My sister brought some passion fruit from the farm having picked them this morning.They were the yellow type, which grow more commonly in India, with an average size of a small orange or, to be exact ,about 8" around the circumference of each fruit. These were organic and too precious to eat just like that. In any case I find the fruit too tart, a bit like eating a green lime.
Some of them had already begun to crinkle and that was a sign that they were getting ripe. The ones that are really crinkled and rather rotten looking are just perfect for eating.
When cut its structure is very interesting and the seeds and pulp remind me of fish roe or something a bit alien,out of "The X factor",with a life of its own and a rather carnivorous one at that...…. not completely plant like. However, vegetable it is and rich in potassium, Vitamin A and C. It is believed to have healing properties, one of which is to calm the nerves.
Passion fruit keep fairly well even at room temperature which, in Pune, is now around 25 degrees C . Did you know that if you cut the fruit and remove the pulp, mixing it with half its weight in sugar, it will keep for ages in the fridge and for up to a year in the freezer?
Passiflora edulis var flavicarpa, the yellow fruited variety, is not to be confused with Passiflora foetida or Vel Ghani as it is rightly known in Maharashtra, for its stink or foetid smell. Several varieties of Passiflora exist, in fact about 400, but the 50 odd varieties with edible fruit are prized.Some of these have different coloured flowers and the ones with blue flowers are called Krishna Kamal here for obvious reasons.
Passiflora got its name in Brazil where it is indigenous. The story goes that Spanish missionaries were struck by the similiarities the flower had to signs of the Crown of Thorns and the Passion of Christ on the Cross.The word Passion comes from the Latin passio. The Brazilian variety, also called the granadilla,or the Maracuja, is purple in colour and is different from the Indian yellow fruited one but both have the same orange pulp and seeds.The yellow passion fruit is pretty acidic compared to the granadilla and its skin is rich in pectin so it makes a very good jam. The point is, how does one get the pectin in without having to eat the brittle, papery skin? Here's how.
6 passion fruit: (makes 2 1/3 cup of pulp, fruit pulp and seeds)
2 cups water
¼ cup water
2 1/3 cup sugar
Juice of 1/2 a lime
Wash the fruit thoroughly.Then cut in half and scoop out the fruit pulp and seeds. This makes 1 and 1/3 cups of fruit pulp. Keep covered in the fridge. Take half the number of shells and put in a bowl with 2 cups of water and let it soak for 24 hours in the fridge.
Next day boil the shells for 12 minutes till almost all the water is absorbed. Now the fruit should peel easily . The thin outer skin somes off. Reserve the inner part of the shells and blend to a pulp. with a quarter cup water. Return the pulp to a stainless steel pan and add the reserved juice and seeds.This makes 2 and 1/3 cups of pulp,seeds and juice. Add an equivalent amount of sugar, juice of a 1/2 a lime and boil briskly for about 15 minutes till set.
Now transfer to dry sterilized jars . Fill till ¼ inch below the lip of the jar.Let cool for 10 minutes. Seal. Makes about 750 gms of jam.
The nice thing about this jam is that it has the texture and bite of a good thick cut marmalade with the bits of inner pulp forming the equivalent of an orange rind.