Since passion has been on our minds these past few days, especially yesterday, on Valentine’s Day, I couldn’t stop thinking of one of my favorite desserts: passion fruit mousse. Known as maracuya in Peru, passion fruit is one of those wonderfully versatile fruits with countless mouthwatering uses.
Maracuyá is used to make juice, ice cream, cheesecake, mousse, cake, cupcakes, macarrons, fantastic Pisco cocktails… it even adds the acidic touch to many cebiches, or to savory sauces that enhance any fish, chicken or pork dish.
When it comes to this fruit, fresh is always better, but one can buy a frozen juice pack full of flavor and fragrance too. I use fresh passion fruit for this recipe, and love adding some of the black seeds to the topping because they add color, and a nice crunchy texture that contrasts with the creamy mousse. If you don´t want them or if using frozen juice, the topping will be a glowing and pretty orange jelly.
This is a great dessert to make whenever you have some time, and leave in the fridge, ready to be eaten when the sweet tooth kicks in. For me, weekends are always better when there’s a luscious dessert like this one at your fingertips, waiting to be enjoyed.
- 1 cup graham crackers
- ¼ stick unsalted butter
- 1½ tablespoons unflavored gelatin
- 2 tablespoons water
- 4oz cream cheese, at room temperature
- 1 can sweetened condensed milk
- 1 cup heavy cream, cold
- 8 oz passion fruit juice
- ½ envelope unflavored gelatine
- 2 tablespoons water
- 2 oz. passion fruit juice
- 2 tablespoons sugar
- Garnish (optional):
- 1 cup strawberry sauce
- 2 cups whipped cream
- Mint leaves
- In a food processor or a blender, process Graham crackers with ¼ stick butter until the mixture looks like coarse sand. Place in the bottom of an 8-inch square or round mold, or in individual pastry rings, pressing to form a crust. Refrigerate.
- In a small saucepan, mix the unflavored gelatin with 2 tablespoons cold water and hydrate for 5 minutes. Melt over very low heat and reserve.
- Beat the condensed milk and cream cheese in a standing mixer –or hand held mixer- until very creamy. Add the heavy cream and continue beating for three minutes. Then add the passion fruit juice and the melted and cooled gelatin. Pour this mixture into the prepared mold. Refrigerate for at least 4 hours.
- In the meantime, make the topping. Mix the unflavored gelatin with 2 tablespoons water and let hydrate for 5 minutes. In a saucepan over medium heat bring the passion fruit juice with the sugar to a boil, then add the hydrated gelatin and heat until dissolved. Cool to room temperature and pour over the mousse. Refrigerate until ready to serve.
- Serve with strawberry sauce, whipped cream, and mint leaves. (Optional)
- **To make the strawberry sauce, in a blender, process 2 cups strawberries with 2 tablespoons sugar and the juice of ½ lime. Strain and refrigerate until serving time.