Passion Fruit Bars

posted on: Tuesday, May 29, 2012

In less than 2 week I am leaving Bahia and will start to make my way back to the U.S. I have mixed feelings about leaving. I'm excited to see my family in Sao Paulo and even more excited to spend my anniversary in Rio de Janeiro with Chris. I am excited to go on a Disney vacation with my friend, my kids, and her daughter. I am excited to see our family and friends in California, move back to Santa Cruz, get Enzo enrolled in school, enjoy Fall weather, and then welcome our new addition.

There is a lot to look forward to.

At the same time I am sad about leaving Bahia. There is something really simple about living here. No car. No where to go really except for the beach. Homeschooling. Eating tropical fruit everyday just 'cuz it's cheap and in season. I'm even going to miss my simple kitchen without all the bells and whistles of a modern kitchen. I seriously haven't used a microwave in almost a year.

My cousin, Taina, is visiting us for the week. I wanted to make something special for her on the weekend, since she's probably the last visitor we'll have I'm trying to spoil her. I thought about making lemon bars, I love lemon bars, but then decided to try something more Brazilian - passion fruit bars.

It's not every day I'll be able to get my hands on fresh passion fruit. I might as well use as much of it as I possibly can. For this recipe you will need 1 cup of passion fruit concentrate. If you have access to passion fruit then in a blender puree 4 medium sized passion fruits (just the pulp). If you don't live in a tropical somewhere or other then you can find passion fruit concentrate at most Mexican markets.

Also, since we are doing this the Brazilian way you'll just mix everything in a blender.  Basically if you have passion fruit, a blender, and muggy weather you're good to go. If not you can improvise and create your own little tropical paradise with store bought passion fruit concentrate and a mixer. No biggie. I do recommend listening to some Seu Jorge in the background though just to set the mood. 

Passion Fruit Bars
(printable version)
yields 2 dozen bars

For the crust
1/2 pound salted butter, at room temperature
1/2 cup granulated sugar 
2 cups flour

Passion fruit Layer 
6 extra-large eggs or 8 small eggs at room temperature
2 1/2 cups granulated sugar
1 cup passion fruit concentrate (4-5 fresh passion fruits)
1 cup flour

Optional Syrup for topping
1 large passion fruit
1/2 cup granulated sugar, more if needed
  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F and grease a 9 by 13 by 2-inch baking sheet. 
  2. For the crust, cream the butter and sugar. If you have a mixer use a mixer otherwise just use a wooden spoon.
  3. Add the flour until just mixed. 
  4. Dump the dough onto a well-floured surface and gather into a ball. Flatten the dough with floured hands and press it into the greased baking sheet, building up a 1/2-inch edge on all sides, then bake the crust for 15 to 20 minutes, until lightly browned. 
  5. Let the crust cool and leave the oven on. 
  6. For the passion fruit layer, mix in a blender the eggs, sugar, passion fruit concentrate, and flour. Pour over the crust and bake for 30 to 35 minutes. Let cool to room temperature.
  7. For the syrup just mix together the pulp of the passion fruit and granulated sugar, until desired sweetness. I don't mind the syrup being grainy, if you do then you can mix the passion fruit and sugar over low heat until the sugar is melted. Then let it cool down. Spread on top of the passion fruit layer. 
  8. Cut into rectangles and serve as bars.


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