It is cold and grey and still February. On the other side of the world it is hot and bright and indeed also February. What they have, and we don't, is passionfruit. It is an integral part of Oz culture - it is hot, you have a passionfruit vine overladen on the back fence, there is to be a barbie on the weekend, dessert will be pavlova, and pavlova is topped with passionfruit, unfailingly and always.
They're a funny thing, small like an egg, thin black skins that are tinged with purply green and shiny smooth to start with, but that is when they are not yet ripe. They are not at their best till the skins are crumpled and puckered, the whole sort of collapsed in on itself. Open one then and you find a glorious burst of vibrant orange pulp full of sharp little black seeds. Suck the contents immediately into your mouth for an extraordinary hit of sugar and sharp, sticky and sweet.
Wandering past my local fruit shop last week I saw they had passionfruit 10 for £1. Bargain! Was on my way somewhere else but knew they must be mine. Found a recipe for melting moments, another oz icon, which are a 'sandy' textured biscuit often stuck together with some kind of butter icing for double the treat. The best of all flavouring for the sticking together stuff is, of course, passionfruit. Took myself back to the fruit shop to discover they were no longer 10 for a pound but rather 'pound a scoop'. Except that my shop uses plastic washing up bowls rather than metal scoops so, to my delight, I ended up with about 3 dozen little wrinkly fruit. Joy.
This recipe only needs the pulp from one or two, but the pulp freezes brilliantly. I did it in ice cube trays then packed the resulting blocks into a zip lock bag for future use. Each fruit seemed to contain a slightly different colour making for the gorgeous variations above.
Passionfruit Melting Moments
This recipe comes from Taste - an Australian site that has lots of other local treats to try
Makes 32 - they are nice as single biscuits with a cuppa but the passionfruit makes them special
- 250g unsalted butter, softened
- 1 teaspoon vanilla essence
- 1/2 cup pure icing sugar, sifted
- 2 cups plain flour
- 1/3 cup cornflour
- 60g butter, softened
- 1 large passionfruit
- 1 cup pure icing sugar, sifted
Preheat oven to 160°C. Line 2 baking trays with non-stick baking paper.
Using an electric mixer, cream butter, vanilla and icing sugar until light and fluffy. Sift flours over butter mixture. Beat on low speed until a soft dough forms.
Roll heaped teaspoonfuls of mixture into small balls. Place on trays. Using a fork dipped in flour, lightly flatten each biscuit until 1cm thick. Bake for 15 minutes or until firm. Cool on trays for 10 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.
Make passionfruit filling: Using an electric mixer, beat butter until light and fluffy. Stir in passionfruit pulp and icing sugar.
Spread flat side of 1 biscuit with 1 teaspoon filling. Top with another biscuit. Repeat with remaining biscuits and filling. Dust with icing sugar. Serve
So now I have lots of pulp - am thinking cupcakes with passionfruit icing, possibly a cake, any other suggestions or favourites?