Passion Fruit-Coconut Bars

For the shortbread crust:

6 ounces (1 ½ sticks) cold unsalted butter, shredded, plus more for greasing the baking dish

1 ¾ cups all-purpose flour

¾ cup powdered sugar

¼ cup shredded coconut

¾ teaspoon kosher salt


For the passion fruit-coconut layer:

4 large eggs

¼ cup coconut milk

6 ounces passion fruit puree

1 ¼ cups sugar

3 tablespoons all-purpose flour

¼ teaspoon kosher salt


To serve:

Powdered sugar, for dusting


Make the shortbread crust:

Preheat the oven to 350˚F. Butter a 9×13-inch baking dish and line with parchment paper. Whisk together the flour, powdered sugar, coconut, and salt in a large bowl. Add the butter and, using a pastry cutter, cut the butter into the flour until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Transfer the dough to the baking dish and press into an even layer. Refrigerate for about 15 minutes. Bake for 20 to 22 minutes, or until lightly browned.   


Make the passion fruit-coconut layer:

Blend together the eggs, coconut milk, and passion fruit puree in a small bowl. Whisk together the sugar, flour, and salt in a large bowl. Add the passion fruit mixture to the sugar mixture and whisk until smooth. Pour over the shortbread and bake for 16 to 18 minutes, or until just set. Let cool to room temperature.


To serve:

Using the parchment paper, lift the bars out of the pan and transfer them to a cutting board. Dust with plenty of powdered sugar, cut into portions, and serve.


Makes 12 large bars. If frozen passion fruit puree is unavailable, you will need about 12 fresh passion fruits for this recipe. When buying passion fruits, look for fruit that's shrinkled—that's my word for shrunken and wrinkled—and trust me when I say there's no better way to describe a ripe passion fruit. To make passion fruit puree, halve the passion fruits, scoop out the flesh using a spoon, and strain it through a fine mesh sieve. For a professional-looking presentation, cut the bars using a hot knife and wipe it clean between cuts. Bars keeps for a couple of days tightly sealed in the refrigerator.