The other day, I decided I would like to make some passionfruit butter to serve in little tartlet shells. After my bumper summer crop, I have passionfruit pulp stored in the freezer for winter treats… and passionfruit butter tartlets really appealed.
Off to “eat your books” I went and searched ‘passionfruit curd’ (butter). As it turns out, I have quite a few passionfruit butter recipes in my books, including Maggie Beer, Stephanie Alexander, Donna Hay, Nigella Lawson and Sally Wise. They all had various amounts of butter, eggs, passionfruit pulp and sugar. Which one to choose? I had no idea, really. The main difference was the amount of sugar required. I chose the Sally Wise recipe (from A Year in a Bottle) for no reason more profound than it made 2 cups and I thought that was a good amount to make. Sally’s recipe had a decent amount of sugar in it but my pulp was quite tart so the resultant passionfruit butter was not overly sweet. In fact, it was just perfect. If you are using commercial pulp which has been sweetened, you should consider reducing the sugar.
Passionfruit butter is a beautiful thing. Just look at the gorgeous, rich yellow in the top photo. So good to look at and so good to eat. You could eat it straight from the jar or serve it on toast or sandwiched between two layers of cake or, as I did, in small tartlet cases.
The instructions in every recipe say ‘stir until the mixture thickens’ which is easier than it sounds. The mixture does thicken and it is quite obvious. If in doubt, take it off the heat as it has probably thickened.
A gravy whisk, aka a spiral whisk, is perfect for the stirring part. A gravy whisk has one main loop with wire coiled around it. It will ensure nothing sticks to the bottom of the saucepan.
The instructions also always say ‘do not boil’. Take heed of this advice. If you don’t, your mixture could curdle. If you see your mixture begin to curdle, immediately take the saucepan off the heat and put it in a sink of cold water. Whisk like mad and hope it recombines.
One small warning: don’t be tempted to make too much. Like lemon butter, it does not keep more than a few weeks and must be kept in the fridge. If you do make more than you can eat in a few weeks, freeze the leftovers for another occasion. It freezes well.
- pulp of 6-8 passionfruit (¾ cup of fresh pulp with seeds or half this if using pulp with seeds removed)
- 1 cup sugar
- 2 eggs
- 125g butter, chopped
- Sally’s instructions were very simple – Combine the passionfruit pulp, sugar, eggs and butter in a small saucepan and whisk over a very low heat until the mixture thickens. Do not allow to boil. – and worked perfectly, although it was a bit tricky whisking the butter before it melted. Stephanie Alexander’s instructions in her recipe are a little more comprehensive. She advises to put the sugar and butter into a saucepan and stir until the sugar dissolves and the butter melts. Then lower the heat, add the eggs, which have been well beaten, and the pulp and stir until the mixture thickens. Choose whichever method you wish.
- Pour into sterilised jars and seal.
Passionfruit butter will keep in the fridge for up to 3 weeks.
If anyone is wondering: I used the same sweet shortcrust pastry recipe and same technique that I used to make my mini lemon meringue tartlets.