Passion Fruit and Coconut Cream Parfaits


Pastry chef Koa Duncan of Los Angeles's Water Grill is incredibly creative. She's also remarkably persistent: Working as a pastry chef in a town that loves to diet is an uphill battle. Her fantastic passion fruit and creamy coconut parfait, layered with crunchy bits of cashew praline, is good enough for Angelenos to forgive themselves the indulgence. More Parfaits

Passion Fruit and Coconut Parfaits
Photo: © Ngoc Minh Ngo
Active Time:
45 mins
Total Time:
3 hrs


Passion Fruit Curd

  • 8 large egg yolks

  • 3 large eggs

  • 1/3 cup sugar

  • 3/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons passion fruit puree (7 ounces), see Note

  • 6 tablespoons unsalted butter

Coconut Cream

  • 2 1/2 cups unsweetened coconut milk

  • 2/3 cup sugar

  • 3 tablespoons butter

  • 1/2 vanilla bean, split, seeds scraped

  • 2 1/2 tablespoons cornstarch

  • 2 tablespoons water

Poached Pineapple

  • 1 1/2 cups sugar

  • 2 cups water

  • 10 thin lemon slices, seeded

  • 1/2 vanilla bean, split, seeds scraped

  • One 3-pound pineapple—peeled, cored, and cut into 1/2-inch cubes (4 cups)

Cashew Praline

  • 1/2 cup sugar

  • 1 tablespoon light corn syrup

  • 2 tablespoons water

  • 1/4 cup dark brown sugar

  • 1 tablespoon honey

  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter

  • 1 teaspoon finely grated orange zest

  • Salt and freshly ground pepper

  • 3/4 cup salted roasted cashews, coarsely chopped (4 ounces)



  1. In a medium stainless steel bowl, whisk the egg yolks and whole eggs with the sugar and passion fruit puree until smooth. Set the bowl over a medium saucepan of simmering water and whisk the egg mixture over moderate heat until very thick and an instant-read thermometer dipped in the mixture registers 165°, about 8 minutes. Remove the bowl from the saucepan and whisk in the butter. Scrape the curd into a shallow bowl, press plastic wrap directly on the curd and refrigerate until chilled, about 2 hours.

  2. In a medium saucepan, combine the coconut milk with the sugar, butter and vanilla bean and seeds and bring to a simmer. In a small bowl, dissolve the cornstarch in the water; whisk the mixture into the coconut milk and cook over moderate heat, whisking constantly, until thickened, about 5 minutes. Discard the vanilla bean. Pour the coconut cream into a shallow bowl, press plastic wrap directly on top of the cream and refrigerate until chilled, about 2 hours.

  3. In a medium saucepan, combine the sugar, water, lemon slices and vanilla bean and seeds and bring to a boil, stirring until the sugar dissolves. Add the pineapple and cook over moderate heat until the fruit is translucent, about 15 minutes. Transfer the pineapple and its cooking liquid to a bowl and refrigerate until chilled, about 2 hours.

  4. Line a large baking sheet with lightly oiled parchment paper or a silicone liner. In a medium saucepan, combine the sugar, corn syrup and water and boil until the syrup reaches 300° (hard crack) on a candy thermometer, about 6 minutes. Stir in the brown sugar, honey, butter, orange zest and a pinch of salt and pepper. Off the heat, stir in the chopped cashews until coated. Pour the brittle onto the oiled parchment or silicone liner. Top with another sheet of oiled parchment or silicone liner and roll out the brittle as thinly as possible. Let cool completely, then crack into small pieces.

  5. Spoon 1/2 cup of the coconut cream into the bottoms of 6 tall glasses, followed by 1/2 cup of the passion fruit curd. Using a slotted spoon, add a scant 1/2 cup of the pineapple to the glasses, followed by a sprinkle of the praline. Repeat the layering with the remaining cream, curd, pineapple and praline. Serve.

Make Ahead

The recipe can be prepared through Step 4 and refrigerated for up to 2 days ahead. Store the cashew praline in an airtight container.


Passion fruit puree is available in the freezer section at specialty markets. One brand worth seeking out is Vergers Boiron, available at

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