Passion Fruit in Nichols Canyon, right in the middle of Los Angeles

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAShan’s passion fruit were one of our favorite Co-op projects last year.   This year her vine is producing an even more abundant crop! She calls them her ‘baskets of Easter eggs in the kitchen’.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAWe use the whole fruit technique in our preserves and marmalade, in which the seedy center is scraped out and then the shells are boiled and peeled for the pectin-rich pulp.  The only thing that goes into compost is the thin, papery shell and some of the seeds.  To strain out the seeds, give the seedy juice a quick whirl in the blender, then put that in a strainer and let gravity extract all the juice.  All we add to the tart juice and relatively tasteless pulp is sugar, as this whole fruit has exactly what is needed to set up a perfect preserve.  Adding the chopped pulp gives it body and texture as well as pectin, and if someone has some oranges, those go in as well.  Simply core, seed, and thinly slice the whole orange and boil it briefly to soften, then add that to the mixture.  We use the standard ratio of 1:1, that is, 1 cup of sugar to 1 cup of fruit.  Like all preserves, it works best when done in batches of 6, or 6 cups of fruit boiled with 6 cups of sugar. IMG_2363You can see step by step instructions in an earlier post on this blog.  If you have some passion fruit, first, congratulations, and second, try making preserves.  Although there are several steps, it is actually relatively easy.  And your house will smell extraordinary!



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