Passionfruit tartlets are made with a gorgeous, buttery tart shell that is filled with passionfruit custard. They’re tropical, luscious, and soft yet crisp. The texture is so dreamy. These bite-sized treats are just as pretty to look at as they are delicious to eat.
- The texture of the filling is creamy and luscious – softer than custard slice but just firm enough to hold it’s shape.
- The flavour is bright and fruity, a little bit sweet, and boasts floral and citrus notes.
- Perfect as handheld desserts. A wonderful choice for high tea!
- The filling is a marriage of thickened pastry cream and passionfruit and that’s exactly how it tastes.
- Sure to impress if you’re having guests over.
Not only are these passionfruit tartlets pleasing to the eye, but they also have a unique flavour thanks to the filling made with passionfruit pulp and cream – a little like a passionfruit curd but more set so that it holds it’s shape. And while they look super impressive, these mini tartlets do come together easily.
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What kind of tart shells should I use?
I make these passionfruit tartlets in my homemade tartlet shells. I swear by this recipe because they are a perfectly buttery and crisp pâte sucrée crust, and you only need 4 ingredients to make them. Prepare them ahead of time, and they can freeze for up to 3 months — in fact, the ones shown in the pictures were from my freezer stash!
The tartlet shells are so easy to make. A stand mixer is best for mixing the dough though you can use a handheld electric mixer too. They’re shaped into a muffin tin, filled with paper liners and rice, then baked in the oven until golden brown.
That said, any store-bought pre-baked tart shells will work for passionfruit custard tartlets. You could also bake raw shells prior to filling. My own tartlet shells have roughly a ¼ cup capacity, and the filling is enough for around 16 shells at that size. Filling with just slightly under ¼ cup, you’ll get more like 18.
Capacities of store-bought will vary. Any size will work — if they’re smaller, you’ll just get more mini tartlets out of one batch of filling. You can also just use store-bought shortcrust pastry and shape it in a muffin tin as I do with my tartlet shells, then bake prior to filling.
Ingredients you’ll need
Detailed quantities and instructions in the recipe card below.
- Tartlet Shells: Use my homemade version or refer to my tips on buying store-bought above.
- Whole Milk: Use milk as the base of the creamy passion fruit tartlets filling.
- Sugar: I use caster sugar (superfine sugar) for the filling but granulated sugar is perfect too. If making the tartlet shells from scratch, they contain some icing sugar.
- Vanilla Extract: This warm and earthy extract complements the passionfruit perfectly. Steer away from vanilla essence as it’s a synthetic flavouring and not nearly as good as the real thing.
- Cornflour: Also called cornstarch in some countries, this ingredient aids in thickening the filling.
- Eggs: You just egg yolks for the filling.
- Passionfruit Pulp: To use in the filling and as a garnish. I find that these passionfruit tartlets are best with a drizzle of extra passionfruit pulp right at serving time. The top of the custard does tend to look a touch dry after setting. It’s still totally soft and lovely, just looks prettier with the topping — plus, it amps up that passionfruit flavour. If it’s named passion fruit juice or passion fruit puree where you are, just check the ingredients label and make sure it’s nothing but passionfruit – no added sugars, flavours, preservatives etc.
- Butter: Adds richness to the custard filling.
You could also top these with slices of kiwi fruit.
How to make passionfruit tartlets (step-by-step)
The filling for the tartlet shells is essentially a passionfruit pastry cream. Creme patissiere that’s been flavoured with pure passionfruit pulp.
Detailed quantities and instructions in the recipe card below.
- Heat the milk: Add the milk to a saucepan, then add the sugar and vanilla. Heat over medium until it starts to steam, being careful to stir constantly.
- Make the egg mixture: While your milk heats up, add the cornflour and egg yolks to a bowl and mix until well-combined (photo 1).
- Combine the milk and eggs: When the milk starts to steam, add it to the eggs while whisking. Do this step slowly, as you don’t want to scramble the eggs (photo 2).
- Create the custard: Add the milk and egg mixture back to the saucepan and heat over medium-low. Stir it with a balloon whisk constantly until it starts to thicken. Keep stirring to avoid lumpy results (photo 3).
- Check for thickness: At this point in the cooking process, you should start to notice that the custard has thickened. Keep whisking and check to see if there are any bubbles that break through the surface. Continue cooking and whisking after you see the first bubbles appear — it will get so thick that it doesn’t quickly settle back in on itself anymore (photo 4).
- Add the passionfruit: Remove the saucepan from the stovetop and stir in the butter. Carefully add the passionfruit pulp and whisk (photo 5).
- Assemble the passionfruit tartlets: Pour the passionfruit custard / pastry cream into the tartlet shells with an ice cream scoop (photo 6). Let them set in the fridge for 2 hours before adding some extra pulp on top as a garnish. Enjoy!
Tips and tricks
- Whisk to remove any lumps: If you notice that the custard becomes lumpy at any point in the cooking process, simply take it off the heat and whisk vigorously until it smooths out then return to the heat to continue. This shouldn’t happen if you keep it on medium and whisk gently the whole time so that the mixture is heating evenly though.
- Cook for 60 seconds once bubbles appear: It’s imperative to cook for a further 60 seconds once you see the bubbles start to appear. This is what sets the eggs and activates the starch and will ensure the pastry cream holds its shape and doesn’t begin to loosen in consistency as it sits.
- If using your own homemade tart shells, make sure to start them a minimum of 3 hours before you create the passionfruit filling. This gives them ample time to bake and cool.
- Make mini passionfruit tarts up to 3 days in advance to get ahead for party prep. They keep wonderfully in the fridge.
The pulp and seeds of the passionfruit are both edible. I wouldn’t recommend eating the skin as it’s tough and bitter.
Yes, you can remove the seeds if you don’t like them. They only add texture, not flavour. However, for this passion fruit tarts recipe, measure the pulp before removing the seeds. I strain my juice then add a tablespoon or so of seeds back to it again, discarding the rest.
Passionfruit is naturally sweet and sour. The fruit also features floral and citrus flavours, and everything comes together to create a vibrant, fruity, and tropical taste. It’s tartness pairs perfectly with a creamy custard. It tones down any sour notes and the results are refreshing and delicious.
You don’t have to worry about these passionfruit custard tartlets going soggy. The secret is in cooking the tart shells before you add the filling. The thickness of the custard also helps. The tart shells will stay crispy and crunchy even after a few days.
Yield and storage
This passion fruit tarts recipe makes 16 tartlets (¼ cup capacity for the filling). If you purchase or make smaller shells, you’ll get more mini tartlets from one batch.
Store your passion fruit tartlets in the fridge for up to 4 days in an airtight container. If covering with plastic wrap, try not to let it touch the surface or it may stick and ruin the tops. The tartlet shells will soften slightly over this time but won’t become soggy. As mentioned, make them ahead of time if you’d like.
Did you try this recipe for passionfruit tartlets?
Leaving a rating and comment below the recipe is so helpful!
- 16 homemade tartlet shells or store-bought (¼ cup capacity, see notes)
- 2 ¾ cups whole milk
- 1 ½ teaspoons vanilla extract
- 150 g granulated white sugar (¾ cup / 5.3oz)
- 65 g cornflour (US cornstarch) (½ cup /2.3oz)
- 3 egg yolks
- ¾ cup passionfruit pulp, (with seeds, see notes)
- 28 g butter (2 tablespoons / 1oz)
- Extra passionfruit pulp for serving
For best results, always weigh ingredients where a weight is provided
- If making your own tart shells, start them a minimum of 3 hours before making the passionfruit custard filling.
- Pour the milk into a heavy based saucepan, and add the sugar and vanilla, then heat over medium heat until steaming, stirring regularly.While the milk mixture is heating, whisk together the cornflour and egg yolks until combined (add a touch of the warming milk if needed to loosen it to at least a paste).
- Once the milk mixture is steaming, drizzle it slowly into the egg mixture while whisking constantly. Don’t pour it too quickly or the heat will scramble the eggs.
- Return the entire mix to the saucepan. Heat over medium heat, stirring with a balloon whisk constantly, until you notice it thickening around the 5-7 minute mark. Make sure to keep stirring or you’ll end up with lumpy custard.
- After about 10-12 minutes, you’ll see it get thick enough that it doesn’t quickly settle in on itself, Keep whisking frequently, stopping to check every so often for bubbles starting to break the surface. As soon as you see the first bubble, cook stirring for another full minute.
- If at any time during the process you notice it looking like it has small lumps, whisk vigorously until smooth again.
- Remove the saucepan from the heat and stir in the butter until fully melted and combined.
- Add the passionfruit juice and gently whisk in so you don’t splash it around.
- Divide the passionfruit custard amongst your tart shells – I use a ¼ cup volume ice cream scoop.
- Place in the fridge and allow it to set for at least 2 hours. The tops will dry out so top them with a little drizzle of passionfruit pulp right before serving.
- Store leftover tarts in the refrigerator up to 4 days.
- Please take a moment to leave a comment & rating. It's appreciated and so helpful.
- For best results, you should always weigh ingredients like flour and sugar. Kitchen scales are relatively cheap but if you can’t weigh the ingredients, use the spoon and level method (don’t scoop).
- Tartlet shells:
- Homemade tartlet shells: My recipe makes around 18-19 tart shells of about ¼ cup capacity. The filling will fill 16 of these perfectly.
- Store-bought tart shells: If you can get them roughly ¼ cup capacity, 16 will be perfect. If not, smaller ones will work, you’ll just have enough filling for more of them.
- Passionfruit seeds: you can strain out the passionfruit seeds but you must measure the ¾ first, then strain. The amount of liquid is measured with the seeds in for this recipe.
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