Cutting into a fresh ripened passion fruit for the first time is a thrilling and intoxicating experience, as you are hit with an enticingly sweet tropical aroma. Close your eyes, take a deep breath in and for a moment you are transported to a tropical sandy beach. Its signature aroma alone will tempt you to make this cheesecake, I promise.
Exotic, sweet, slightly sour and tangy flavors from the passion fruit combine great with creamy desserts and is such a versatile fruit you can come up with endless ways to sneak this into average treats and drinks. Boil down some of the juice with sugar and make a syrup. Pour over pancakes, smother on some buttered toast or even make a dressing out of it. Scoop out the pulp and spoon onto your plain yogurt or vanilla ice cream and you've got yourself a decadent dessert!
Passion fruit juice is impressive on its own and it is definitely worth purchasing some fresh fruit when we have them! Passion fruit is native to the sub-tropical regions in Brazil and stretching down to Paraguay and northern Argentina. Although they do not tolerate very cold weather, several varieties are grown in California and can be harvested from late spring to fall.
They are fully ripened when the fruit is deeply wrinkled. Passion fruit flowers and juice have been known for having sedative effects and have been used in treatments for anxiety and high blood pressure. So next time you are feeling the pressures of life, cut open into a passion fruit and breath in for some aromatherapy and slurp up the pulp for a delightfully relaxing treat!
Gluten-free, Dairy-free, can be made vegan
Need: 6 inch spring form pan, wax paper
For the Crust
1 cup almonds
1/2 cup soaked dates
1/4 cup dry shredded coconut
Remove date pits and place in a small bowl
Pour in hot water and let soak for a few minutes, drain and reserve
In a food processor or blender put in almonds first and process to crumb like consistency.
Next add in your soaked dates and coconut
Take your spring form pan and cut out a round of wax paper to cover the bottom
Spoon out your crust mixture and spread onto bottom of pan and around edges
Place in freezer for 2 hours
For the Filling
1 1/2 cup cashews soaked over night
1/4 cup maple syrup
Juice from 1 lemon
Can of coconut milk (place in fridge for 20 min and just collect the cream at the top, save the liquid for smoothies or drink straight)
Pulp and juice from 2 passion fruits (or 3 Tbsp of passion fruit juice)
Pinch of salt
3 Tbsp cultured cream cheese or substitute (Miyoko's is cultured and vegan!)
Place all ingredients into a food processor or blender and blend until creamy
Take out your crust and pour mixture into pan
Leave in freezer for 4 hours
For the Passion Fruit Topping
1/2 cup Passion fruit juice from fresh fruits or bottled
Gelatin powder 1 1/2 tsp (to make this dish Vegan, Agar agar can be substituted for gelatin, 1:1)
2 Tbsp cold water
2-3 Tbsp powdered sugar
In a heat proof small bowl pour in your gelatin powder (or agar agar) and cold water
Stir well and set aside for 10 min
In a pot pour in water half way
Heat on stove to boil
When water has boiled turn heat off and transfer pot to counter quickly.
Place your heat proof bowl over pot of hot water to gently heat up and melt gelatin
Make sure bowl either floats above water or covers the pot, do not allow bowl of gelatin to submerge into hot water
Stir gelatin (or agar agar) until it dissolves
Remove bowl from hot pot and place on counter
Pour in your passion fruit juice and sugar
Take your cheese cake pan out of freezer and pour your gelatin mixture onto cake
Cover with plastic wrap and set back into freezer for another hour
After one hour you can leave to set in fridge another 3 hours