Passion Fruit Cheesecake
A cheesecake-lover’s idea of heaven could well be this creamy cake flavored with passion fruit puree, topped with crème fraiche, and garnished with passion fruit sauce.
- Unbleached All-purpose flour - 1-1/2 cups
- Granulated Sugar - 5 tablespoons
- Unsalted Butter - 1 cup (2 sticks), melted
- Passion Fruit Puree
- Passion Fruit - 8 (alt. purchased frozen puree)
- Cheesecake Filling
- Cream Cheese - 1 pound, at room temperature
- Granulated Sugar - 1-1/2 cups
- Cornstarch - 2 tablespoons plus 2 teaspoons
- Eggs - 2
- Vanilla Extract - 1 teaspoon
- Sour Cream - 1/2 cup
- Passion fruit puree - 1/2 cup (above)
- Spun Sugar Swirls (optional)
- Sugar - 1 cup
- Hot Water - 1/2 cup
- Cream of Tartar - 1/8 teaspoon
- Topping and Garnish
- Crème Fraiche - 3/4 cup
- Confectioner’s Sugar - 1 tablespoon, sifted
- Passion fruit puree - 1 cup (above)
- Granulated Sugar - 2 tablespoons
- Rum - 1 tablespoon
- Reserved passion fruit seeds from puree (above)
To make the crust: Preheat the oven to 350 F. Combine the flour and sugar in a large bowl. Add the melted butter and mix with a wide spatula until a firm dough is formed. Lightly butter six 3-inch ring molds or one 9-inch springform pan. If using ring molds, place them on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper or aluminum foil. Using your fingers, press the dough into the bottom only of the ring molds or pan. Bake the crust until golden brown, 8 to 10 minutes. Let cool completely.
To make the puree: Cut the passion fruits in half and scrape the pulp and seeds into a fine-meshed strainer. Press against the sides of the strainer with the back of a large spoon to extract as much of the fruit as possible. Remove some of the seeds from the strainer, wash, and reserve them for garnish.
To make the cheesecake filling: Preheat the oven to 275 F. using an electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment or beaters, whip the cream cheese until it is fluffy. Add the sugar and cornstarch and blend. Gradually add the eggs, vanilla, and, finally, the sour cream. Scrape down the sides of the bowl and add the passion fruit puree. Strain the mixture through a fine-meshed sieve and carefully ladle it into the prepared rings or pan. Bake the cheesecakes until set, 30 to 40 minutes if using the ring molds or about 1 hour if using a pan. Chill for at least 2 hours.
To make the sugar swirls: In a small, heavy saucepan, combine all the ingredients. Place over medium-high heat and cook without stirring until the mixture reaches 310 F, or just begins to turn an amber color. Remove from heat and let the syrup cool for a few minutes.
Spray a heavy baking sheet with vegetable oil spray, then wipe the baking sheet with a paper towel to remove any excess. Working quickly, dip a large spoonful of syrup, then drizzle in a six-inch circular pattern on the prepared sheet, overlapping strands in a lacy design. Use more than one spoonful of syrup if necessary. Set aside to cool.
To serve: Combine the crème fraiche and confectioner’s sugar and spread it on top of the cheesecake(s). Smooth the top with a spatula. Carefully remove the ring molds and place a cheesecake in the center of each dessert plate. Or, remove the springform pan, cut the cheesecake into six wedges, and place a wedge in the center of each dessert plate. Combine the remaining puree with the granulated sugar and rum, and mix until blended. Spoon some of the mixture around each cheesecake or wedge. Garnish the plates with a sprinkling of passion fruit seeds and top each serving with a spun sugar swirl.