spreading
cement to build a brick wall in a little village in France. A croissant truck delivered fresh, heavenly croissants to the worksite every day. I could be a construction worker for fresh croissants. Anyway...
Now on to the filling. Oh jeez. The filling. If you like passion fruit, you’re going to love this. It's so fresh and tangy! It’s like a punch in the face with a passion fruit fist. In a good way. Try again? Sweet tropical sunshine in curd form. Better. Bright, tart, sweet and damn creamy. It’s luxurious. You won’t know whether to eat it or apply it liberally to your face and elbows.The only trouble started when we got to the topping. In my mind, this thing was screaming for whipped cream. Toasted meringue would have been good but too sweet. Powdered sugar would just melt away in all that rich, dewy curd. Naked felt well, naked. My heart was telling me whip but I didn’t want to be the cause of Gus’ intestinal distress, not on our anniversary anyway. That’s when he said, “Go ahead and use whipped cream. I can just scrape it off.” Aww. Romantic, right? Compromise. That’s what we’ve learned in this year of marriage. So maybe I do have a little wisdom to share - a moral to this dessert story. Sometimes you’ve got to deal with a little gluten-free crust and a dollop of whipped cream in order to share the tart.
Gluten Free Passion Fruit and Lime Tart
Makes 1 13x4 inch tart
I used Boiron passion fruit puree instead of fresh fruit. Easier and more reliable. Bonus: I still have a bunch left in my freezer waiting to be turned into something scrumptious.
For the crust:
1 ½ cups almond flour
¼ cup confectioners’ sugar
¼ teaspoon kosher salt
3 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 large egg
For the passion fruit filling:
1 1/3 cup passion fruit puree
12 large egg yolks
2/3 cup sugar
½ teaspoon kosher salt
2 teaspoons lime zest plus 1 tablespoon lime juice
4 tablespoons butter
¾ cup heavy cream, whipped to soft peaks
1 teaspoon lime zest
1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Prepare the crust: In a large bowl, combine almond flour, confectioners’ sugar, and salt. Add butter and egg and stir until completely combined. Transfer dough to a 4x13 1/2-inch rectangular fluted tart pan with a removable bottom. Using an offset spatula, spread the dough to an even ¼ to ½-inch thickness and smooth edges. Freeze until firm, about 10 minutes. Bake tart until set and the edges are golden brown, about 25 minutes. Cool completely before filling.
2. Prepare the filling: In a large, heavy pot, whisk together passion fruit puree, egg yolks, sugar, zest, and salt. Set pot over medium-low heat and cook, whisking constantly, until thickened, about 8 minutes. Do not let the mixture boil. Strain through a fine mesh over a medium bowl. Whisk in butter and lime juice. When the filling has cooled, pour it into the prepared tart shell. Cover with plastic and refrigerate until set, at least 6 hours or overnight. (The curd never gets really hard. It stays nice and silky but sliceable.)
3. To serve, top with fresh whipped cream and lime zest. Share with your beloveds.