Rather than post photos of the rabbits eating my vegetables,
or other Eastery things, I thought I’d put in a recipe that is rather exotic. If you have a passionfruit vine (the ones that produce edible fruit) you may be inundated with the fruit about now. Also the flowers were named passionflowers because of the Christian symbolism read into the shape of the flowers. I always wondered about this, but I figured that faced with ‘heathens’ who ate this aromatic, voluptuous and kind of sexy fruit, some Christian missionaries decided to put the stamp of Christianity onto the plant rather than try to ban its consumption. That’s just my theory, of course, but it makes sense. Therefore a post on passionfruit for the passion of Christ on Easter. Yep, I’m stretching it, but you’ll like the recipe.
Anyway, passionvines have abundant growth (as I mentioned in my post about building a trellis for them http://www.vegetariat.com/2012/03/questionable-carpentry/).
There are many colors of flowers of both the ornamental and edulis varieties. The flower has a tiny fruit all ready to go and awaiting some friendly bee to come rub herself all over the anthers and stamens (the missionaries are shuddering) and pollinate.
The fruit grows as the flower fades. There is some mother-child allusion somewhere in there but you’ll have to go there yourself.
When the fruit is ready to fall, a good shake of the vines will make them come down. Usually they are still smooth-skinned at this point. You want to wait until the fruit starts to wrinkle before it is sweet, ripe and ready. (I’ll not touch that one at all.)
Don’t eat the skin, but cut the fruit in half. Many people like to eat the seeds as well as the pulp. I’m not one of them, and neither is my daughter who very patiently sieved the insides of about 80 passionfruit to obtain the juice. I like to add the juice to tangerine juice for breakfast. We’ve also successfully made a hedonistic passionfruit ice cream that was stupendous. This time we decided to make passionfruit curd.
I’ve posted already on how to make lemon curd (http://www.vegetariat.com/2011/03/when-life-gives-you-lemons-make-lemon-curd/). (You’re wondering, what is UP with this woman and curd, anyway?). The passionfruit curd is slightly different, but yet has that nice bite to it that doesn’t make it too sweet. I thought this curd came out tasting a little eggy, but I believe that is because we used eggs from our own spoiled hens, which have a definate healthy flavor to them. The eggs, not the hens (that we know of, nor will we find out). It was all okay, though.
We made two half-pints, and I didn’t ‘can’ them. However you may sterilize the jars and lids, add the hot curd, and give them a 15 minute hot water bath and the curd will last for months. I still refrigerate it, just to be on the safe side.
I found the original recipe in Nigella Lawson’s How To Be A Domestic Goddess. She stirs some passionfruit seeds back into the curd, which looks nice (if you like the fish egg look to your food) and can certainly be done for all of you who enjoy the seeds. I like my curd seedless. On scones. With mascarpone cheese. Mmmm.
- 12 passionfruit
- 2 large eggs
- 2 large egg yolks
- ½ cup granulated sugar (superfine if you have it)
- 8 tablespoons unsalted (good quality) butter
- 2 sterilized ½ pint jars
- Cut the passionfruit in half and scoop out the insides into a sieve.
- With a spoon, strain the juice into a measuring cup. You should have about 10 tablespoons, or a scant ⅔ cup of juice. If you'd like seeds in the curd, reserve the pulp of the 12th one instead of straining it.
- In a bowl beat the eggs, yolks and sugar together.
- In a saucepan, melt the butter over low heat.
- Stirring continuously, add the passionfruit juice and then the sugar mixture, being careful not to cook the egg.
- Keep cooking and stirring until the mixture thickens, about five minutes. It should coat the back of the spoon.
- Take the pan off the heat. If you have reserved the pulp of that one last fruit, here is where you whisk it into the mixture.
- Pour the curd into the jars and seal.
- Store in refrigerator. Try it on scones with mascarpone cheese. Really. I mean it.
- Makes two half-pint jars full, about 1¾ cups.