#354 Passion Fruit Curd

Well there goes the Great British Summertime, but don’t worry our Griggers is at hand to give us a little bit of tropical sunshine with this rather unusual fruit curd recipe. She must have been rather ahead her time with this one – I think the first time I ever saw a passion fruit in a greengrocer’s shop it was around 1990. I love fruit curd and am always on the lookout for new recipes – especially for the stall. Jane does suggest giving all sort of fruits a go; raspberries, gooseberries, apricots – knock yourselves out, she says (I paraphrase).

This curd is unusual in that it is made in the same way as custard:

You will need 4 large, 6 medium, or – in my case – 8 small passion fruit. Halve them and scoop out the pulp, seeds and all, into a small saucepan. Stir in 4 ounces of sugar and 4 ounces of slightly salted butter that has been cut into cubes over a low heat. Meanwhile, beat 3 large eggs (or 2 large eggsand 2 egg yolks) well in a bowl. When the sugar has dissolved and the butter melted, turn up the heat until it boils then tip it into eggs , furiously whisking to prevent the egg from curdling. Pour the custardy mixture back into the pan and stir over a low heat until it becomes quite thick. If you want to err on the side of caution use a double boiler or a glass bowl over simmering water. I found you don’t need it for this recipe, though I did use a thermometer so that I could get the curd as thick as possible without it curdling – you want a temperature of 78C (though Jane gives a temperature of 80⁰C, but I always find this too high for curds).

Remove from the heat, but mind you still keep on stirring it – the residual heat of the pan may still curdle it – then pass it through a sieve, making sure you work all of the curd out. Stir in a few of the seeds and add a tablespoon or so of lime juice to sharpen it a little. Pot into sterilised jars, let them cool then seal them. It will fill two 200 ml jars.

#354 Passion Fruit Curd. This was a strange one and no mistake. The flavour of cooked passion fruit is rather different to fresh – it’s weirdly not unlike fresh bread, and it took rather a while to get used to it. I ate it on toast, but I reckon it would have been a fantastic filling to a sponge cake. Also, they coordinated very well with my kitchen decor. 6.5/10.

#65 Mangoes of the Sun

I need to catch up on the old recipes…

At the weekend Lee came over – I’m glad to see that he’s enthused by the whole Grigson thing – so I made a Green Thai Curry (recipe coming soon) and I wanted a nice healthy pud to go with it. It had been warm and sunny all week, so I went down the tropical route with (#65) Mangoes of the Sun. What this has to do with English Food I do not know. Nevertheless it’s really simple to do and is a really refreshing end to a Thai meal, or indeed any meal. The dessert didn’t stay healthy for long seeing as Grigson says to serve it with shortcake biscuits (recipe coming later today!). Like with tomatoes, leave your mangoes out on a sunny shelf to ripen up – to use an unripe mango would be a disaster!

This makes enough for three: Slice two mangoes down the sides of the large stone, cut the slices in half, peel them, and then slice again but nice and thinly. Cut away any other fleshy bits that are still around the stone. Arrange the slices on a large plate. Next cut three passion fruit in half and scoop out the seeds into a small pan along with 60 ml (about 2 fluid ounces) of water, along with a squeeze of lime juice and half a tablespoon of sugar. Heat the mixture, but don’t let it boil. After a couple of minutes the pulp should be softened and easy to pass through a sieve, leaving just the shiny pips behind. Taste the sieved juice and add extra sugar or lime juice if necessary. Add a few of the black seeds back to the juice and pour over the mangoes. Lastly, cut thin slices of lime and then quarter them so you have little triangles and scatter them over. Hey presto!

FYI: If you are vegetarian, you might be interested to know that mangoes are a source of Omega-3 oils; better than having to eat those crappy flax seeds. Everyday’s a school day!

#65 Mangoes of the Sun: 8/10. Delicious and summery; I could’ve eaten it all to myself. I was tempted to serve cream as well as biscuits with it, but am glad I didn’t. The shortbread soaks up the juice a treat too. Brilliant. Make this whilst it’s still sunny!