The 4th Annual Liliko'i (passionfruit) Festival has come and gone...and for me, this is a very bittersweet moment. I have been involved in this festival as their cooking contest organizer from the beginning (the first one in 2013) and am sad to say, this was my very last one. I am finally retiring from the cooking contest scene. As festival MC Dennis Alstrand said at the end of the day...he wished he had known before the end of the event this had been my 'swan song'...I replied it felt more like a swan dive!
It all started with the 1st of two 'You Say Tomato' (2) cooking contests sponsored by the Hamakua Springs Country Farms in early 2007 (planning started in Fall of 2006!) and later, in fall of that same year, the 1st of eventually 4 Hamakua Alive! Festivals (4). Throughout the years there have also been several cooking contests celebrating avocadoes (4), mangoes (4), 'ulu/breadfruit (5), honey (1), and the Hamakua Harvest Festival (1) earlier this past summer. If I count them correctly, I think it has been a total of 21 cooking contests in 10 years, besides the ones I've participated in only as a judge.
Photo: At the contest site - entries beginning to be dropped off - Mahalo to Fran, KC and Jennifer for all the hard work in helping receive entries!
Of course, it wouldn't be East Hawai'i if we aren't blessed with some liquid sunshine, but the couple of showers did not last long and the day was, overall, very nice!
The categories for the Liliko'i Cooking Contest were Entrées, Sides (included soups, salads, sauces, preserves, etc), and Desserts
As usual in this contest, we had more dessert entries than in the other two categories. The overall Best of Show entry was a dessert.
Judges criteria for judging the Liliko'i Cooking Contest: Best use of liliko’i / Taste / Presentation / Originality & Creativity
Each judge can award from 0 to 5 points per criteria. At the end of the judging, all judges scores are tallied and, of course, the prizes are awarded to the highest scoring entries.
This entry, by Pamela S. Jinnohara, who came all the way from Mililani, Oahu, was the First Place Winner in the Dessert Category and it also received the Best of Show award for highest scoring entry overall.
Pamela explains the recipe for the tuiles was adapted from the finecooking.com website (* See website instructions for making tuile cookies)
Tuiles (to make cannoli or into the form you desire)
1/2 cup butter
1/2 cup white sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 egg whites (save yolks for liliko’i curd below)
2/3 cup flour
Pinch of salt
1 teaspoon citrus zest (orange, lime, or lemon), optional
Cream butter and sugar until fluffy and light, add vanilla extract and egg whites, one at a time until thoroughly mixed, then stir in flour, salt and zest. Refrigerate for 4 hours or overnight.
Preheat oven to 350F. Start by baking only one or two cookies at a time, until you get a feel for the timing – they firm up quickly and can only be shaped while they’re soft.
Linea a flat, level baking sheet with nonstick baking mat or parchment paper, sprayed liberally with nonstick cooking spray. Spoon small amount of tuille batter on the baking sheet. Spread as evenly and thinly as possible into a circle the size you want. I used 3, 3-1/2 and 5 inch circles.
Bake until golden brown, about 9-10 minutes. Remove from oven and immediately start to maneuver a spatula under the edge of the cookie. Wrap the hot cookie around a cannoli mold, rolling pin, juice bottle, or any heatproof object that can serve as a mold. The tuille will firm up in a minute and should release easily. Let cool. Continue with the remainder of the batter.
Liliko’i Crème Filling - 3 steps
1) Liliko’i Curd
1 teaspoon unflavored gelatin softened in 2 Tablespoons water
4 large egg yolks
1/2 cup white sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup liliko’i juice
1-1/2 Tablespoons lemon juice
Soften gelatin and set aside. In medium pot, combine yolks, sugar, salt, and juices. Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly until thickened. Stir in softened gelatin. Remove from heat. Strain through a sieve and cool completely.
2) Crème Filling
8 ounces cream cheese
2 ounces mascarpone cheese (optional)
3-4 ounces marshmallow crème, about ½ of the 7 ounce container
Cream above and mix until light and fluffy.
3) Whipped Cream
1/2 cup heavy cream
1 teaspoon white sugar
1 teaspoon unflavored gelatin dissolved in 2 Tablespoons water
Dissolve unflavored gelatin in water, and warm so gelatin is liquid. Add the warmed gelatin as you whip the cream to stiff peaks.
Mix: Liliko’i Curd, Crème Filling and Whipped Cream lightly, until thoroughly incorporated. Refrigerate for at least one hour, to give filling time to firm up so it will hold its shape. This will also help to keep the tuille shells crisper after they’re filled.
Assembly: Fill cannoli shells with cooled Liliko’i Crème Filling. Garnish with additional whipped cream, fresh liliko’i pulp/seeds or fresh fruit, chopped nuts, and mint, as desired.
More cooking contest recipes to follow!
The Third Edition of The Lilikoilicious Cookbook is absolutely gorgeous and available now at http://lilikoicookbook.com/