Prior to moving to Cape Town I had only ever eaten passionfruit once before, at great expense, while living in the London. I chanced upon these purple piquant wonders in an up-market Food Hall and I just had to know what passionfruit really tasted like. At £1.50 a fruit my knees buckled at the price, but I just had to know. Gripped by curiosity, I dug deep and bought two. At the time it was money I could ill-afford to spend, especially on luxury fruit, but to my mind it was money well spent! Eating my first passionfruit was a moment my taste buds will never forget, it was as if they had awoken for the first time. In a word: electric.
So it was with much excitement that I discovered that my new garden came with its very own granadilla (passionfruit) plant. I tried to grow one in my old garden in Cape Town but without much success. So, our expectations were high as we eagerly waited the start of the fruiting season. I had hoped to get a couple of fruit a day, enough for the two of us to enjoy as a daily tangy treat. Little did I know what a prolific season awaited us, within weeks it began to rain granadillas! At the peak of the season, we were collecting between 10 and 15 granadillas a day and I soon found myself with a glut of these purple delights. It didn’t take long before I had run out of ideas of what to do with them.
With my granadillas mounting, I trawled through my cookbooks for ideas and found a recipe in Nigella’s “How to be a Domestic Goddess”. It was prefect, it combined two of my favourite things; curd and passionfruit! I had never tried passionfruit curd before, but being an avid childhood fan of the lemon variety, I figured “Why not?”. The curd took a while to make, but the results were sensational. Not since my first taste of passionfruit had my taste buds experienced such a wake up call. These days they may not cost me a dime, but made into a curd, passionfruit still makes me curl my toes and roll my eyes in delight. After all these years, it still tastes electric.
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11 passionfruit (granadillas)
2 large eggs
2 large egg yolks
150g caster sugar
Scoop out the pulp of 10 passionfruit and place in a food processor. Blitz for a few seconds to loosen the seeds. Strain into a bowl.
Beat the eggs, egg yolks and sugar together.
Melt the butter on a low heat in a heavy- based pan. When the butter has melted stir in the sugar-egg mixture and the passionfruit juice. Keep cooking gently, stirring constantly, until thickened.
Note: You have to take your time with this part of the recipe as the curd can spilt very easily. Pull up a chair, put the radio on, sing along to your favourite song; do whatever you need to do to pass the time, but keep the heat low and stir like your curd depends on it.
Once thickened, take off the heat and whisk in the pulp (seeds and all) of the remaining passionfruit.
Allow to cool slightly and then pour into a clean jar. Store in the fridge.
Serve with: This curd is incredibly tasty, simply spread over fresh white bread. It can also be used as an alternative to jam in a Victoria Sponge or poured into a cooked and cooled pastry case, topped with some sugar and then brûléed.