Passion Fruit Créme Brûlée

Two weeks ago, on a trip to Southern California for some food photography fun, I hit the passion fruit jackpot.

I haven’t been subtle about my lust for passion fruit, and sure enough, friends Todd and Diane had heard about my (small) obsession, and made a point to stop at a small produce store on our way to breakfast. I almost squealed when I saw the gigantic bags of passion fruit piled high on the counters (along with rambutan, lychees, and other exotic fruit I would have taken home with me if only I had brought a second suitcase). But the passion fruit, well, I would have been willing to abandon more than a few pairs of shoes to take those home with me, if it came down to it.

In Nashville I had paid $3.99 EACH for a couple of passion fruit (the one time I’ve actually seen them), but here, where the passion vines grow like weeds, I snagged an entire bag of them for $12. I felt like I had struck gold.

Who knew fruit could make me so happy?

Passion Fruit Créme Brûlée

I toted the bag full of them through TSA (questioning looks and all), tucked them safely by my feet on two different planes before they (and I) made it safely home, where I promptly set about putting them to good use. After all that effort getting them home I couldn’t dare let them go to waste.

As a result, everything I’ve made over the past 2 weeks has involved passion fruit in one way or another. And passion fruit overload for me means passion fruit overload for you. I hereby pronounce thee: PASSION FRUIT WEEK.

Get ready for lots of purple and gold. And no, that has nothing to do with football, or any other sport for that matter. Unless one of these teams has adopted a passion fruit as their logo, I couldn’t care less. Go Team Passionfruit! (or is it Passion Fruit? I honestly can’t figure it out so I’ll just keep alternating between them.)

Fresh Passion Fruit for Créme Brûlée

Preparing fresh passion fruit is slightly laborious, but most definitely worth it. Simply open up the fruits, revealing the geode-like cluster of golden seeds within. Scoop out the pulp, then press as much as you can through a fine mesh seive. You can reserve and add back some of the seeds later if you wish, as they do have a delightful crunch that would be lovely in certain recipes, but the sheer quantity of seeds present in the fruit themselves is usually a bit excessive.

If you can’t find fresh passion fruit, you can also substitute passion fruit juice, puree, or concentrate in its place. Not that those things are much easier to find in a passion fruit-desert like Nashville, but still.

Passion Fruit Créme Brûlée

The short of it? Passion fruit makes for an incredibly unique créme brûlée. Creamy and luxurious, with the bright and tropical flavor of the passion fruit intertwined with the rich creaminess you expect from créme brûlée, it’s nothing short of amazing.

Passion Fruit Créme Brûlée

Yield: 5 servings

Cook Time: 45 minutes

Total Time: 4 hours

Ingredients:

  • 4 large egg yolks
  • 1/3 cup granulated sugar, plus more for brûlée topping
  • 1/4 cup passion fruit juice (from 4-5 fresh passion fruit) or concentrate
  • 2 cups heavy cream

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Arrange five 6-ounce ramekins (or equivalent) in a baking dish. Bring a pot of water to a gentle boil (this will be used for the water bath later).
  2. In a bowl, whisk together egg yolks and sugar until lightened in color. Whisk in passion fruit juice.
  3. Heat cream in a small saucepan until it starts to steam. Gradually pour warm cream into bowl with egg yolks, 1/4 cup at a time, whisking vigorously, until incorporated. Skim off foam. Pour into ramekins. Arrange ramekins in a baking pan and place pan on oven rack. Carefully pour in just enough boiling water to reach halfway up the sides of the ramekins.
  4. Divide cream mixture among ramekins. Gently place baking pan with ramekins in oven, then carefully pour hot water into the baking pan around ramekins, taking care not to get any water in the custard. It is helpful to use a spouted kettle or pitcher to more easily pour the water into the pan.
  5. Bake for 30 to 33 minutes or until just set. Remove from water bath and allow to cool to room temperature. Cover and refrigerate for at least 3 hours or overnight.
  6. Just before serving, sprinkle a generous tablespoon of sugar evenly over the top of each ramekin. Use a kitchen torch to caramelize the sugar, moving torch evenly across the tops of the custards to keep the sugar from burning. Alternatively, you place the custards on the top rack of a broiler set to high, and broil until sugar is golden brown and caramelized, 2 to 3 minutes. Serve immediately.

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39 Comments Leave a Comment »

  1. I love a Creme Brulee…never heard one with passion fruit though…….sounds an interesting combo! ;)

  2. This sound delicious! I don’t know that I have ever even tasted passion fruit but I am so intrigued now. I have to try this recipe!

  3. This looks amazing!  I don’t think I’ve ever had passion fruit other than at the bottom of a Chobani yogurt, and I can tell this dessert is worlds better.

  4. I’ve never made anything with passion fruit and am dying to!! This sounds awesome.

  5. Oh my this sounds incredible!! I love passion fruit in desserts, especially custards–never thought to use it in creme brulee though. Awesome pictures, I am drooling! :)

  6. I love passionfruit!  I’d imagine it would make the crème brulee nice and fresh. Great idea! 

  7. Looks very nice as a alternative o the oldfashioned brulee…..

  8. Gorgeous! I am dying to see the other recipes you came up with!

  9. I love passionfruit and I love the crunch of the seeds.  It grows easily here and most people have a couple of vines growing over a fence.  You need a boy vine and a girl vine to get the fruit.  I’ve topped creme brulee with passionfruit pulp but I’ve never strained it and made the recipe with it.  Sounds good!

  10. I LOVE passion fruit and am insanely jealous of your bag full! This chilly weather is making me crave all things tropical. The creme brulee looks perfect!

  11. What a gorgeous fall dessert! Thanks for posting!

  12. I’m totally down for passion fruit week! Love the purple photography boards here!

  13. AHHHH. Passion fruit week!!! I’m so freaking excited. 

  14. Oooh passion fruit is one of my favourite flavours to use in baking – I love this version of creme brulee! 

  15. So pretty! I’m not sure if I’ve ever even had passion fruit, but this looks like an incredible place to start!

  16. Stunning! Passion fruit is amazing in desserts! Loving this creme brulee!

  17. Love creme brulee and love passion fruit even more. The combination? Sounds fabulous. Thank you for the inspiration.

  18. Wish you had brought me some of the rambutan.  That is my favorite tropical fruit.  If you haven’t tried mangosteen yet, that should also get you addicted…  :-)

    The idea of passion fruit creme brûlée is wonderful.  I don’t usually make desserts, but I like creme brûlée a lot, so this is one recipe worth saving.  Just in case…

  19. What a great idea making a creme brûlée with passionfruit. It’s such a beautiful fruit to look at, although, I don’t think I’ve ever tried the real thing before! Guess I have to now :)

  20. What an amazing recipe! Nice score on the passion fruits!

  21. Okay, this has got to be the BABELIEST creme brulee I have ever seen! I probably shouldn’t be trusted with a kitchen torch but maybe my broiler can step in to help. Looks amazing!

  22. OMG – these completely the best creme brulee ever! I love love passion fruit. We normally make it into a syrup, but the idea of using it on creme brulee sounds delicious!

  23. love this combo. The passion will cut the brûlée’s richness perfectly. Trying this for sure, thank you 

  24. These look delicious, I would love to try them but I’m preeeetty sure I am not going to come across any passion fruit in my nowhere Idaho grocery stores :(

  25. Hello Lindsay ! I just discovered that you are behind Love and Olive Oil :)) What a pleasure to see you in real with the video, as well as your delicious recipes. I love your pictures and the purple board is so nice. Oh and it is “Crème” and not “Créme”, french can be very challenging sometimes ;))

  26. Passion fruit = health food. Therefore this dessert = health food. Wow, it looks so lovely and sophisticated. 

  27. This looks amazing! Creme brulee is my absolute favorite dessert. Always looking for new ways to enjoy it.

  28. This looks absolutely delicious! Whenever there’s creme brulee on the dessert card I’ll be the first to order it ;) Thank you for sharing this recipe ^^

  29. Wow, love the passion fruit addition to the creme brulee. 

    Deirdre @ http://www.thekitschcook.blogspot.com 

  30. Interesting flavor combo, now to try and find passion fruit in the Midwest

  31. Lindsay, hope you saved the passion fruit skin to make passion fruit jam.  they are really good…..

  32. Luxurious indeed!! My dad used to grow passion fruit in Africa and it is one of my fond memories of him. Sadly I can’t find any in Upstate NY and miss it so much!!

  33. This is a great post with beautiful photos. I never heard of fruity creme brûlée before and this post really makes me want to try that!

  34. I used to have a passion fruit vine, and we had tons of those things just dropping on our heads. If we plant a new one, I won’t have to bug any of my friends and neighbors to make this.

  35. Our favorite dessert whenever hubby and I go on a date! When it is on a menu we don’t need to go down the list any further. Yummy.

  36. I grow passionfruit here,on Hawaii Island and I have to tell you I use it in recipes all the time. Both the yellow and purple variety grow on my vines here  and I use it in jams, as a glaze for pork, or just in baking as it is here, passionfruit shortbread, passion fruit cheesecake , passion fruit sorbet ( very refreshing) or a simple passion fruit cream using condensed milk and heavy whipping cream. It’s tanginess  is unique and fresh off the vine when it hits the ground means it’s ready to go! Great recipe for crime brûlée!

  37. This is really eggy and no passion fruit flavor

  38. Made this yesterday and it tasted so good! I never had fresh passion fruit before and this dessert made me love it forever <3 only thing I wanna say is that your recipe said juice from 4-5 passion fruits but only 1/4 cup juice- the amount of juice from 4 passion fruits was like 3/4 cup for me and I didn't see that you only add a 1/4 cup. So if u want to edit the recipe you should say juice from 1-2 passion fruits :) this only made the creme brûlée a little runny after bruleeing it but nevertheless tasted really good! 

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