In Brazil, the passion fruit is incredible—my favorite fruit. I first created this dessert for a special dinner for Bill Clinton in Brasília and then began serving it in my restaurant. It’s definitely a signature, and my customers love it. Passion fruit is available mostly in spring and early summer. When it’s not, substitute any red fruit or pineapple.
3 large egg yolks
⅓ cup sugar
1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
1 cup milk
1 vanilla bean, split and scraped
10 large eggs, separated
1 cup sugar
1 cup plus 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
2 cups milk
6 tablespoons butter, plus more for the pan
1 teaspoon baking soda
PASSION FRUIT SAUCE
8 ounces fresh passion fruit
¾ cup sugar
8 tablespoons water
2 tablespoons cold butter
Confectioners’ sugar, for dusting
FOR THE PASTRY CREAM
In a mixing bowl, whisk the egg yolks with the sugar until light and fluffy. Add the four.
In a saucepan, bring the milk, vanilla bean, and vanilla seeds to a boil. Remove the pan from the heat and gradually stir in the yolk mixture. Return the pan to the heat and bring to a boil, whisking constantly, and cook until thick, 1 to 2 minutes. Remove from the heat and let cool for at least 2 hours.
FOR THE CRÊPES
In a mixing bowl, whisk the egg yolks and ½ cup of the sugar until pale and smooth. Gradually add the flour.
In a saucepan, bring the milk and butter to a boil. Remove from the heat and let cool for 2 minutes. Then pour the hot milk into the egg yolk mixture, mixing well. Set the batter aside.
Heat the oven to 350°F.
In a clean bowl, beat the egg whites and the remaining ½ cup sugar until soft peaks form. Stir in the baking soda. Fold the egg white mixture into the batter.
Heat some butter in a 6-inch nonstick pan and add a generous ladle of the batter. Cook for 2 minutes on one side. Then remove the pan from the heat, place the crêpe on a baking sheet, and bake for at least 5 minutes. Repeat, making 3 more crêpes. When all the crêpes have been prepared, remove the baking sheet from the oven and let cool.
Fill cach crêpe with a generous spoonful of the pastry cream. Then roll the crêpes closed, and set them aside.
FOR THE PASSION FRUIT SAUCE
Halve the passion fruits and scoop out the flesh and seeds into a medium bowl.
In a medium saucepan, combine the sugar and 1 tablespoon of the water. Cook on medium-high heat until the mixture turns a light caramel color. Remove from the heat. Add the passion fruit flesh, half of the seeds, and the remaining 7 tablespoons of water. Bring to a boil. Then lower the heat and simmer for 5 minutes. Stir in the butter until melted. Set aside.
Dust the crêpes with confectioners’ sugar. Caramelize the top of each with a blowtorch. Place the crêpes back in the hot oven, and cook until they get puffy and begin to soufflé, about 4 minutes.
Place each crêpe on a warm dessert plate, and top with the passion fruit sauce, sprinkle with the remaining seeds, and serve.