A round, hard yellow fruit with many seeds, lilikoi thrives in tropical climates and is abundant in Hawaii. Originally from Australia, Lilikoi was introduced to the islands sometime in 1923.
Concentrated lilikoi juice is used in many desserts, including cheesecake, a popular choice here during the holiday season. Rich, smooth, sweet and tart lilikoi cheesecake can be found in most Hawaiian restaurants.
This is how you make the crust:
- Set an oven rack to the middle position and preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
- Combine the crushed graham crackers, sugar, cinnamon and melted butter in a bowl with a rubber spatula.
- Press the crumbs firmly into the bottom of a 9-inch springform pan and bake for about 8 minutes until the crust smells fragrant and begins to brown.
- Remove the pan from the oven and reset the temperature to 300 degrees.
- Let the crust cool while you make the filling.
- When the pan is completely cool, lightly butter the sides with softened butter.
This is how you make the filling:
- Beat the cream cheese until smooth and without lumps.
- Add the sugar and beat well.
- Add the eggs one at a time, beating each time until incorporated.
- Beat in the whipping cream on low speed until smooth.
- Stir in the passion fruit juice.
- Pour the filling over the cooled crust and place the pan in the oven.
- Bake for 1 hour.
- The center of the cheesecake will be wobbly and won’t look right.
- Turn off the oven and leave the cheesecake in the oven for another 45 minutes. The cheesecake top will be flat and lightly browned.
- Remove from the oven and let the cheesecake cool to room temperature.
- Cover loosely with paper towels and refrigerate for several hours or overnight until very cold.
How to make the glaze:
- Place the water in a 1-cup glass measuring cup and sprinkle in the gelatin.
- Do not stir. Just leave it alone. The gelatin will absorb the water slowly.
- In a small, heavy saucepan, whisk together the passion fruit juice and sugar over medium heat until the sugar has dissolved and the liquid feels very hot to the fingertips. You don’t want the juice to really boil or the gelatin won’t harden.
- Remove the pan from the heat and add about ½ cup of the hot liquid to the gelatin.
- Stir well to dissolve the gelatin – taste a few drops to make sure you don’t feel any gelatin granules on your tongue – and add the gelatin to the remaining juice in the pan.
- Prepare an ice water bath and place the pan of gelatin/passion fruit juice in the pan.
- Stir constantly with a rubber spatula until the liquid is cold and becomes syrupy.
- Pour the glaze over the cheesecake, spreading evenly almost to the edges.
- Refrigerate until set, about 2 hours.
This is how you serve the cheesecake:
- Remove the sides of the pan.
- To decorate the top of the cheesecake, whip the cream and passion fruit juice until stiff and pipe through a piping bag with a star tip.
- To cut the cake, rinse a knife with hot water before making each cut.
- Store leftovers in the refrigerator.