I’d like to think that every recipe on this blog is good but once in a while something comes along which knocks it out of the park. And these Passion Fruit Olive Oil Slices knocks it out of the park completely. They are so good and impossible to resist. Rich, velvety passion fruit curd on a buttery shortbread. Moreish on a whole other level!
I spent quite a bit of time thinking of what recipe to make with olive oil after the kind people at Baleia Wines sent a bottle of their Extra Virgin Olive Oil. I wanted to go sweet again having made this delicious Olive Oil Polenta Cake last year but I did not want to bake a cake again. Coincidentally a friend sent a link to these Lemon Bars with Olive Oil and Sea Salt at just the right time and I decided to make it with passion fruit or granadilla as we call it in South Africa.
I think the grassy notes and concentration of fruit flavours in the oil was a perfect match for the intensely perfumed passion fruit. And the bitterness of the oil played off against the sweet richness of the curd and definitely amplified the passion fruit flavour.
The curd is quite soft because of the oil so you need to store these in the fridge. I popped them in the freezer and took them out as needed (as many a late night snack). The original recipe called for 300g sugar which I used but I think you could reduce that to 200g or at least 250g of sugar. The recipe also has quite detailed instructions about boiling the curd with the cornflour to ensure a good set. I have to admit I never knew that you could overcook cornflour, thereby “deactivating” the mixture and ending with a runny consistency.
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- 155g flour
- 50g sugar
- 25g icing sugar, plus more for sprinkling
- ¼ tsp salt
- 140g cold butter, cut into cubes
- ½ cup passion fruit (granadilla) pulp (seeds removed to taste)
- 2 tbsp lemon juice
- 300g sugar
- 2 large eggs plus 3 yolks
- 2 tsp cornstarch
- good pinch of salt
- 60g grams butter
- 60ml extra-virgin olive oil
- Heat oven to 165 degrees C
- Line a 20cm x 20cm baking pan with enough baking paper to hang over two of the sides (to be used as handles later to lift the bars out of the pan)
- Pulse together the flour, sugar, icing sugar and salt in a food processor, or whisk together in a large bowl
- Add the butter and pulse (or use two knives or your fingers) to cut the butter into the flour until a crumbly dough forms
- Press dough into prepared pan and bake until shortbread is pale golden all over, 30 to 35 minutes.
- While the shortbread is baking, prepare the passion fruit curd
- In a small saucepan, whisk together passion fruit pulp, lemon juice, sugar, eggs and yolks, cornstarch and sea salt over medium heat until boiling and thickened (about 3 to 5 minutes)
- Make sure mixture comes to a good boil for one minute (but not longer) or the cornstarch won’t activate and the curd will be thin and runny
- Remove from heat and whisk in butter and olive oil
- When the shortbread is ready, take it out of the oven and carefully pour the curd onto the shortbread base
- Return the pan to the oven and bBake until topping is just set, about 10 to 15 minutes
- Allow to cool to room temperature, then refrigerate until cold before cutting into bars
- Sprinkle with icing sugar (optional)