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In Season Now: Passion Fruit

Christine (Amina) Benlafquih gives us the lowdown on this season’s tropical passion fruit.

Passion fruit is the purplish or yellowish oval- to round-shaped fruit of the passion flower (Passiflora edulis or flavicarpa ), native to South America but now cultivated in other warm, frost-free climates. You can eat the tart, pulpy interior and seeds as they are, or you can use the pulp and juice in sauces, beverages and desserts. Passion fruit is high in iron and vitamins A and C.

 
 

Tip: Passion fruit pulp is ripe when the skin is wrinkly; smooth fruit should therefore be left to ripen at room temperature before storing in the fridge. Cut the fruit in half to access the pulp; the plentiful seeds are also consumed, although you may wish to separate them out with a food mill or strainer when using the pulp or juice in syrups, beverages or other recipes.

 
 

Quick Recipe: Make some coconut and passion fruit muffins. In a large bowl, beat together 2 eggs and ½ cup sugar, then mix in 1 cup yoghurt and 60 g melted butter. Add 1 ½ cups self-raising flour, ½ cup desiccated coconut and the pulp from 3 or 4 passion fruit (seeds sieved and discarded); stir to combine. Spoon the batter into a 12 hole muffin tin and bake in a preheated 350° F (180° C) oven for 15 to 20 minutes.

 
 

Christine Amina Benlafquih writes on varied topics including religion, food, health and culture. You can find more of her work on the web at Moroccan Food at About.com http://moroccanfood.about.com