Oh how I adore Passionfruit. I have recently discovered a very good source for passionfruit puree, which is helping me to get over my deep and abiding regret about not eating more fresh passionfruit when I lived in Hawaii (See my post post on Regret and Coconut Passionfruit Chia Seed Pudding). It’s called Perfect Puree and it is just plain passionfruit, so it is very tart but has all of the sexy complexity that fresh passionfruit has. They aren’t paying me or anything. It’s just really good. I buy the puree from Kalustyan’s, which also carries every other kind of exotic fruit puree made by the same company. All of which I would like to try. Total tangent, I shop at Kalustyan’s often (like once a week) and for many years (at least 10). All of a sudden, in the last few months the folks who work there have finally noticed that I’m a regular. I think it’s because I’ve started going there right before I leave town to cook The Decadent Eight Course Tasting Menu for The Illuminati Ball. This means that I arrive at their store frantic at rush hour on a Friday, hauling a giant suitcase of weird ingredients that I’ve gathered from other specialty stores. Often, I am behind schedule and literally run through the aisles grabbing huge quantities of perfectly plump medjool dates, a truly odd assortment of spices and condiments, and these days, the beloved passionfruit puree. The employees think I’m hilarious and ask me what on earth I’m planning on making and for how many people and whether or not I’m likely to catch my train this time. The banter makes me really happy.In light of this puree discovery, I wanted to use passionfruit to make a refreshing dessert to serve during the hottest months at The Illuminati Ball. We make versions of this vegan parfait with Ginger and Lime in the winter, Rhubarb Rose and Cardamom in the Spring and Spiced Plum and Chocolate in the Fall. I’m not going to lie to you. It’s one of the most time-consuming things we make for our dinner, but it’s really, truly worth the effort.
CREAMY PASSIONFRUIT MANGO PARFAIT (VEGAN)
For the Passionfruit Cashew Cream
- 1 cup raw cashews
- 1/3 cup passionfruit juice
- 1/4 cup maple syrup
- 3 Tablespoons coconut oil, melted
- 1/2 of a vanilla bean scraped
- up to 2 Tablespoons of water as needed
- Soak the cashews in water for at least 4 hours and preferably more like 8 hours. In the meanwhile you can prepare the mango puree.
- Drain the cashews and combine them with the passionfruit puree, maple syrup, melted coconut oil and the seeds scared from the vanilla bean in a blender or food processor. Process until totally smooth & creamy, adding a bit of water if needed. It will reach a ricotta like texture first. Keep processing it beyond that point and it will become totally smooth!
For the Mango Puree and Coconut Topping
- The flesh of 1 ripe mango
- 1 lime
- 1/4 cup granulated sugar (vanilla sugar if you’ve got some)
- 1 or 2 Tablespoons of passionfruit puree to taste
- dry coconut slices for topping (I used candied coconut in the photo but have since decided that unsweetened, toasted coconut is better)
- Combine the flesh and juice of the mango, the strained juice of the lime and sugar in a food processor or blender and process until smooth. Taste it and add passionfruit puree for a touch of mysterious zing as needed.
- Heat an oven or toaster oven to 325. Spread the coconut slices in a single layer on a baking sheet. Toast the coconut for 5-10 minutes. Keep a close eye on it. It should be golden.
- Scoop a bit of cashew cream into the bottom of a cordial glass, followed by a some mango puree. Repeat the layers and freeze for 2 hours or more.
- 15-30 minutes before serving, take the parfait out of the freezer and garnish with toasted coconut.
MORE VEGAN DESSERTS…