This week on Kaua‘i Kitchen we visit the home of Leigh Drachman of Wailua Homesteads where she prepares a simple, crowd- pleasing dessert utilizing wild Kaua‘i lilikoi. Lilikoi, also known as passion fruit, grows on a vine and this time of year can be found climbing on hedges and trees all over the island.
Originally this recipe, found in Gourmet magazine, called for lemon juice, but Drachman regionalized it by substituting the citrus for passion fruit. Known for its tang and floral fragrance, it’s an excellent alternative.
Visit www.thegardenisland.com to see a video of how to make the dish.
Servings: 24 bars
11/2 sticks (3/4 cup) butter
2 cups flour
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Cut butter into 1/2-inch pieces. In a food processor mix until all ingredients combine to form a gravely texture. Spread into a 13 by-nine-inch baking dish. Press evenly onto bottom with the palm of your hand. Bake 20 minutes.
While shortbread is baking, prepare custard.
4 large eggs
11/2 cups granulated sugar
3/4 cup fresh lilikoi juice
1/3 cup white flour
To prepare the fruit, cut through the thick rind and scoop seeds into a food processor. Blend for 30 seconds to a minute to loosen membrane from seed. The seeds will remain in tact. Then press the slushy pulp through a strainer with the back of a metal spoon.
With a food processor or whisk, mix eggs and granulated sugar until combined, then stir in lilikoi juice and flour.
Once shortbread is done, reduce oven temperature to 300 degrees.
Pour lilikoi mixture over hot shortbread and bake 30 minutes. Cool completely in pan and cut into bars. Sift confectioners sugar over bars and serve.