Nana’s Passionfruit Slice Recipe

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“Cooking is not about being the best or most perfect cook, but rather it is about sharing the table with family and friends.”  ~ Skye Gyngell, My Favorite Ingredients

This is an old recipe that my Nana copied out from her friend Dulcie, after a successful ‘War Wives Luncheon’ during World War Two. At least that was the memorable annotation she jotted at the bottom of the piece of paper the recipe is written on.  As a child I would ask Nana over and over to tell me about that Luncheon in Sydney, and she would remind me how hard it was to make tasty food with all of the rationing and restrictions. Dulcie’s slice had been a real winner.

As a child I painstakingly copied the same recipe into the Family Recipe Book.  Each time I make this I think of my Nana and her friends, sitting drinking cups of tea, eating slice and chatting during the long days of the War, with the rations and limitations and hardships.

There’s a lot of comfort to be had in a cup of tea and a slice.

tea in front of the fire

Base Ingredients:

1 x cup of self raising flour (self-rising for my USA friends or 1 cup of all purpose flour, 1 and 1/2 x teaspoons baking powder and a pinch of salt, sifted together), 1 x cup of unsweetened desiccated coconut, 1/2 cup of  sugar, 1/2 cup (4 oz or 125 grams) melted butter, finely grated zest of one lemon.

*Note –  If you’re gluten intolerant, this works fine with a commercial gluten-free flour mix.


Preheat oven to moderate (160 degree celcius fan-forced or 180 degree oven – 350 degrees fahrenheit).

Line a 28cm x 18cm (7 inch by 11 inch) slice tin with some baking paper.

Measure the dry ingredients into a large bowl and then mix through the melted butter.  The mixture should be moist and crumbly.

Press the base into the tin, being careful not to press down too heavily. (If you compact the base too much it becomes very hard to cut after it has cooked.)

Bake for 10 to 12 minutes, or until the top is nicely golden.

Remove from oven and cool completely. (This step is essential!)

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1 x 395g can of sweetened condensed milk, 1/2 cup of fresh lemon juice, pulp of 3 passionfruit.

Heat oven to moderate (160 degree celcius fan-forced or 180 degree oven – 350 degrees fahrenheit), and then just before you pop the slice back in, knock the temperature back to 140 degrees for your fan forced oven or equivalent.


Whisk the condensed milk, lemon juice and passionfruit pulp together.  The mixture will thicken from the acidity of the lemon juice. At this stage you should taste it… (Okay, I made that bit up, but who can resist?)

Pour the passionfruit topping over the biscuit base and smooth over until you have a good coverage.

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Bake in the slow oven for twenty minutes. The topping should be firm to your touch, and pale golden.

Remove from oven and cool completely.  Store in refrigerator in a hot climate, or if you are not eating this all in one day.  To serve, cut into small squares.

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Hi! I'm Nicole Cody. I am a writer, psychic, metaphysical teacher and organic farmer. I love to read, cook, walk on the beach, dance in the rain and grow things. Sometimes, to entertain my cows, I dance in my gumboots. Gumboot dancing is very under-rated.
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24 thoughts on “Nana’s Passionfruit Slice Recipe

  1. Absolutely delicious. It ticks all the boxes. Simple is so often better than a deconstruction. Well done Nanna, many thanks for sharing.

  2. Hi Nicole, Just found your blog site and slice recipe when googling today. We have a glut of passionfruit and lemons at the moment so had to make this recipe to use up some of them. It’s wicked! I can see we will just have to force ourselves to bake and eat more of this slice until the end of the passionfruit and lemon season – no point in wasting them is there? 😉 Thank you for sharing you Nana’s recipe.

  3. Hi, Ann from N.Z. I have just taken this devine slice out of the oven (I needed a moorish dish for a meeting tonight) just perfect & a bonus I used frozen passionfruit thawed from our vine. Many thanks I will be making this heaps !!!

  4. Hi Nicole,
    I live in New Zealand and we are just picking our passion fruit. So I was searching for passionfruit slice recipes, when I found your one of your nana’s. It looks really decadent for a treat. The problem is that my husband hates coconut!! Could I substitute rolled oats or have you another suggestion? Ground almonds have been suggested but are too expensive!

  5. Hi Nicole,
    Just found your recipe on a google search-it sounds absolutely delicious, but why wouldn’t it if it came from someone called Dulcie. That is my name but it is rare to hear of it being given to anyone these days. It means “sweet”. I was named after my aunty who was named Dulcie. Will make it to take to my daughter’s next weekend so will let you know how it turns out.

  6. Can’t wait to eat them…they’re in the oven now with the topping. But, take note my fellow Americans that a 13 x 9 inch pan is way too big. Think you would be better off using a square 9 x 9 or 8 x 8 inch pan. I live in Australia so I used a typical lamington pan. Like I said, can’t wait to try them.

  7. Fantastic story, and I look forward to trying this (if I can find somewhere to get passionfruit!). This line “There’s a lot of comfort to be had in a cup of tea and a slice.” brought me to tears…. hmmmm.
    I was just visiting elderly and absolutely delightful relatives (78 and not a day over 10yrs old if you ask me) and we had ginger cookies and the smoothest ginger tea just after they brought us home from the train station. Though I’ve been there only 3 times, their house felt like home to me. I miss them so much and only just left today.

  8. Good morning Nicole …It’s Cherry from England again. Recipes are like love you have to spread them around . My son (who is 21) cooked a Victoria Sponge last week-end …boy it was so much better than I could do…I must have taught that boy something X

  9. Awww man, I so want to make this. So many indulgences in one place. I really need to hunt out an alternative to condensed milk – it’s the consistency and how it reacts as much as the taste that is the challenge. This may up my searching. You’re lucky and blessed to have these recipes. My (Sicilian) Nana refused to write them down and we had to watch as she did it. The only one I have left imprinted in my brain is the pasta sauce. Alas, the crostoli, ravioli, torrini, sausages and stuffed chicken have been in the ether. I have a cousin who we talk about the flavours and have been attempting to do (mostly in November/December for Christmas) but we haven’t go there yet lol. Slowly but surely we may find it (and we insist on our parents tasting to see how close we’ve got).

    1. Maybe your Sicician Nana didn’t write them down because she only knew them in her head. I LOVE that you are making your parents taste and give feedback to your efforts. Good luck with recapturing those flavours, Mind you I have a few recipes of my grandmothers that not matter how I make them, they never quite taste the same…

      On the condensed milk front, why not substitute a cup of ricotta or cream cheese and some sugar or sugar substitute like Natvia. Beat one egg yolk through with the cheese, cut the lemon juice in half, and then fold the passionfruit and stiffly beaten egg white through to lighten the mix. Bake, and adjust cooking time if it needs a little longer. You could also double the topping I suggested if you’d like a thicker passionfruit layer.

    2. You’re right, she didn’t write them down, but neither were we allowed to do so as we were learning. I found obscure notes written by possibly my 9 – 14yr old self that make no sense out of context about ingredients – suspect I snuck them down after leaving the kitchen. But it does mean that yes, we are now working the way she did – with a hit/miss end result approach. 😀

      Thanks for the alternatives but alas, they are all cow products, mmm, ricotta (adored that plain baked and then eaten with crackers while hot). Will investigate vegan versions (as some soy have casein <– my personal devil demon). Will jot down the alternatives for future reference.

      Mmmmmm, double topping! 🙂

  10. Looks great. I’ve just started cooking through my Nanna’s hand written cookbook myself. It is so wonderful how cooking these dishes brings back lovely memories. 🙂

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