Sweets, here we come! This easy no bake cheesecake will totally blow you away. It has tangy passion fruit, smooth and buttery cream whipped up into a light, airy, and ethereal mousse filling, and crisp almond crust with orange zest. It’s sure to be a hit at your house.
It’s so good your mouth will just pop, then pop some more with each additional bite.
Every time I make this I wonder why I haven’t made it recently, and then I realize there is a reason…but let’s not even go there.
This is one of those for your splurge day, where you eat whatever you want (just in case some of you are watching your diet). So just get ready to blow it, because you won’t want to stop eating this.
A long time ago I used to live in Ecuador where passion fruits are a dime a dozen. Instead of buying frozen pulp, we would just make our own, as there is nothing like fresh fruit. Break open those passion fruits, scrape out the gooey, weird filling which is like tons of little seeds surrounded by an embryo of goo, then blend them in a blender and strain. But you don’t have to do all that work. Just buy the frozen pulp which is pretty darn good.
I have seen passion fruit locally in some supermarkets here, but the cost is ridiculous and the fruits weren’t fresh. You may be lucky if you live in South Florida where they may be available. If that’s the case, see my notes at the bottom of the recipe on how to prepare your own pulp.
If you can find a Latin Market or your grocery store has a latin section, first choose frozen pulp. If that’s just not possible and you can only get your hands on the concentrate in a bottle (even Amazon has it), that will work too. But stick with frozen pulp if you can.
The name “passion fruit” has an interesting origin. It came from the missionaries in South America as far back as the 1600s, who used the parts of the flower to symbolically represent the Passion of Christ.
The fruit itself is high in iron and vitamin C. It’s not a fruit you would eat on its own, but is most commonly used to make juice or in a dessert. That’s because the fruit itself is a kind of wet pulp filled with seeds and is not very sweet by itself. But its acidic, one-0f-a-kind flavors pairs well with citrus-especially orange, as well as berries and even chocolate.
If you’re not feeling so ambitious, this cheesecake can also be made with a store bought graham cracker pie crust. But the almond crust specked with orange zest really complements the creamy, dreamy filling inside. And, if you want a hint of coconut use coconut oil instead of butter for a real treat. It adds a healthy fat.
I call this a cheesecake, but the key takeaway here is really about making a mousse. This technique is important to know, because done right, you’ll have a smooth and creamy mousse. Done wrong, and you’ll have gelatin specks throughout your mousse, but won’t get a proper mousse body. Don’t worry, it’s not as tricky as it sounds.
Here are a few hints that will help you do it right.
Whip the cream first and set aside. Then whip the cream cheese and gradually add in the sugar. Combine the two and whisk gently until fully incorporated.
Once that’s done, you’ll need to prep your gelatin with the passion fruit concentrate. Unlike making plain old jello, the gelatin in this recipe needs to be hydrated first in a cool liquid-in our case the passion fruit puree.
Sprinkle it over the top and allow it to sit for ten to fifteen minutes. This process is called blooming the gelatin. You’ll have a mixture with a consistency near applesauce.
To use, warm it gently in 10 second bursts in the microwave until the gelatin thins out and the liquid is watery.
Now, add a few tablespoons of the cooler combined whipped cream and cream cheese/sugar mixture to the gelatin mixture and whisk thoroughly to combine.
Then, turn on your mixer with the whipped cream and cream cheese mix in it, and while mixing slowly pour in the mix of bloomed gelatin and passion fruit puree that has been tempered with a bit of the cream and cream cheese blend.
Now that you know how to do this, you can make any type of mousse using a concentrated fruit puree.
You’ve also got the building block of the crust in this recipe. Take those two and let your imagination run wild with the potential flavor combinations.
Please enjoy this cheesecake, and if you have questions or comments about the recipe, or anything else, please let me know.
If you try this recipe, let us know by leaving a comment, rating it, and tagging a photo #thestraightdish on Instagram. Cheers, friends!
- 150 grams almond flour
- 6 tablespoons butter substitute coconut oil if desired
- 1/3 cup sugar 66 grams
- 1.5 cups heavy cream
- 5 oz cream cheese
- 165 grams sugar
- 70 grams passion fruit puree
- 9 grams unflavored gelatin
- 1 orange zest or one orange
Combine sugar and orange zest, and rub thoroughly together to get orange zest oil released into sugar.
Melt butter or coconut oil, and combine with sugar, orange zest and almond flour. Mix thoroughly using fingers.
Place in the bottom of an 8" springform pan. Spread evenly and press down firmly using a flat bottomed cup or other object.
Bake at 350° F for ten minutes.
Allow to cool.
Whip the cream to soft peaks and set aside in refrigerator. Don't over whip as we're going to whip this a bit more later.
Add cream cheese to mixer bowl, and with whisk attachment beat on high speed for 1 minute until it begins to increase in volume.
Add sugar while whisking on high speed. Continue to beat until sugar is fully incorporated and can't be felt on tongue when tasting, about 1 minute. Add in whipped cream and beat gently until fully incorporated. Set aside.
In a small bowl, sprinkle the gelatin over the cold passion fruit puree, and allow to hydrate 210-15 minutes. Warm gently in microwave or over a pot of simmering water to soften to a liquid state.
Add a little of the cream cheese mixture to the gelatin mix and whisk together. The, while whisking on medium high speed slowly pour in gelatin and passion fruit mixture. Stop and scrape sides of bowl to combine well.
Once all ingredients are fully combined, quickly fill your springform pan and scrape any excess from top with a straight edged frosting spatula.
Allow to chill in refrigerator at least 3 hours or preferably overnight. Can be frozen for 4-6 weeks too.
To release from mold cleanly for serving, moisten a dish towel and warm in microwave. Wrap around the springform pan for approximately 30 seconds. This will help the chilled mousse to not stick to sides. Release springform side, then plate and cut. Garnish with fresh berries.
If you are preparing your own puree, scoop out the seeds and pulp from several passion fruit. Blend thoroughly on low speed then strain out the crushed seeds for a clear pulp. If you wish to get all seeds out, you will need a cheesecloth or chinois to strain again.