I love our Australian summers. Three of my four kids live in the northern hemisphere: New York, Berlin and London. Whilst they appreciate the beauty of winters in their adopted countries, they also love seeing photos of life back home in Australia. As they’re layering coats, gloves and scarves we’re wearing as little as possible as summer temperatures soar.
Summer on the Australian coast means beach, barbeques, outdoor living and fresh produce. When I was a little girl growing up in Sydney, my parents planted a passionfruit. I have happy memories of watching the fruit ripen then picking and eating them fresh off the vine. My Mum would cut them in half and hand me a spoon. I was always fascinated at the sweet orange and black pulp found inside this purple, crinkly fruit. Clean eating sweet treats at their finest plus they’re low in calories and a good source of Vitamin C and fibre.
We moved to Canberra when I was five. A different climate not conducive to growing passionfruit. Now living on the coast with an acre to spare (and a lot of back fence) we decided to plant two vines. They love this location, taking off at Jack and the Beanstalk pace. The vines grew so big and lush! Much to our surprise only two flowers appeared followed by two mediocre fruit. We were SO disappointed.
Then early one morning I looked out and overnight, like a fairytale, the vines were full of flowers. A friend told us not to get too excited. Sometimes the flowers appear but don’t progress to fruit stage. You’re kidding! A bit of research and I discovered that they need water and food. Really? We usually have a rule in our garden that if it doesn’t survive of its own accord…well it doesn’t survive!
Watering and the odd feed of potassium has resulted in a huge crop of the sweetest, most delicious fruit. This ABC Fact Sheet gives you hints about growing passionfruit. Whilst single fruit is selling in Woolworths for $1 each or $2 each in Coles, we’re collecting bucket loads. In addition to sharing with friends, I’ve also been removing the pulp, putting it into ice cube trays and freezing it. Once frozen, remove the blocks and seal them in ziplock bags for later use.
Apart from just enjoying the unadulterated fruit, they’re delicious as a topping for ice-cream and pavlovas…and nothing beats passionfruit icing on a sponge cake!
I’ll leave you with one of my favourite passionfruit recipes: Passionfruit Slice. This is a super easy tried and true recipe from www.taste.com.au It has a crumbly coconut base and a creamy passionfruit topping. For more delicious recipes check out the Aussie passionfruit website
Hope you’re enjoying this holiday season!
- Melted butter, to grease
- 150g (1 cup) self-raising flour
- 85g (1 cup) desiccated coconut
- 100g (1/2 cup) caster sugar
- 100g butter, melted
- 1 x 395g can sweetened condensed milk
- 125ml (1/2 cup) fresh lemon juice
- 2 tablespoons passionfruit pulp
- Step 1
Preheat oven to 180°C. Brush a 16 x 26cm (base measurement) slab pan with melted butter to lightly grease. Line the base and 2 long sides with non-stick baking paper, allowing the sides to overhang.
- Step 2
Use a wooden spoon to combine the flour, coconut, sugar and butter in a large bowl. Use your hands to bring the dough together in the bowl. Transfer to the prepared pan. Use a metal spoon to press firmly over the base. Bake for 12 minutes or until light golden. Set aside to cool.
- Step 3
Reduce oven temperature to 150°C.Use a balloon whisk to whisk together the condensed milk, lemon juice and passionfruit pulp in a large bowl until smooth and well combined. Pour into the pan and spread evenly over the base. Bake in oven for 15 minutes until just firm to the touch. Set aside to cool completely. Cut into slices to serve.