Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Passion Fruit "Slice" Bars

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When passion fruit comes to mind, I automatically think of Hawaiian cuisine. When I was in Oahu, Hawaii a few years ago to visit family and friends, I loved drinking passion fruit juice and enjoying this tropical fruit in desserts, salads and even some savory dishes. It's been awhile since I've enjoyed passion fruit in any capacity so I was thrilled when my friend Jen brought in these Passion Fruit "Slice" Bars for our recent Wine & Dine dinner event highlighting New Zealand cuisine.

New Zealand cuisine often uses tropical ingredients and this dessert is no exception. Jen, who's originally from Australia, informed me that down under, dessert bars are known as dessert "slices." (Think key lime bars, lemon bars, seven layer bars, etc - these are known as key lime slices, lemon slices, seven layer slices, etc.) When Jen brought these in and we all took a bite, it tastes very similar to key lime bars. Passion fruit is generally very tart. Jen happened to purchase her passion fruit pulp on her last trip to Australia but if you're not traveling down under anytime soon, you can find passion fruit pulp in ethnic grocery stores, sometimes in a can or even frozen.


Passion Fruit "Slice" Bars
recipe from Taste.com

Melted butter, to grease
1 cup self-raising flour
1 cup desiccated coconut
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, melted
1 can sweetened condensed milk
1/2 cup fresh lemon juice
2 tablespoons passion fruit pulp


Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Brush a 9x13 baking pan melted butter to lightly grease. Line the greased pan with parchment paper, allowing the sides to overhang.

In a medium bowl, combine the flour, coconut, sugar and butter to prepare the crust dough. Place the dough in the prepared pan and press firmly and event on the bottom of the pan. Bake for 12 minutes or until light golden. Remove from oven and set aside to cool.

Reduce oven temperature to 300 degrees.

In a large bowl whisk together the condensed milk, lemon juice and passion fruit pulp until smooth and well combined. Pour into the pan over the cooled base and spread evenly over the base. Bake in reduced temperature oven for 15 minutes until just firm to the touch. Set aside to cool completely and refrigerate for at least 2 hours. Cut into slices to serve.

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