Two things grow like crazy in our neck of the woods come summer – limes and passionfruit. A friend gave me a bag of old wrinkly-looking passionfruit yesterday and asked if I might still be able to use them. You bet I can!
Passionfruit are very pretty when they are all firm and plump, but they are usually fine even at their wrinkliest. Just check each one carefully before spooning pulp into anything.
This is a delightful variation of my traditional Easy Lemon Butter ~ Lemon Curd Recipe. It makes a smooth, rich curd that can be placed into tart shells and pie bases, or dolloped onto scones, toast, pancakes or ice-cream. It is tangy and sweet, and is also delectable eaten straight from the spoon… (Yes, I am speaking from experience :D!)
4 large eggs, 3/4 cup sugar, juice and finely grated zest of two limes, 1/2 cup of fresh or frozen passionfruit pulp plus an extra tablespoon or two kept to one side, 125g unsalted butter (4oz or 1/4 pound) chopped into small cubes. You can use salted butter if it’s all you have to hand, but unsalted makes it taste extra delish.
Ensure all ingredients are ready before you start. (This will make around 2 cups, but you can easily double the quantities for more – that’s what I do so I have some to give away.)
Zest and juice your limes, cube your butter and get your passionfruit ready. Lightly whisk your eggs in a small bowl. Then make a double boiler by half filling a saucepan with warm water and bringing it to a very slow simmer, and then snugly fitting a basin over the top.
Pop the sugar, lime zest and eggs into the basin, and begin whisking. (You could use a wooden spoon if you prefer, but I am devoted to my whisk collection!) Beat until the sugar is dissolved. Then dump in the cubes of butter and whisk again until amalgamated.
When the butter is melted add in the lime juice and 1/2 cup of passionfruit pulp. Keep whisking over low heart until mixture thickens, which takes about ten minutes. Don’t let it boil or it will curdle. Mind you, if the heat is too low it shall take longer to thicken, but you will get a good arm workout.
Finally the mixture will have a rich, silky texture and shall coat the back of a spoon thickly. Tip in the last two tablespoons of pulp and mix through after you have taken the curd off the heat. It will thicken a little more as it cools.
Pour into sterilised jars or other lidded containers, and allow to cool on bench before putting on their lids. Store in refrigerator. It should last about a month, but then again, it will probably be eaten before the use-by date!
*These recipes give great opportunities for using your new batch of Passionfruit and Lime Butter:
Nana’s Pikelet Recipe (Pikelets are like little pancakes!)
Bread and Butter Pudding Recipe (Substitute the Passionfruit Butter for the Jam to give a lovely tropical feel to your pudding.)