Passionfruit-Champagne Tartlets

I was fortunate enough to be gifted fresh passionfruit from a family friend, so I wanted to celebrate that! With passionfruit, you have this soft pulp with crunchy seeds, and a sweet and sour flavor that really just pops and works well in both sweet and savory applications. I know that people would hear me say that I love crunchy seeds and question my credibility on that(thank you cactus pear seeds for haunting me for the rest of my life), but I swear that passionfruit seeds are 100% edible and do offer a pleasantly crunchy and perfectly edible texture. Since we are making a dessert with them in this case, sugar would obviously be added in, so to account for that sweetness, I went with champagne as a complimentary flavor to the passionfruit to echo that tartness. I wanted to try doing these cute little tarts, using the backs of a canele mold to bake the shells on, since I have seen a lot of pastry chefs bake tart shells on the backs of tart molds so that the shells will be a lot easier to remove. Fun fact, using a canele mold worked quite nicely, as the shells for the most part baked really evenly and quickly, while also forming these perfect little cup shapes to hold onto my passionfruit and champagne-flavored fillings with!

For the shells, we are making a blue spirulina shortbread. I figured with the color of the passionfruit being yellow, that a blue colored shell would offer some fun contrast to that! For the first filling, we have a passionfruit reduction, made with fresh passionfruit pulp and champagne. That reduction will be used as a finishing garnish on top of the tartlets, but also to flavor a passionfruit custard filling with, which will also use Passionfruit Inspiration(passionfruit-flavored chocolate) to enrichen it in both texture and flavor – emulsifying an egg based custard with chocolate of any kind just gives it this silky, melt-in-the-mouth finish that just works so gorgeously with a tart fruit like passionfruit. I am topping the tarts with a champagne infused chantilly cream(whipped cream), and the aforementioned passionfruit-champagne reduction. While the passionfruit and champagne are on the more sour side of things, using a tart shell, which is nothing but sweet and buttery, as well as custard and cream, really help to balance those flavors out in a way where nothing is too acidic nor rich! These little tartlets are a nice petit four that you can serve at the end of a meal, or the perfect little treat to eat at a tea party!

Makes roughly 8 tartlets:
For the blue spirulina shortbread:
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1 tsp cornstarch
1/2 tsp blue spirulina powder
1 tbsp granulated sugar
2 tbsp unsalted butter, diced and kept cold
2 tbsp cold water

In a food processor, blitz everything besides the water until the ingredients form a sandy mixture. Add in the water and gently combine into a dough. Refrigerate for 10 minutes. Then roll out the dough to about 1/8-inch thickness. Cut out 3-inch disks and refrigerate the dough for another 15 minutes. Transfer the dough onto the backs of lined canele molds. Prick the dough with a fork and then bake at 325 degrees F for 10 minutes. Allow the baked tart shells to cool slightly before transferring to an airtight container. Store in a cold place.

For the champagne-passionfruit reduction:
Pulp and seeds from 3 passionfruit
2 tbsp granulated sugar
a pinch of salt
2 tbsp champagne

In a pot, reduce the mixture by half into a syrup. Allow the mixture to cool down before using.

For the passionfruit custard:
1/4 cup milk
1oz Passionfruit Inspiration
2 egg yolks
2 tbsp granulated sugar
1 tsp cornstarch
1 tbsp unsalted butter
1 1/2 tbsps passionfruit reduction, seeds strained out
1/4 tsp vanilla extract
a pinch of salt

In a pot, heat up the milk with Passionfruit Inspiration. In a bowl, whisk together the egg yolks with sugar and cornstarch. Pour half of the milk into the eggs while whisking. Then pour the egg-milk mixture back into the pot and whisk on low heat until the mixture thickens and clings to the sides of the whisk. Take the mixture off heat and whisk in the other ingredients. Store in a piping bag until time to use.

For the champagne chantilly:
3 tbsp heavy cream
1g xanthan gum
1/2 tsp confectioner’s sugar
1 tsp champagne
1/4 tsp vanilla extract

Whip to stiff peaks. Keep cold until time to assemble.

To assemble:
Pipe the passionfruit custard into the tarts first. Then pipe onto that the chantilly. Make a hole in the chantilly using a round spoon and pour in the reduction.

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