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One of the best desserts I've ever tasted came from a restaurant which no longer exists, and I am trying to identify what it might be called and how to prepare it myself. It looked sort of like a colorful flan--pie shaped with about four fruit-based layers stacked on top of each other. I would call it a tart, but it had no crust. The bottom layer was quite thin (maybe .5 cm) and contained passion fruit and probably some lime juice, and it was about the most delicious thing I've ever had.

So the questions are:

  1. What should I call such a dessert?
  2. Can someone suggest a recipe for the fruit layers (especially the passion fruit layer)? The layers were stiff enough to stand on their own, but soft enough to be cut with a fork.

Edit: In response to comments:

  1. The texture and consistency was about like a brownie---but maybe slightly softer and smoother. There were no chunks or slices of fruit visible.
  2. I don't know other flavors specifically, but I'm pretty sure there was a berry layer (raspberry maybe?). Lemon might have been another. The flavors were not declared explicitly on the menu, and the only reason I know that passion fruit was in the dessert is that I was so impressed I asked the server what the flavor of the bottom layer was.
  3. It was served at close to room temperature, maybe slightly chilled.
  4. I would describe the restaurant as "trendy modern cuisine". It was in a mountain resort area, and typical plates ran $20-$30. I think the main dish I had that evening was pan-seared medallions.
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    After searching various combinations of terms, I found this: talitaskitchen.com/2012/02/entremets-passionata.html Is that anything like what you are describing? If you could describe the dessert in more detail, that would be helpful. For example, could you identify any of the other flavors? What was the texture of the layers (mousse, for example)? – Kathleen Jul 15 '16 at 3:44
  • @Kathleen The texture was indeed about like a mousse. I don't recall specifically the other flavors, but raspberry would be a good bet. Perhaps lemon was another? I don't think there was any coconut (which seems to otherwise be commonly paired with passion fruit). – Yly Jul 15 '16 at 5:28
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    Some more detail would indeed be helpful - were there slices of fruit involved (embedded in the layers, perhaps?), was it served chilled or warm, was it delicate to the touch or fairly sturdy? If you can recall anything from the restaurants' description, that will also help - for example, do you know it was passion fruit because it was called that, because you've had passion fruit (mousse) before, or because you liked it, asked, and then remembered it - each will suggest different things about how it was intended to be received. (also, it helps to edit these details into the question) – Megha Jul 15 '16 at 8:12
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    I hope someone can find an answer because this sounds tasty! Do you happen to remember the name and location of the restaurant? If it was fairly well known, then maybe there's an old menu or restaurant review online. – Kathleen Jul 16 '16 at 2:35
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    What kind of restaurant is it? – Batman Jul 16 '16 at 2:43
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The best I can guess is that this dessert is, in fact, a layered flan.
(or other free-standing baked custard, I suppose).

There are a lot of recipes for fruit flans, including passion fruit (with or without lime juice), lemon, raspberry, and others. In that case, the individual recipes would be the key to search for, rather than the whole confection - once the custard mixtures were made, it would not be impossible to somehow layer them into individual molds before setting, for a similar effect as you describe. Very impressive in a restaurant, and efficient enough in time and effort when they can make full batches of each custard, since they end up making many individual portions.

In any case, you would likely have to find recipes for passion fruit flan (you can check for lime juice, or not, as you prefer), and either simply find a recipe you like, or slowly tweak to match the taste you remember.

Just to give examples - here is one for passion fruit and lemon flan, here is a softer but tasty looking no cook version, This one claims an intense enough flavor to not need vanilla (quite the claim), Here's one with lime in the recipe. This is completely different flavors, but shows an example of a layered flan jelly. A pastry case can be omitted (or inversely, added), the flan can still be cooked and set. Caramel can be omitted, possibly replaced by (fruit) syrups after cooking if desired.

Of course, how close this comes to your expectations depends on which recipe you start with and your desired results, but I had some thoughts on tweaking recipes to match your description - no guarantees, it's mostly speculative. It sounds like this dessert of yours was fairly stiff if it was comparable to a brownie - a higher proportion of egg will make a flan stiffer, obviously liquids will make it softer and looser. Using a recipe witch includes pulp (smoothly pureed, for consistency) will probably make a thicker end result than one only flavored with juice. Using cream vs condensed milk vs cream cheese or egg yolks vs whole eggs should help tweak rich and soft versus firmer and drier.

Some recipes are thickened with gelatin, and it may be possible to further thicken the recipe with starch or even flour (if it ends up well cooked) to make a batter, which will get you a bit further afield from most flan recipes, but might help if the texture is not quite what you wanted.

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I would be tempted to call it a dessert terrine with a tart shape.

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