One of my most treasured childhood memories is of my maternal grandmother Nana Fay. On the sunny side of her rambling house in Bucklands Beach, a seaside suburb of Auckland, she grew an enormous and prolific passionfruit vine. Every year each of the nine cousins in the family would hunt through the vine and use a fingernail to scratch our initials on the still green fruit – when the fruit were dark purple and ripe, the initials would show clearly on the skin.
My grandmother would then pick them and keep them in a bowl, ready to be claimed by the ‘rightful’ owner. She was a woman of great generosity of spirit, as well as a keen baker, preserver and serious sweet tooth, so I know she would love the recipe I have for you today.
If you aren’t lucky enough to have a passionfruit vine (me either) these small, exotic fruits can be an expensive luxury. However, around twice a year the passion fruit crop has a ‘flush’ where there is suddenly abundant ripe fruit and you can pick them up for a good price. Last week in Sydney nets of ten passion fruit were selling for only $3 so I snapped up a few – some just for eating directly with a spoon, some for drizzling over tart Greek yoghurt with muesli for breakfast, and some for cooking with.
A lovely way to preserve the summery flavour of passionfruit is to make a fruit curd, sometimes known as a fruit butter. Fresh eggs, creamy butter, sugar and tangy passion fruit, heated together to make a luscious, spreadable delight, perfect for the breakfast table, for desserts, or, if you are anything like me, for eating stealthily, directly from the jar for a sweet treat.
This recipe makes 400-500ml of curd, depending on the size and juiciness of your passion fruit and will keep for around three weeks in the fridge. To keep longer it can be frozen in the jar and defrosted in the fridge overnight.
Let me know if you try this recipe in the comments below, or using the hashtag #daysofjay on Instagram. Happy cooking!
- 150 g caster sugar
- 4 large eggs
- 8-10 large passionfruit
- 50 ml fresh lime juice
- 125 g unsalted butter
- Begin by washing 3 or 4 small glass jars in hot soapy water, then place the jars in a tray in a 120°C oven for 10-15 minutes. Sterilise the lids by placing them in a small bowl and pouring over boiling water.
- To make the curd, whisk together the caster sugar and the eggs in a large heatproof bowl. Halve the passion fruit and scrape the seeds and pulp into the bowl, depending on the size of the fruit you should have roughly 150g of passion fruit pulp. Whisk together with the lime juice, then cut the butter into cubes and add to the bowl.
- Place the bowl over a medium saucepan of simmering water, ensuring the bottom of the bowl is not touching the water. Use a spoon to stir the mixture gently until the butter has melted, then set a timer for 10 minutes.
- Continue gently stirring the mixture - just a few times a minute, no need to beat it into a frenzy - until the mixture has thickened and coats the back of the spoon. This will take between 10 and 15 minutes, so see how it is after 10 and if it is still very thin, cook for an additional 5 minutes, making sure your water hasn’t boiled dry underneath. It should have the consistency of pouring custard (which, in fact, it is) as it will thicken on cooling.
- Pour the hot curd directly into the hot, clean jars and seal immediately. Allow to cool to room temperature, then refrigerate for up to three weeks. They will keep longer than this, but if I am storing them for longer I prefer to keep them in the freezer as I find the taste is fresher. If freezing make sure not to overfill or alternatively loosen the lids before freezing to allow for expansion.
Nutrition Information:Yield: 10
Amount Per Serving:Calories: 178Total Fat: 12gSaturated Fat: 7gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 4gCholesterol: 101mgSodium: 30mgCarbohydrates: 16gFiber: 0gSugar: 15gProtein: 3g
Nutrition information is calculated automatically and isn’t always accurate.
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
How do I know how tangy to make my Passionfruit Curd?
How tangy you like your curd is really up to your personal taste and will be affected by the ripeness of the passionfruit. I like to taste the mixture as soon as the butter has melted and add a little more lime juice or sugar as seems necessary. Don’t forget that the curd is usually served chilled which means it tastes less sweet than the hot mixture.
How do I use passionfruit curd?
Passionfruit curd is wonderful stirred through whipped cream with some crushed sweet biscuits/cookies for a quick dessert, spread on toast, followed over pancakes or as the filling for a sponge.