Lilikoi (Passion Fruit)

Butter Mochi Cake

April: Easter Season (Palm/Passion Sunday)

On the last Sunday of Lent, a week before Easter, we attend Palm/Passion Sunday mass and listen to scriptural readings about Jesus’ triumphant entry into Jerusalem. With a symbolic palm leaf that we receive at church, Highlander would make a cross for Islander to decorate our dining area. She usually prepares a Hawaiian or tropical meal for dinner with a dessert featuring lilikoi as an ingredient. These are our little Palm/Passion Sunday traditions.

Lilikoi is the Hawaiian word for passion fruit. It is aromatic and tart and grows abundantly on the islands. When we do find them on the mainland, the lilikoi is overpriced and overripe. So we settle for the much cheaper passion fruit pulp in the frozen section of our grocery store. It works fine as an ingredient for our Palm Sunday desserts and adds a fragrant and flavorful twist to a regular butter mochi cake.

For a Palm/Passion Sunday-inspired food, start a little tradition and make something with passion fruit, like lilikoi butter mochi cake.

 Recipe

(Adapted from Hawaii Magazine)

Ingredients

  • 1 box (1 pound) mochiko flour
  • 3 cups sugar, granulated white
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • ½ cup (1 stick) butter, melted
  • 5 eggs
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 1 can (12-14 ounces) coconut milk
  • 4-6 tablespoon lilikoi puree (we substituted defrosted passion fruit pulp)

Directions

In a mixing bowl, combine the mochiko flour, sugar and baking powder. Melt the butter. Cool slightly.

Pour the melted butter into the mixing bowl. Add the eggs, vanilla and coconut milk.

Stir in the lilikoi puree. Blend well. Pour into a greased 9×13-inch baking pan.

Bake in a preheated oven at 375 degrees F for 40-50 minutes, testing the cake with a toothpick for doneness. Remove from the oven. Cool slightly and spread glaze on top (optional—see Notes). Slice with plastic knife to prevent from sticking to the blade. Yield: 2 dozen.

Notes

  • Glazing the top of the cake is optional. To do so, mix together 1-2 cups powdered sugar with 2-4 tablespoons of lilikoi puree. Stir until it is a smooth consistency. Spread on top of the cake while still warm.
  • Try our regular butter mochi cake and poi mochi cake recipes.
  • Our final food photo of the lilikoi butter mochi cake above is set on a red tablecloth. Red is the liturgical color for Palm/Passion Sunday.

Lilikoi (Passion Fruit) Crème Brulee

Lilikoi Creme Brûlée

July 27: National Crème Brulee Day

Our favorite dessert at Kona Grill is its passion fruit crème brulee. The mainland-based chain restaurant tries to add a tropical taste to its menu. Islander loves lilikoi (Hawaiian word for passion fruit) and indulges once in awhile in the custard with a crust of crackly burnt sugar on top.

Now that she has learned how to make lilikoi crème brulee in her own kitchen, she makes these for fellow Hawaii expatriates. The passion fruit flavor reminds them of home. For a tropical twist to traditional crème brulee, infuse some passion fruit flavor and see why locals love the lilikoi in this delicious dessert.

Make lilikoi crème brulee for a summer social or luau and especially for National Crème Brulee Day!

Recipe

(Adapted from NBC Connecticut)

Ingredients

  • 1 ¾ cups heavy whipping cream
  • 1-2 teaspoons vanilla paste
  • 6 egg yolks
  • ½ cup sugar, divided use
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ – 1/3 cup passion fruit puree/pulp/juice

Directions

In a microwavable cup or small bowl, stir the cream with the vanilla paste. Heat until hot (about 1-2 minutes). Let cool for about 10 minutes to infuse the flavoring. Boil a quart of water and set aside. In a bowl, whisk the egg yolks with ¼ cup sugar and salt. Gradually add the cream mixture and continue whisking.

Lilikoi Creme Brûlée

Add the passion fruit liquid. Strain this mixture, if necessary. Put the mixture into custard cups or ramekins. Pour the boiled water halfway up the sides of the custard cups or ramekins to make a water bath. Bake in a preheated oven at 325 degrees F for 30-45 minutes, testing for doneness with a toothpick (it should wiggle gently).

Lilikoi Creme Brûlée

Remove from the oven and carefully transfer the ramekins to a wire rack. Cool for about 30 minutes then cover and refrigerate overnight. Before serving, sprinkle a thin layer of the remaining sugar on top. Carefully use a crème brulee torch in a back and forth or circular motion to caramelize the sugar to a crisp. Serve immediately while the custard is still cold and the sugar top hardens.

Lilikoi Creme Brûlée

Notes

  • Mahalo nui loa (thank you very much) to Phyllis S. for ribbon lei for the final food photo above. Mahalo also to Olga W. for gifting Islander with the crème brulee blow torch.
  • Search our blog for other recipes containing lilikoi (passion fruit) as an ingredient.

Lilikoi Butter (Passion Fruit Curd)

Lilikoi Butter

April 15: St. Damien Day (Hawaii)

Hawaii has a lot of aloha/love for St. Damien of Molokai. He is honored in the 50th state twice—on April 15, his death day, and on May 10, his universal feast day. The Belgian priest was comPASSIONate towards Hawaii’s “outcasts” (those afflicted with Hansen’s disease/leprosy) in the late 19th century. His sacrifice earned him canonization on October 11, 2009.

In celebration of St. Damien’s passion and devotion to his ministry, we made passion fruit curd, also known as lilikoi butter in Hawaii. The recipe below is adapted from a cook book that Islander bought at the Damien and Marianne Heritage Center in Waikiki, Oahu, Hawaii. Proceeds from the sales of this cook book and other items at the heritage center go toward the museum and preservation of the history of St. Damien and Blessed Marianne Cope.

Prepare passion fruit curd/lilikoi butter in observance of St. Damien Day. Aloha!

Recipe

(Adapted from Molokai Catholic Community Cook Book)

Ingredients

  • ½ cup (1 stick) butter
  • 3 cups sugar
  • 1 ½ cup passion fruit pulp, purée or juice
  • 4 eggs

Directions

In a saucepan over medium heat, melt the butter slowly (do not brown or burn). Add the sugar and the passion fruit liquid.

Lilikoi Butter

In a mixing bowl, beat the eggs. Add a drop of the passion fruit liquid mix to the eggs, stirring constantly, to temper them. Slowly pour the beaten eggs into the saucepan and keep stirring. Bring to a boil and cook for 10 minutes to thicken, stirring slowly and patiently. Strain any egg residue into clean jars. Cool to room temperature then refrigerate. Serve with toast or crackers.

Lilikoi Butter

Notes

  • Other recipes include the passion seeds from the fresh fruit to give the curd a nice crunch.
  • Learn more about the religious symbolism of the passion fruit flower at the Passion Flower Shop website.
  • Make Molokai-Mainland Sweet Potato Palau as another recipe on St. Damien Day today or on his feast day on May 10.