Shan is having an abundant harvest of passion fruit, and is generously sharing bags of these tropical delights with the Co-op. This has been a first for me, but after a couple of afternoons in the kitchen, passion fruit and I are the best of friends. I have learned their secrets; among them, that the white pulp of the shell is rich in pectin, and it is not difficult to separate the edible black seeds from the gooey pulp. First, I made a passion fruit jam in a traditional way, thanks to some shared knowledge from the preservers down under. Australian jammers have a wealth of the fruit, and have come up with some good techniques, so that is where I started. Shan had scooped the pulp and saved the shells for me, so I started by soaking the shells in water overnight in the fridge. I simmered them for about a half an hour, and then scooped the pulp from the papery brittle outer shell, and some cases, peeled it.
I put this pulp in a small food processor with a little water, and pulsed until it was finely chopped. I added this (2 cups ) to the seedy interior pulp (4 cups), in a pot with 6 cups of sugar, 1/2 cup of lime juice, and 2 pinches of kosher salt. That touch of salt makes a difference. This is the proportion I use in marmalade, equal parts fruit and sugar. Then it boiled down, and after about 40 minutes I put a dab on the plate in the freezer, and it wrinkled nicely when I pushed it with the tip of my finger, done! After it was ladled into hot sterilized canning jars, it was processed for 10 minutes. The edible seeds add a nice crunch.
I also made some passion fruit juice, by putting the seedy pulp in my blender and gently pulsing a few times to separate the seeds from the pulp, but not enough to grind the seeds. I added a bit of water to get it going, then used my giant strainer and was left with lovely brilliant yellow juice and a handful of black seeds. I made a batch of syrup, to use for punches, drinks and general flavoring. I juiced 5 limes and 2 lemons and added that juice to the syrup. Perfect, it is refreshing and sweet/tart, like a fresh passion fruit, and most assuredly not cloyingly sweet but quite sophisticated and bright. Sam had a glass of soda water and ice with a little syrup, and pronounced it very tasty.I came up with a successful new technique for making pectin, and I am pretty excited about it. After making the juice for the syrup, I had a little pile of citrus rinds…Citrus rinds and seeds are a fantastic source of pectin! I put these rinds and seeds in a small saucepan with water to cover, and boiled this for about 15 minutes until the rinds had given their all. After cooling, I squeezed the liquid from the mass and got 1 cup of liquid pectin water, milky and thick. For the jelly I used 5 cups of passion fruit juice, and since it was slightly thinned with water during the seed extraction process, I boiled this hard for 5 minutes to get that extra water out. Then I added 5 cups of sugar and 1 cup of super citrusy pectin water, and after 35 – 40 minutes it had reached a perfect gel state. I processed the filled jars for 10 minutes.
This is a lot of recipe and technique detail for this page, but I was so excited to come up with these techniques I wanted to share them with you. After researching recipes for a couple of days, I have never seen a jelly recipe that uses this technique for making pectin, so we are onto something exciting! All of the recipes will be on the recipe tab.