Passion Fruit Curd (and Coconut Butter)

I was experimenting with the brioche dough a while back already and come bearing good news: you can replace the vegan butter with 1/4 cup of coconut butter (measured and used at room temperature, see how to prepare it below) in the mini brioches and waffles. I haven’t tried it with the other brioche shapes yet, but I’m fairly confident it will work too.
The results are 100% the same, or perhaps even better, which is a plus for people who can’t find good vegan butter, and for those who don’t care for the stuff even if they can find it.

Now to the main subject of this post. It only took me, oh, give or take three decades to realize that the fruit I notice and love the most in tropical juice blends isn’t mango, but passion fruit. Tarter and with far more personality than mango, I don’t see how I could ever confuse the two.

A word of caution when you purchase the ingredients to make the curd: don’t be fooled by passion fruit concentrate, because most brands contain carmine and are therefore not vegan-friendly. Now go forth and curd.

Passion Fruit Curd:
Try stirring this in unsweetened plain vegan yogurt, drizzled on pancakes or waffles, as a tartlet filling, or eaten by the spoonful. Makes for awesome frozen pops too, using shot glasses.

3/4 cup (180 ml) passion fruit juice (preferably unsweetened)
6 tablespoons to 1/2 cup (90 to 120 ml) light agave nectar (dip a clean finger before adding the cornstarch slurry to judge if you want more than 6 tablespoons, it will depend on the juice you use)
1/4 cup (60 g) coconut butter (see below)
2 tablespoons (30 ml) fresh lemon juice
Pinch fine sea salt
1 tablespoon (8 g) cornstarch
1 tablespoon (15 ml) water

In a blender, combine the juice, agave nectar, coconut butter, lemon juice, and salt. If tiny little bits of coconut from the coconut butter are still present after blending and you want to get rid of them, just strain the mixture in a fine-mesh sieve. Transfer to a medium, heavy-bottomed saucepan. Combine the cornstarch with the water in a small bowl, until completely dissolved. Pour this mixture into the passion fruit preparation. Whisk to combine. Heat on medium-high heat, and cook until it just starts to thicken, about 8 to 10 minutes, whisking constantly. Transfer into jars, and put the lids on once the curd has cooled. Store in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks. Note that the curd will continue to thicken as it cools.

Yield: 1 1/3 cups (370 g)

Coconut Butter:
Be sure not to use defatted coconut, you need the natural coconut oil to be released in order to get butter. It might depend on the food processor or blender you use, but don’t expect 100% smooth results.
You can enjoy this on top of toasted bread, drizzled on pancakes or waffles (just like the curd), and as an addition to smoothies or soups. Or, you know, as a component of passion fruit curd.

12 ounces (340 g) unsweetened shredded or flaked coconut

Place the coconut in a food processor or high-speed blender. Process until the coconut transforms into a runny mixture, similar to nut butter. This will take quite a while depending on the machine, between 10 and 15 minutes. If you see the motor of your machine starts to heat, be sure to take a few breaks. Stop the machine occasionally to scrap the sides with a rubber spatula. Once the coconut butter is ready, transfer it into airtight jars. If you store the coconut butter in the refrigerator, it will harden and will need to be removed from the refrigerator for an hour or two before use. It can also be slowly heated in the microwave oven if you use one, or in a bain-marie on the stove. If you eat the coconut butter within a week, it’s fine to leave it on the counter without refrigeration.

Yield: Generous 1 1/4 cups (340 g)