09 Sep Passion Fruit Curd
Whenever I’m faced with a large quantity of ripe fruit that I can’t get through quickly enough, I usually choose to A) freeze it or B) make a jam or curd. Since fruits generally contain a lot of water, their texture will change on freezing and defrosting. This is because the water inside the fruit cells expands on freezing, and the ice crystals rupture the cell walls. Once defrosted, the fruit will inevitably be soft and soggy. This is not an issue if you’re planning on using the thawed fruit for smoothies, juices or sauces but if you’re planning on using the fruit whole then freezing is not a good option.*
OK, science lesson over! Let’s talk about option B! Jams, preserves and curds are a wonderful way to enjoy your fresh fruits long past their season. If the jars are sterilised properly, jams and curds can last for several months at room temperature. They also make a stunning hostess gift (shop-bought choccies are SO last season!). When my neighbour gave me a huge bag of ripe and juicy passion fruits, a curd was definitely the first thing that came to mind!
A sweet and tangy passion fruit curd makes a great topping for cheesecakes, ice cream, pancakes, panna cottas, or can be used as a cake or cupcake filling. It’s also delicious spread on a scone, croissant or even a slice of toast!
*FYI: commercially available frozen berries are Individually Quick Frozen – an ultra fast freezing process that avoids damaging the cells of the fruit and so the berries retain their texture better on thawing.
(makes about 2 cups)
1 cup fresh passion fruit pulp (from about 10-12 passion fruits)
115g unsalted butter (½ cup)
150g castor sugar (¾ cup)
a pinch of salt
15ml lemon juice
4 egg yolks
- Place your passion fruit pulp into a blender or food processor and blitz for a 30 seconds. Strain the mixture through a sieve into a jug. Reserve 2 tablespoons of the seeds and set aside. Measure out 175ml (⅔ cup) of the strained juice.
- Cut the butter into cubes and add to a heatproof bowl together with the castor sugar, passion fruit juice, salt and lemon juice.
- Place on top of a pan of simmering water and whisk until the butter has melted.
- Now add in the beaten egg yolks, and continue heating gently and whisking continuously. It will take 15-20 minutes of heating and whisking until the mixture thickens and coats the back of a metal spoon.
- Remove the mixture from the heat and immediately strain into a jug. Add the passion fruit seeds (optional).
- Pour the mixture into your sterilised jars, leaving a 1cm headspace.
- Allow the jars to cool to room temperature before refrigerating.
- The curd will keep unopened for about 2 months in the fridge or 3-4 months in the freezer.
NOTE: To sterilise your jars, wash them in very hot, soapy water or run through the hot cycle of a dishwasher. Place the wet jars onto a baking tray and place into an oven at 160°C for 10-15 minutes. If you are using jars with screw-top lids or rubber gaskets, don’t dry the lids or gaskets in the oven – just air-dry them in a colander after boiling.