Love and Olive Oil

Passion Fruit Créme Brûlée

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

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  • 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


  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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  1. I just made it for thanksgiving, and it’s delicious 

  2. This did not set up for me, but I was able to salvage it by remixing the mixture with 2 additional egg yolks and rebaking. It baked beautifully after that. The flavor was delicious. I will definitely be making this again with 6 egg yolks.

  3. I looked through these positive 49 comments but no one had actually made it. Nice comments but no actual input, if you know what I mean! So, here we go…..

    Hoping to fill four full 6 ounce ramekins, I used 5 passion fruits (four fruit would have been fine because these 5 were large, they came brought closer to 1/2 cup juice). Commitment is important for straining the fruit!
    I followed the instructions- I was surprised how much froth needed to be removed before filling the ramekins. I used a funnel and pours my tea kettle water in the baking pan that way, to avoid any spillage into the ramekins.

    I had enough for 4 semi-half filled vs three full ramekins, so I opted for 3 (the chef gets to try it ahead of hubbie).
    I chilled only 6 hours and wish that I had waited for overnight chilling. They were worthy of a special occasion (someone turned 65!).  I will make them again.

    Eating passion fruit reminds me vividly of the time I lived in Rwanda (and when I ate them every day for breakfast!). 

  4. My sister sent me some huge tropical passion fruit from cairns so I was thrilled to find this recipe. The result was tangy and delicious! I adore both crime brûlée and passion fruit so the combination was always going to be a winner for me 😊👍

  5. I got passion fruit purée in the frozen food isle of my local Hispanic market. I attended a class that taught this recipe a couple months ago and today, in the midst of a lock-in for the virus, I finally made it. I’ll have it tonight for dessert. 

  6. I love love love passion fruit. I found passion fruit purée from Goya in the freezer section of my grocery store. Your recipe was great! So delicious.

    • That’s the passion fruit purée I got in the frozen food isle of my local Hispanic market. It’s so convenient and delicious! 

  7. Followed instructions but unfortunately it didn’t set up. I think there weren’t enough eggs for the amount of liquid. Other recipes for creme brulee have 5 or 6 eggs for 2 cups of heavy cream. The flavor was awesome and we will still eat it. This was the dessert I was supposed to take to a “girls meeting ” but I guess I’ll stop at the store for one.

    • Very strange, I’ve never had an issue with it not setting. Did you use properly sized ramekins (should be shallow ones as pictured)? Did you use a lower fat dairy? Could any of the hot water from the waterbath accidentally splashed into the custard? Those are all reasons why it might not have set.
      If you haven’t already tossed the custards, don’t waste it – throw it in an ice cream maker and you’ll have some fab ice cream at least! :)

  8. Are the ramekins supposed to be greased first? That would be helpful information.

  9. My Beloved is usually the creme brulee baker, and he’s really really good at it. This was my first go at it. We both grew up eating granadilla, so this was quite a delightful find for both of us. I think I ate half of them before he had a chance to eat one. At the first bite, his eyebrows went up, his eyes opened wide, and he said, “WOW! This is the best tasting creme brulee I’ve ever eaten!” I agree! Thank you so much!

  10. Where did those great dishes come from?

  11. This was one of my favorite desserts to make! Made it yesterday and consumed tonight and it was epic! First time making creme brûlée and it turned out I’m flawless! Thanks so much!

  12. 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! 

  13. This is really eggy and no passion fruit flavor

  14. 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!

  15. 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.

  16. 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.

  17. 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!

  18. 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!!

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

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

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

    Deirdre @ 

  22. 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 ^^

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

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

  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. 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 :(

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

  28. 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!

  29. This looks like fun!!!!

  30. 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!

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

  32. 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 :)

  33. 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…

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

  41. 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!

  42. 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!

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

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

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

  46. 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! :)

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

  48. 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.

  49. 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!

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

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