Tuesday, 31 January 2017

Passionfruit Cheesecake Tart with Black Pepper Crust

I made this tart with some fresh passionfruit that we bought at a local market in Auckland, using the limited cooking utensils available to me...I bought the tart shell, as I've always wanted a rectangular one, but I had to do all the mixing by hand, the old fashioned way! Hard work never killed anyone though, and it was well worth it.

I used a basic cheesecake recipe for the filling, adding the passionfruit instead of whipping cream, and made a shortbread crust that used melted butter just to save myself a little bit of effort.

The black pepper gave a nice bit of heat to the crust, and the creamy filling had poclets of crunch from the passionfruit seeds.

To make the crust, measure the dry ingredients into a large bowl:

1 1/4 cups flour
1/4 cup sugar
pinch of ground black pepper


4 ounces melted butter
1/2 teaspoon vanilla

Stir to combine, and finish blending it using your fingertips. You will have a soft, crumbly dough.

Use your fingertips to press the dough up the sides and onto the bottom of a rectangular tart shell with a removable bottom.

Bake the crust in a 350F oven for about 10 minutes, until it is set and just starting to colour on the edges and bottom. Remove and set aside while you make the filling.

In a large bowl, or stand mixer, cream:

375 g of softened cream cheese
1/4 cup sugar


2 eggs
1/2 teaspoon vanilla

Add the eggs one at a time, mixing well in between each addition.

Stir in:

1/4 cup fresh passionfruit

Pour the filling into the cooled crust.

Bake at 325F until just set, about 20 minutes.

Remove from the oven and allow to cool to room temperature, before refrigerating until cold.

Carefully remove the tart shell, and serve the cheesecake with fresh raspberries and whipped cream.

  • This crust will also be enough for a 7" round tart shell; double the recipe for a 9" shell. It can also be used as the base for bars or cheesecake baked in an 8" square or round pan.
  • If you have ground nuts, or a food processor, you can add nuts to the crust by adding 1/4 cup of ground nuts or coconut to the dry ingredients.
  • Black pepper is optional; try adding cinnamon, nutmeg, citrus zest instead.
  • I used brick cream cheese, and allowed it to soften at room temperature. Spreadable cream cheese can also be used.
  • If you do not have fresh passionfruit, used canned passionfruit puree.
  • The cheesecake filling can be made using whipping cream instead of passionfruit, and flavoured with vanilla bean, citrus zest, finely ground Earl Grey tea or mango puree.
  • This is best made a day ahead, to allow time to chill thoroughly.
  • I served it with whipped cream and fresh raspberries; white or dark chocolate curls or shavings are also an option with the passionfruit.

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