Passion Fruit Bars with Macadamia Nut Shortbread
by Tammy Donroe of Food on the Food
For a tropical twist on lemon bars, pair lusciously tart passion-fruit curd with buttery macadamia-nut shortbread. It’s summer sunshine on a plate! You can find bottled passion-
fruit concentrate at Latin American markets and sometimes in the freezer section of your grocery store.
Makes 16 bars
For the crust:
- ½ cup butter, cut into small pieces
- ¼ cup confectioners sugar
- 1 cup flour
- 1/3 cup dry-roasted, salted macadamia nuts, chopped (if unsalted, add a pinch of salt)
For the filling:
- 1 cup sugar
- ½ cup passion fruit concentrate (like Dafruta)
- Juice of ½ lemon
- 3 eggs, beaten
- 4 tablespoons butter, cut into 4 pieces
- Confectioners sugar, for dusting
Preheat oven to 350°F. Butter an 8 x 8-inch baking pan.
Using a stand mixer fitted with a paddle or an electric mixer, cream butter and sugar on high 1-2 minutes until fluffy. Add flour and chopped nuts and mix until dry crumbs turn to moist crumbs and begin to clump together. (Alternatively, you can rub the butter into the dry ingredients with your fingers.) Press dough into buttered pan and bake 20-25 minutes, until edges of crust just start to turn golden. Remove from oven and reduce heat to 300°F.
While the crust is baking, whisk together sugar, passion fruit concentrate, lemon juice, and beaten eggs in a small saucepan. Put butter in a medium bowl and set near the stove, as well as a mesh strainer. Stir passion-fruit mixture constantly over medium-low heat until mixture thickens enough to coat the back of a spoon, about 8-10 minutes. Do not let boil.
Pour curd over butter in bowl and whisk until butter melts and is incorporated. Through the strainer, pour passion fruit curd over baked shortbread crust. Bake at 300°F for 20-25 minutes more. Remove and let cool. Refrigerate several hours until firm. Cut and sift confectioners sugar on top just before serving.