Happy Pi Day! That wonderful day on the calendar, 3/14, were we celebrate the irrational number Pi. Irrational because it cannot be expressed exactly as a simple fraction and therefore is an infinite decimal. What it is exactly though is the ratio of a circle’s circumference to its diameter, and regardless of the size of the circle, it will always be the same number. So, due to this fun math themed day I bring you a new recipe for pie. I am always stumped to come up with a new pie recipe for today. When I start searching for a recipe most of the ones I come across are some sort of variation of an apple or pumpkin pie. Both of which I prefer baking during the Fall months. And of course there are the berry pies, but, I think those are better in the summer months when berries are in season. So I run out of options quickly. This year I started to think about pies I’ve made and flavors that I haven’t come across and I thought to myself what about a Passion Fruit Pie.
I decided to follow the recipe for my go-to Key Lime Pie but switch out the key lime juice for passion fruit pulp. I purchased frozen passion fruit pulp and let it defrost in my refrigerator overnight. I also switched up the crust I use. Normally I make Key Lime Pie with a store bought graham cracker crust, but for this pie I decided to make a shortbread cookie crust. And that was my first step in making this pie.
Using my food processor I pulsed shortbread cookies, I used Keebler Sandies Classic Shortbread Cookies, into fine crumbs and then combined the crumbs with melted unsalted butter. Next, I pressed the crumbs into the bottom and along the sides of a 9-inch pie plate. After baking it in a preheated 350 F oven for 10 minutes I let it cool while I made the filling. While baking the crust beforehand isn’t completely necessary I decided to do so so that the crust would be firmer once the pie was done. This would minimize the chances of it crumbling when cutting a piece of the pie.
In a large bowl, using a handheld mixer, I beat egg yolks until they were light and fluffy. I continued beating the eggs while gradually adding in sweetened condensed milk. And finally, I added in the defrosted passion fruit pulp. Once the mixture was combined I poured it into the shortbread cookie crust and returned the dish to the oven for an additional 20 minutes. When done, the pie filling will be set.
I let the pie cool completely on a wire rack before transferring it to the refrigerator to chill before serving.
Before serving I whipped up a small batch of homemade whipped cream and decorated the top of the pie. To create the swirls I used a Wilton 6B piping tip.
This pie was delicious… It was the perfect texture and a wonderful combination of sweet and tart! And yes, pre-baking the crust did help in preventing it from falling apart when slicing into the pie.
Passion Fruit Pie
For the crust:
1 3/4 cups shortbread cookie crumbs*
6 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
For the filling:
4 egg yolks
14oz. can condensed milk
1/2 cup passion fruit pulp**
Whipped cream for decorating and/or serving
* I used about 15 Keebler Sandies Classic Shortbread Cookies. You could also purchase a 9-inch shortbread pie crust. If using a store bought pie crust there is no need to pre-bake it. Just fill it with the pie filling and bake as directed below.
** I purchased a frozen 14oz. package from Goya and left it in the refrigerator overnight to defrost.
Preheat the oven to 350 F.
Combine the shortbread cookie crumbs and the butter in a medium bowl and mix them together. Once mixed, transfer to a 9-inch pie plate and press the crumbs in an even layer along the bottom and sides of the dish. Bake in the preheated oven for 10 minutes. Remove from the oven and set aside.
While the crust is cooling make the filling. In a large bowl, using a handheld mixer on medium, beat the egg yolks until they are light and fluffy. Gradually add in the condensed milk and continue beating until combined. Finally, add in the passion fruit pulp and continue beating until combined.
Pour the filling into the pie crust and bake for 20 minutes. The filling will be set.
Transfer to a wire rack to cool completely and then refrigerate for a few hours before serving and/or decorating with whipped cream.
1 cup heavy cream
2 tablespoons confectioners’ sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
In a medium bowl combine the heavy cream and confectioners’ sugar and beat with a handheld mixer until soft peaks form. Add in the vanilla extract and continue beating until stiff peaks form. Refrigerate until ready to use.