September 22, 2010

The Passion of Passionfruit

Passionfruit is one of my favorite fruits. I just love the tangy flavor and vibrant color. I remember as a child we had a vine in our backyard and most days we would pick a few and scoop the flesh out to eat with vanilla ice cream. Here in Hawaii it is known as lilikoi.

Did you know that The 'passion' in passionfruit refers to spiritual passion. The name was given to the fruit by the Jesuit missionaries in South America. The ten petals of the passionfruit flower referred to the ten disciples present at the crucifixion, and the thin curling passionfruit tendrils are the whips that scourged Christ on the way to the cross, and if you look at the flower closely you can see the crown of thorns.

There are many different varieties of passionfruit and the vine is quite ornate when the flowers are blooming.   Below is a photo I took of one of the flowers blooming in early January.

This recipe comes from the Woman's Day in Australia. It is a recipe that was submitted from a home reader, and as soon as I saw it I knew it would be a winner.

Passionfruit and Lemon Slice

  • 1 cup self-rising flour
  • 1 cup desiccated coconut
  • ½ cup sugar
  • 125g butter, melted
  • 1 can sweetened condensed milk
  • juice 2 lemons (about 1/2 cup)
  • pulp 2 passionfruit (about 1/4 cup)
  1. Preheat oven to moderate, 350°F. Lightly grease an 18 x 28cm lamington (or brownie) pan. Line base and sides with baking paper, allowing paper to extend 2cm above the rim of the long sides.
  2. Sift flour into a bowl. Stir in coconut and sugar. Make a well in the center of the dry ingredients and add butter, mixing well.
  3. Press firmly into the base of the prepared pan. Bake for 10-12 minutes, until lightly golden.
  4. Meanwhile, in a bowl, combine condensed milk, lemon juice and passionfruit. Pour over base and bake for a further 8-10 minutes. Allow to cool and chill overnight.
  5. Lift the slice from the pan. Peel away paper and cut into 24 squares. 
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This recipe comes together so quickly and easily.  The richness of the slice really makes you think that a lot more work went into making them.  I just had a feeling that it was going to be a winner even before they were cooled that, before I put away the dry ingredients, I measured out everything for another batch.  I then put each ingredient in separate plastic bags and placed them in the freezer.  This way it will be so quick and easy to whip up another batch whenever the mood strikes me.


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