edible still life – passion fruit chiffon tart w summer berries

edible still life – passion fruit chiffon tart w summer berries

The fruit mania continues with this week’s creation inspired by a visit to the Metropolitan Museum of Art. We went there mainly for photography and fashion exhibitions, but I walked away with something unexpected.

 From the moment we stepped inside, we left the cityscape and entered the artscape—Greek sculptures, Egyptian sarcophagi, African masks, Asian calligraphy, and days more of potential browsing.

On the path to Garry Winogrand photography and Charles James: Beyond Fashion, we passed through several galleries of Old Masters. These are permanent collections that we must have seen several times throughout the years, so we didn’t linger.

During dinner as M and I discussed the exhibits, I remembered the Old Master paintings that evoke the true beauty of fruits and vegetables. Those images became the inspiration for this Passionfruit Chiffon Tart, an edible still life to display the stunning seasonal summer berries.


Passion Fruit Chiffon Tart w Summer Berries


Press-in Tart Dough
  • 1-1/4 cups (6-1/4 ounces) unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 8 tablespoons unsalted butter (4 ounces/1 stick), softened but still cool
  • 2 ounces cream cheese, softened but still cool
Passion Fruit Chiffon Filling
  • 2 tablespoons Grand Marnier, you can substitute with water
  • 1 tablespoon water
  • 2 packages (4-1/2 teaspoons) powdered gelatin
  • 1/2 cup passionfruit pureé
  • 1/2 cup (3-1/2 ounces) granulated sugar
  • 3 ounces cream cheese, softened
  • 1 cup heavy cream, chilled (keep in refrigerator until needed)
  • Passion Fruit Tart
  • Assorted seasonal summer berries, about 1-2 cups


Press-in Tart Dough

1. Whisk flour, sugar, and salt together in bowl, set aside.

2. In the bowl of a stand mixer with paddle attachment, beat butter and cream cheese on medium-high speed until fully combined, scrape down paddle and sides of bowl as needed, about 2 minutes. Reduce speed to low, add flour mixture until resembles coarse cornmeal, about 30 seconds. Scrape down sides of bowl. Increase mixer speed to medium-high and beat until dough begins to form large clumps, about 30 seconds. Remove bowl from stand and gather dough into a ball. Place ball of dough in a 9-inch tart pan and press dough evenly over bottom of tart pan toward sides, using heel of your hand. With your fingertips, continue to work dough up sides until evenly distributed. Trim edges, wrap tart pan in plastic and refrigerate at least 1 hour.

3. Adjust oven rack to middle position and heat oven to 325℉. Lightly prick bottom of crust with fork. Bake until golden brown, 35-40 minutes. Cool on wire rack for 60 minutes. (Baked tart crust can be make ahead and refrigerate for 1 day).

Passion Fruit Chiffon Filling

1. Add Grand Marnier and water in a small bowl, sprinkle gelatin over the top and let sit for 5 minutes.

2. Add passionfruit pureé and sugar in a small saucepan and bring to a simmer over medium heat. Add dissolved gelatin and whisk mixture until fully combined. Remove from heat and let cool for 10-15 minutes.

3. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a whisk attachment, combine passionfruit mixture with cream cheese and whisk on high speed until fully combined. Scrape down sides of bowl as needed to make sure there are no lumps of cream cheese remain.

4. Reduce speed to low, remove heavy cream from refrigerator and add to passionfruit cream mixture until incorporated, about 30 seconds. Increase speed to high and whisk until mixture is fully combined and lightened. (It’s OK if it doesn’t form peaks) Spread passionfruit cream in prepared tart pan, cove r tart with plastic wrap and refrigerate until set, 3 hours or up to 2 days.


1. Remove tart from refrigerator and discard plastic wrap. If you like, dip small off-set spatial in hot water, wipe dry and smooth top of wrinkles made by plastic wrap. Decorate top with fruit and serve.

Tart dough recipe adapted from Cook’s Country