September 2, 2016

What's Your Passion?

by Marjan
For me, it truly is food. Whether it's growing our own, preparing it, cooking it and of course eating it, for me, it is one of life's greatest pleasures. 
"Find something you're passionate about and keep tremendously interested in it."- Julia Child
When I first met Anja over 13 years ago, we instantly connected over our shared affection for all things related to recipes, cooking, and of course, dinning together in LA! I vividly remember sharing Anja's sentiment for gravitating towards friends with the same passion for food. At that moment, I knew we would be friends for life.
Julia Child said it best: "People who love to eat are always the best people." Indeed!



These days at the ranch, it's all about harvesting passion fruits. The mad scientist in me gladly relishes creatively incorporating this exotic, delicious, tangy, nutritious fruit into our meals and desserts.



Rich in vitamins C, B, and riboflavin, I have used passion fruit as marinate (to flavor and tenderize chicken), sauces, drinks, and dessert. I found adding sugar to this tangy fruit works best; whether its cheesecake, Jello, roulette, lassi, jam, cakes, and pies, I have used both its pulp and juice to serve sensational desserts. Ultimately, the best recipe hands down has been for my Passion Fruit Cream Pie.






















Exotic, crunchy, creamy, bursting with sweet and tangy flavor, this beautiful dessert by far has been a crowd favorite. Crunchy amaretto crust, topped with cream and decadently held together with passion fruit gelatin, this pie is unlike anything you have ever had before. Lately, I have a feeling, I'm being invited to parties just so that I can bring dessert! Gladly, because you know I end up with the largest slice!


Share with us your favorite recipes using passion fruit. In a couple of weeks, I will share with you my original recipe for passion fruit glazed roasted salmon. Passion fruit is in season for a short time. Take advantage of this exotic fruit now by extracting and freezing pulp, juice and seeds in Ziplock freezer bags. Meanwhile, give this easy to prepare pie a try. You will be glad you did. Enjoy!

"A party without cake is just a meeting." -Julia Child.



Ingredients

8 oz. Amaretto cookies
6 tablespoons melted butter
1/3 cup sugar

1 cup heavy whipping cream
8 tablespoons powdered sugar

1 cup passion fruit pulp and juice (approximately 10-15 pieces depending on size; slice in half and remove entire pulp with spoon)
3/4 cup sugar
1 packet of clear gelatin

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. 
In a medium size sauce pan, add passion fruit pulp, seeds and juice, 3/4 cup sugar and clear gelatin. Using a french whip, mix ingredients. Set aside and start with preparing the crust.
In a food processor, crush amaretto cookies. Add 1/3 cups sugar and melted butter. Pulse 5-6 times for all the ingredients to mix well together.
In a standard size pie dish, pour cookie crumbles, spread and firmly pack using your fingers to cover the sides and bottom of dish. Make sure the sides are well packed to the top ledge. Bake for 15 minutes. Remove and cool completely to room temperature.

Meanwhile, place sauce pan with passion fruit mix over medium low heat. Bring to a boil and whip all ingredients together giving time for gelatin to thoroughly dissolve (about 5-6 minutes). Set pan aside to cool. Once mixture is no longer hot, place in the fridge to cool down (approximately, but no longer than 30 minutes).

Once crust and passion fruit mix is completely cold, in a glass bowl, whip cream and powdered sugar until large stiff peaks appear. Do not over whip.
Spoon cream onto cold crust and spread flat and evenly. Very gently, spoon passion fruit over cream to cover entire surface. Carefully place pie in the fridge to set (5-6 hours, or preferably overnight). 

Prior to serving, cut pie into 1/2, then 1/4 and finally 1/8 to serve. Garnish with mint. Watch out for the "oohs and ahas." 





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2 comments:

  1. It sounds awesome. I don't know if passion fruit would be readily available where I live. Would it be possible to substitute mango, pear or some other fruit?

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    Replies
    1. Yes, indeed! Try substituting 2 cups of mangos, crushed. Use less sugar ( perhaps 2-3 tablespoons) as mangos are very sweet and passion fruit is tart and sour.
      I have never considered pears, as it will not yield the color and flavors on interest. Perhaps strawberries, raspberries, or even blueberries will be great!
      Let me know how it turns out!

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