The passionfruit is an elongated oval or round fruit which originates from Central America.
The two most common varieties are – the yellow or purple kind.
The name ‘Passion’ is not referring to love.
The fruit is named after its flower, which is in fact a reference to the Passion of Christ, on the Crucifix.
Centuries ago, Spanish priests adopted the passion flower as a symbol of Crucifixion.
The outer layer, made of 72 colourful, fine petals represents the Crown of Thorns; the 10 larger petals represent Christ’s faithful apostles (Judas appears to have fallen off the passion fruit vine).
There are 3 stigma which symbolize the nails (of the Crucifix) and the 5 lower stamen signify the wounds of Christ.
And, the vines of the plant where seen as whips. Quite amazing really!
When buying passionfruit, its best to choose fruits that feel rather heavy for their size.
Passionfruit can be stored out of the fridge for up to two weeks or refrigerated for up to a month. Store them in plastic bags so they don’t dry-out.
If you won’t be able to use them all up, the pulp freezes really well.
And, contrary to popular belief, passionfruit does not have to be wrinkled to be considered ripe.
Passionfruit are also easy to grow at home, they just need a fence or structure to grow on.
Although they generally have a sweet, perfumed taste, passionfruit are often tart and are a great accompaniment to sweet desserts, such as Pavlova or sponge cakes.
I’ve also made curds and jams with them.
However, the easiest preparation is to cut them in half and scoop the passionfruit pulp straight into your mouth.
Pumpkin and Passionfruit Soup
It might sound like chalk and cheese – but it’s actually a gem of a recipe, and you’ll love it.
- 750g pumpkin
- 15g butter
- 1 medium onion, diced
- 2 rashers of bacon, diced
- 100g potato, diced
- 50g carrots
- 50g celery
- 1 Lt chicken stock
- 6 passionfruits, pulped
- salt and pepper
- 250ml cream.
- Peel the pumpkin, remove the seeds and chop into smallish pieces.
- Melt the butter in a heavy-based saucepan.
- Add the onion and bacon and cook, stirring regularly, until onion is soft.
- Add the pumpkin, potato, carrot, celery and the stock.
- Bring to the boil and simmer for about half an hour or so, until the pumpkin is really soft.
- Remove from the heat and let the soup cool down, the add the passionfruit pulp.
- Process it in batches in a blender. Pour it back into the saucepan, season to taste and stir in the cream. Reheat it to serve.