Lilikoi aka passion fruit is one of my favorite flavors in all the land. While I love it spooned over yogurt or better yet a gorgeous pavlova, I have to confess, I do dream of those black cans of Hawaiian Sun Lilikoi Passion Fruit Juice. No matter what form it comes in, I always associate it with home, Hawaii, which is why I knew these Lilikoi Éclairs were the perfect thing to bake with my friend Courtney, the amazing lady behind the blog Fork To Belly.
Courtney is also from Hawaii and goodness gracious is she talented! If you haven't checked out her site yet, you are missing out. She's pretty much the queen of cute. I mean, Pusheen Donuts, Gudetama Cupcakes, and Storm Trooper Macarons--cute cute cute!! And our éclairs are infinitely cuter thanks to her. I love how she casually suggested that we throw some marzipan bees on top of them like that's something that everyone would come up with. It's cuter than cute and there is no way that I would have ever dreamed of making darling little bee decorations for the tops of these éclairs.
It was such a treat to bake with someone as meticulous, creative, and warmhearted as Courtney. Her sunny disposition and precision are a match made in heaven. It's really no surprise that her blog is a source of both cheer and inspiration. That being said, I'm not gonna lie, these éclairs did not go off without a hitch. One of the shell tops sank so deep in the glaze that by the time Courtney was able to fish it out, it was soaked and broke in half. Then there was the lilikoi seed cleaning debacle. It took us FOREVER to get those darn seeds out of their super sticky encasing, thus making them the most precious seeds there ever were (to us and only us). And then, by the time we finally finished constructing the éclairs, we nearly ran out of light. Note: this is a real issue when you're trying to take photos to document your hard work. However, in the end, none of those things seemed to matter because these lilikoi éclairs turned out even better than we had hoped and none of our struggles seemed to matter!!
Ps - I'm sharing the Lilikoi (Passion Fruit) Pastry Cream and the Glaze but be sure to check out Fork to Belly for the Éclair Shells (Choux) and Marzipan Bees!
Lilikoi Pastry Cream & Glaze for Lilikoi Eclairs
Éclair Shells (Choux) and Marzipan on Fork to Belly
Makes 2 1/2 cups of pastry cream and enough glaze for 1 dozen éclairs
LILIKOI (PASSION FRUIT) PASTRY CREAM
- 3/4 c. granulated sugar
- 2 c. whole milk
- 6 large egg yolks, lightly beaten
- 1/4 c. cornstarch
- Pinch of salt
- 1 Tbsp. unsalted butter
- 1/2 c. fresh lilikoi (passion fruit) juice, from about 8 lilikois
- 1 1/4 c. powdered sugar
- 1 Tbsp. fresh lilikoi juice, from one lilikoi
- 1 Tbsp. + 1 tsp. boiling water
- Yellow food coloring gel
- Heavy bottomed 2 qt. saucepan
- Measuring cups and spoons
- Medium + large glass bowl
- Plastic wrap
- Wooden spoon
- Pastry bag
- Shallow, wide bowl (wide enough to dip éclair in)
- Wire rack and rimmed baking sheet
LILIKOI (PASSION FRUIT) PASTRY CREAM
- In a heavy bottomed 2-quart saucepan, combine 1/4 cup of granulated sugar and the milk together. Heat over medium heat until it begins to steam. Immediately remove from heat. Meanwhile, in a mixing bowl, whisk the remaining 1/2 cup of granulates sugar, the lightly beaten egg yolks, and the cornstarch together until smooth.
- Take about a ladle of the hot milk mixture and whisk it into the egg yolks to bring their temperature up a little. Then pour the warmed yolk mixture into the rest of the thickened milk. Continue to cook, again whisking constantly, until the pastry cream starts to come to a boil. Cook for about 2 to 3 minutes or until the mixture is thick, stirring constantly.
- Remove the saucepan from the heat and whisk in the fresh lilikoi (passion fruit) juice, vanilla, and butter. Pour the filling into a medium glass bowl and cover with plastic wrap directly touching the surface of the pastry cream. Set in a large bowl filled with ice water to cool. Once cool, transfer to fridge to chill completely. The pastry cream can be refrigerated for up to 3 days.
- In a medium bowl, whisk out any clumps in the powdered sugar then add the lilikoi juice and boiling water. Whisk until smooth then transfer to a shallow wide bowl.
- Carefully dip the tops of the éclair shells then place on a wire rack set on a rimmed baking sheet to harden.