Holidays in Hawaii always brings out the best in local bakers. With an abundance of island grown fruits to tap into, creative twists to sweet, decadent recipes like the Lilikoi Chiffon pie, submitted by Jenny Biechele, Island Host at Kukuiʻula, are among a list of seasonal desserts enjoyed by local families. Similar to key lime pie, this island delicacy is made with Hawaiian grown passion fruit.
Passion fruit is known as lilikoi in Hawaii, and this vine growing fruit is at its peak from June through January. Lilikoi is at its best when the fruit is plump, has a slight give, and is fully colored. While yellow lilikoi is more abundant, purple colored fruit is readily available. Known for its tangy, sweet, and delicious flavor, passion fruit has a low-glycemic index and rich antioxidant qualities. The yellow varietal has a larger fruit with a slightly more acid flavor. The smaller purple lilikoi is considered less acidic, with a sweet pulp and higher juice proportion.
For the seasoned pie maker, the recipe is relatively easy to follow. The one hiccup is the call for a double boiler. Don’t worry if you don’t have one readily available, it’s easy to assemble your own with items in your kitchen. Simply bring an inch or two of water to simmer in a pot and then place a bowl with your ingredients over the top of the pot. It needs to fit snugly without touching the water. If it dips into the water, it will get too hot.
The recipe calls for a graham cracker crust, but feel free to mix it up with a flaky crust if that’s the style of pie you enjoy. Prep time is 30 minutes, and the finished pie is ready to eat in 4 hours. Big enough for 8 servings, you might find yourself prepping two pies for a larger gathering. For an extra dash of style, you can hold a small portion of lilikoi seeds to the side and sprinkle them over the top of the pie before serving.
Lililkoi Chiffon pie, with its billowy sweet topping, is a delicious and lovely way to add some “made with aloha” to your holiday menu. We hope you enjoy this local delight.
Yield: Approx. 8 servings
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