Aug 4, 2017

Thumbprint Shortbread Cookies with Liliko'i Butter

Thumbprint Shortbread Cookies with Liliko'i Butter 
Ingredients for liliko'i butter:
Fresh liliko'i from Moloka'i
Click on photos to view larger
3/4 cup liliko'i pulp (about 15 liliko'i,
  seeds removed)
1/2 cup sugar
1 egg yolk
3 tablespoons of cornstarch
2 tablespoons water

Ingredients for cookies:
2 1/4 cups of all-purpose flour
1 1/2 sticks butter
1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons of powdered sugar
1 teaspoon of pure vanilla extract
1/4 cup of powdered sugar for garnish

Procedure for lilikoi butter:
Cut liliko'i in half and remove the seeds and pulp to a blender. Pulse 5 times to separate the seeds from the pulp. Strain the pulp into a measuring cup to the level of 3/4 cup, discarding seeds. Heat the liliko'i pulp, and sugar, in a small pot. In a small bowl, like a ramekin, combine the cornstarch and the water. Pour the cornstarch mixture into the liliko'i mixture and mix using a wooden spoon. Cook the mixture over medium heat, stirring constantly. When it starts boiling and thickening, remove it from the heat.

Now place the egg yolk in a ramekin or small bowl and stir with a fork. Now gently pour 1/3 of the egg yolk into the warm liliko'i mixture  and mix vigorously. Place the rest of the yolk into the liliko'i butter and mix. Cover with the pot lid and place into the refrigerator to completely cool, about 1 hour.

Procedure for shortbread cookies:
Preheat oven to 350˚F. Line two cookie sheets with parchment paper. Mix all of the ingredients together in the bowl of a mixer and mix until combined. Take 1 level tablespoon of dough and press it into a little balls, repeat this process, then place them separately on the lined cookie sheet (the dough will not rise so you don't have to leave a lot of space between cookies). Cup your fingers around each dough ball and with your thumb, make a deep indentation in the middle of each ball of cookie dough, being careful not to push through to the bottom. Spoon cooled liliko'i butter in the middle of each thumb hole. Bake for 12 minutes. Remove from oven. Let the cookies cool completely on a rack, then garnish with powdered sugar before serving.

Makes 32 small cookies.

Jul 28, 2017

When The Summer Wind Blows

Lilikoi from our Molokai Farmers Market
every Saturday in Kaunakakai.

Click on photo to view larger.
I first experienced passion fruit in Bora Bora many years ago. Hotel Bora Bora served purple passion fruit, cut in half, as part of a breakfast buffet. It was very strange because you ate the tart pulp, seeds an all. It was delicious and unforgettable. 

Years later I moved to the Hawaiian island of Moloka'i and again I rediscover passion fruit, but it was yellow and had an Hawaiian name,  'liliko'i'. For years now it has become one of my favorite things to have with breakfast... when in season. The season is in the summer, July, August, and September, when it is hot and humid. 

I have been seeing them for sale at our local farmers market lately and have wondered if travelers to this lonely island know what a treat liliko'i is. Fortunately for me, they happen to grow wild in a vacant lot next to my house. Long vines covered with this wonderful fruit that falls to the ground 'when the summer wind blows'.

I have learned that if you remove the pulp of the liliko'i with a spoon, then gently pulse it in a blender about 5 times, you can loosen the pulp from the seeds and remove the seeds with a strainer. Then you can freeze the pulp in ice trays, put the cubes in freezer bags to use when the fruit is no longer in season. That's how good this flavor is in recipes, especially desserts. Hawaii is famous for lilikoi butter, which is actually a curd made with liliko'i pulp, butter, honey, and eggs. I have written many other recipes using liliko'i, which you will find on this site, here's a new one:

Hawaiian Liliko'i Ice Cream
Liliko'i Flower
Click on photos to view larger
This is a thick, creamy ice cream that is more suited for adults than children because it's not overly sweet, but full of liliko'i flavor. You only need to serve a couple of scoops of this rich tropical dessert, then drizzle it with honey. Serve with a delicate cookie like my 'Ono Hawaiian Lace Cookies'

1 can sweetened condensed milk
1 1/2 cups liliko'i pulp (without seeds) or 27 lilikoi
2 cups heavy cream, chilled
1/4 cup white sugar
honey for drizzling

Special Equipment: an ice cream maker

Procedure to make the ice cream:
Cut each liliko'i in half at the equator and scoop the pulp, with seeds, into a blender and gently pulse about 5 times to remove the pulp from the seeds. Strain the mixture, remove and discard the seeds, saving the 1 1/2 cups of pulp for the ice cream.
I have been using this small
ice cream maker for years,
made by Cuisinart.
It's an excellent product!
$47.73 at

Mix together the condensed milk with the seedless liliko'i pulp.

In another bowl, whip the cream with a hand help mixer for 3 minutes until peaks form, Then turn the speed to low and add the condensed milk/liliko'i pulp mixture and sugar. Mix just until combined.

Immediately spoon the mixture into your ice cream maker and proceed according to the manufacturer's instructions. After about a half an hour the cream gets thick. Transfer the ice cream into air-tight containers and freeze solid for at least 4 hours. This is a very rich dessert that is not too sweet. I like to drizzle honey over the top and Serve it with a cookie like my 'Ono Hawaiian Lace Cookies'. You won't believe how good this recipe is!

Makes 1 1/2 quarts of ice cream, enough for about 6 servings.

Note: If you can't get fresh liliko'i where you live, try this product available at and on ebay. It is basically the same thing as liliko'i pulp, without the seeds, and the work. If you read the comments that people have written on Amazon you might want to try it. 

Cost: $9.90 for one 16.9 fluid ounces, or two bottles for $13.47. That's a bargain!