It’s another bank holiday here in the UK and storm Katie has kept us awake in the night and into the early hours of this morning. In the end I gave up trying to sleep and came downstairs. Outside our driveway were various items that the gusts blew up the road including our neighbour’s gate. One wing of it was resting on the pavement as the other one was still attached to the frame and continued to flap in the wind like an injured bird. The dogs growled at it and scurried quickly inside, adamant that it was too blustery and the warmth of the duvet was far more appealing. I made my way into the kitchen and as I passed the fruit bowl, sweet aromatic scent hit my senses. With all the Easter preparations, I had completely forgotten about a haul of passionfruits that were now quickly ripening in my kitchen.
And just like that, it came to me – they were all going to be turned into a passionfruit curd. Sweet yet tangy, highly aromatic and deliciously smooth curd. To be spread thickly on toast, layered into smooth puddings and incorporated into a magnificent spring torte. No chocolate in sight.
After pulling together a handful of ingredients, I was standing over the stove, whisk in hand and spoon at the ready. And within minutes the whole house was filled with an amazing aroma that was enough to entice Mr A downstairs. He appeared in the doorway sniffing the air and without a hesitation announced “Passionfruit!” The house indeed smelled beautiful, like an exotic cocktail consumed somewhere sunny and tropical. And as I finished stirring the curd and transferred it into jars, Katie seemed to have disappeared further inland and the sunshine came out to join us. We sat at the table enjoying licking the pan out and my thoughts wandered back to our first house and the passionfruit plant we had planted on the back wall and over the door. Every year it was heavy in purple and white flowers, intricate in their beautiful design. Their sweet scent would entice many bees and as they hurried from flower to flower, the air was filled with the alto tone of their wings, sometimes interrupted by a bumblebee’s bas. Late into the summer the flowers would turn into orange fruits, hanging heavily from the plant and nearly pulling it off the wall with their added weight. Mr A would cut it back every year and every year it would come back in abundance keeping us company with its fruity fragrance as we sat late into the nights in the garden…
Making curd is not complicated, in fact it’s easy as long as you follow instructions and don’t rush the process. And the end result is aromatic, citrusy and fruity fragrant curd that trumps lemon curd any day. It keeps well in the fridge for a week, is a lovely alternative to jam on scones and it makes a wonderful gift too. Because I like this curd smooth and without the seeds, I remove them at the start of the process. But with a little trick, all of the aroma and fragrance stays within the pulp. If you want to keep the seeds, just skip right to the cooking part. I hope you give it a try. Here is the recipe.
- approx 12 passionfruits that will yield 200 grams of pulp
- 250 grams of caster sugar
- 140 grams of unsalted butter, cold and diced
- 3 large eggs
- 2 tbsp of fresh lemon juice
- 2 tbsp of cornflour
Sterilise two 454 ml jam jars.
Wash the passionfruit well. Halve each fruit and scoop out the flesh, seeds and juice over a bowl discarding the outer flesh. Transfer the pulp into a blender and pulse for couple of minutes – this will break up some of the pips and helps to release even more aromatics. Push the blended pulp through a sieve into a pan and discard the remaining pips.
Add the sugar, butter, eggs, lemon juice and flour to the fruit and place the pan over a low heat. Using a whisk, stir the mixture together until the butter has fully melted. Now swap the whisk for a wooden spoon and continue to stir the mixture. Don’t stop and make sure you stir right around the edges. Keep the heat low and resist the urge to turn it up to speed up the process. You should feel and see the mixture turn thicker as you continue to stir. Once it starts to bubble, turn the heat off. Continue to mix for few more minutes before removing the pan from the stove. Allow the curd to cool down completely. If you like it super smooth, sieve it to remove any lumps but this is optional. Transfer the curd into the prepared jars and place it in the fridge. Use as desired within the week. And try to resist a sneaky spoonful or two every time you open the fridge. Enjoy x