Lilikoi bars (passion fruit bars)

My husband and I went hiking today at a new trail. This trail is a very well kept secret we can’t even find information on online, and we thought we could find everything online! It’s wonderful to have a trail mostly to ourselves with fantastic views, but the trail also offers a tasty surprise: lilikoi!

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Lilikoi, or passion fruit, grows wild here in Hawaii, but I have never seen that many on one trail before.

I planted a lilikoi last year in my backyard. It started flowering recently, and I’ve been hand pollinating it. Today I saw the first two are turning into fruit, so I must be doing it right!

Yesterday I found a different vine along someone’s fence with the most amazing red flowers, so I picked a couple and cross pollinated with mine today, marking the flowers to ensure I know which one to save seeds from. And today I picked two from the trail to do the same with. Lots of fun!

When looking at the amazing flowers, one can easily see why they got the name passion flower as people thought the beauty reminded them of the Passion of Christ. 

I searched Pinterest for ideas on how to use the lilikoi, and came upon a picture of lilikoi bars, which are like lemon bars. Perfect!

I have a few recipes for lemon bars but like parts of each, so here’s my dedairyfied bar recipe with elements from three different recipes, making it uniquely my own.

Many times I’ve seen recipes utilizing lilikoi purée or lilikoi juice from a store, but I have lived in four countries and four States as an adult, and I have yet to see it in a store. It must be a myth, like buying rhubarb in a freezer section–I never seen that, either. So if you can find the purée in a store and don’t have access to fresh lilikoi, go ahead and use it; otherwise, follow the instructions below.

Method for lilikoi purée

The number of lilikoi needed depends greatly upon the size and type of the fruit. I needed about 8-10 to make 2/3 C / 150 ml strained purée. A general rule of thumb is that the prepureed pulp looses about 1/4 of the volume once strained.

Cut lilikoi in half and scoop out the pulp. Purée the pulp in a blender or food processor until smooth (except for the seeds, of course). Strain out the seeds.

Puréed lilikoi freezes well.

Ingredients for crust

2 C / 500 ml flour (I used pastry flour but regular all purpose works well)

1/2 C / 120 ml powdered sugar

2 tbsp corn starch or potato starch

1/4 tsp salt

3/4 C butter alternative cut into bits (I used 50/50 of Melt and Nutiva)

Method for crust

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F / 180 degrees C. Cover a 9″X13″ / about 23 cm X 33 cm cake on with parchment paper (I used the new Reynolds pan lining paper, which has foil on the back for easy lining of pans) and spray the paper with cooking spray.

Stir together dry ingredients. Cut in wet ingredients until the mixture resembles small crumbs. Press mixture into the bottom of the pan. Bake 20 minutes until slightly golden.

Ingredients for filling

4 eggs

1 1/2 C / 3 dl caster sugar (also called superfine or baking sugar)

1/3 C / 75 ml coconut cream

3 tbsp all purpose flour

2/3 C lilikoi purée

Method for filling

Beat all ingredients together. Pour slowly onto hot crust–pouring fast will cause the crust to break up. Bake 20-30 minutes or until set. Let cool. Sprinkle powdered sugar over before serving. Store in fridge.

Enjoy!

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