Passionfruit, from the passifloraceae family, grow on an evergreen semi-deciduous vine that prefers full sun. They grow prolifically but are short lived with an average life span of only seven years. Passionfruit are native to South America and were so named by missionaries as the beautiful white and purple flowers of the vine were said to represent the crucifixion, figured through complex reasoning involving the counting of the petals, the crown of thorns and an element relating to the five wounds.
Although a summer seasonal, there are some varieties of the fruit that can crop all year, especially in warm climes, and there also many varieties that are ornamental only. The fruit drops from the vine when ready. As a kid, I’d bite straight through the skin, which gave way with a satisfying pop and tasted like a green herbaceous version of the fruit, and then suck out the seeds.
I don’t think I’ve ever eaten passionfruit in a savoury way; they are a fruit more suited to ice creams, sorbets, eaten with yoghurt or turned into a creamy curd. And of course, no pavlova is complete without passionfruit.
Make O Tama's passionfruit recipes
Is there a more classic Australian summer dessert than a pavlova with fresh fruit and cream? This version comes in ice-cream form, an excellent treat to have sitting in your freezer.
The beauty of this dish lies in the texture and flavour of the freshly made ricotta. The passionfruit juice cleverly turns the milk into ricotta – and adds a subtle flavour to your ricotta.
This is a lovely dense and fragrant cream. The slight tart flavour of the passionfruit is a great foil to the rich creaminess, with the elderflower adding an almost-crisp flavour and spritz from the sneaky prosecco that’s added.
This is s simple and fun little dessert treat, perfect for a garden party. The shells of a panama passionfruit are a lovely size to hold and perfect for scooping jelly out of.
Photography by Benito Martin. Food styling by O Tama Carey. Prop styling by Lynsey Fryers. Food preparation by Nick Banbury.
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