Storing up gold…

I have had a plethora of passionfruit.

My own vines are still too tiny to produce, but all around the neighbourhood, there are green globes hanging in great profusion from passionfruit vines. Often, as the fruit ripens, it lies unattended and unwanted on the ground for the birds to attack. There are just so many, and when they fall outside fences or on the verge of the roadside, I pick them up and bring them home. When I have enough, I hoard the resulting gold.

The fresh pulp produces the most intensely coloured and flavoured juice when you have sieved out all the pips. I had 150ml, just enough for a small jarful of passionfruit curd.

Experience has taught me that home grown eggs just have too much flavour for the classic curd recipe of fruit juice, sugar, butter and egg yolks; the mixture ends up ‘eggy’ if you use enough eggs to set the mixture.

So I added 75g caster sugar, 3 tblsps cornflour (corn starch) and a tiny pinch of salt to the juice, stirred constantly in a small pan over low heat until the mixture thickened, cooked it for a further 5 minutes, still stirring, and then added a tablespoon of cream at the end to enrich it. You could also use unsalted butter or coconut cream instead; the former will give a more ‘classic’ flavour, the latter a hint of tropical yumminess. It’s a little runny when warm and just made, but sets up firm in the fridge after a few hours.

This stuff is dynamite. It’s intense, tangy and vivid on the tastebuds. Some of the passionfruit weren’t 100% ripe and the acidity is just what is needed to prevent the mixture being dulled by the starch. Dessert tonight is a tablespoonful stirred through a small bowl of Greek yoghurt. Just heaven.

It won’t keep, so I’ll have to eat it quickly. Oh, the hardship…