Norfolk Island – Passion Fruit Pie
There is not a lot about the Norfolk Island’s Passion Fruit Pie out there in big world wide web. All I could find was a recipe shared on the Norfolk Island Tourism Facebook page plus an archived copy of The Australian Women’s Mirror, dated September 14, 1926. Under the heading of ‘Two Nice Puddings’, the Australian Women’s Mirror recipe is for Passion-fruit Pudding with the only thing pie like about it being the dish it is cooked in.
One theory is that the origins of the pie came from the American whalers who, in the late 19th century, would visit the Island during whaling season. This meant being away from home for years at a time so they brought their wives, leaving them on the island while they went out whaling. It was the wives that introduced American style custard pies to the Norfolk Islanders, using whatever local ingredients they could get their hands on, including passion fruit.
The recipe, which my recipe is based on, was published in the Norfolk Island Cookery Book by Sunshine Club, published in 1960s. The cook book was originally published as a fundraiser for the Sunshine Club and remains in circulation to this very day.
I’ve kept true to the original ingredients in the Cookery Book recipe, however, I found it necessary to increase the amounts and flesh out the instructions, especially for the pastry.
Passion Fruit Pie
- 250g self raising flour
- pinch of salt
- Milk to mix, approx 100ml
- 30g unsalted butter, diced into small pieces
- 400g granulated sugar
- 4 large eggs
- 12 passionfruit
- Pre-heat the oven to 180ºC, 160ºC fan, gas 4, or 350ºF.
- For the pastry, mix the flour and salt together in a bowl. Rub the butter into flour until it looks like crumbs. Gradually add the milk until you have a stiff dough. Wrap the dough well and chill for at least 30 minutes.
- Roll out the pastry thinly (approx 5mm) and large enough to line a 23cm tart tin. Line the tin with the pastry, gently pressing it in. Allow any excess pastry to overhang, this will help the case keep its shape. Lightly prick the bottom with a fork. Line the tart case with baking paper and fill with ceramic baking beans. If you don’t have baking beans you can use dried pulses such as rice, lentils, or dried beans.
- Bake the tart case for 15 minutes. Remove the case from the oven, then remove the baking paper and baking beans. Place the case back in the oven and bake for a further 5 minutes, until the pastry is golden brown.
- Remove the tart case from the oven and trim the excess. Leave to cool while you make the filling. Reduce the oven to 150ºC, 130ºC, gas 2, or 300ºF.
- Beat eggs and sugar together until pale. Add the passionfruit pulp and mix well.
- Pour filling into the tart and bake for 45-50 minutes or the filling is set.
- Leave the tart to cool before serving.