Five steps to a trop­i­cal par­adise

The Irish Times Magazine - - FOOD -

I have al­ways en­joyed grow­ing pas­sion vines. They yield abun­dant flow­ers in late spring, and it is hard not to ad­mire their ex­otic pur­ple and white flow­ers. Since I do not have a green­house and a good sum­mer is never guar­an­teed, I have never cul­ti­vated them for their fra­grant fruit, which when grown in a warm cli­mate are a won­der­fully tasty in­gre­di­ent.

The oval- shaped fruit with brown wrin­kled skin look far less im­pres­sive than the flow­ers, but this is how they look when lus­ciously ripe.

The pleas­antly sweet and slightly sharp flavour of pas­sion fruit pro­vides a har­mo­nious pair­ing with cus­tard- based desserts. Buy­ing the whole fruit and man­u­ally ex­tract­ing the fruit’s pulp is a sim­ple enough task. The pulp can be used to make pas­sion fruit curd, ice cream and souf­flés.

You can often find pas­sion fruit purées or coulis in the shops as they are a pop­u­lar ac­com­pa­ni­ment to ice cream. The su­per fruity and zingy flavour of both pas­sion fruits and lemons make them won­der­fully in­ter­change­able. The fill­ing in this pas­sion fruit tart is very sim­i­lar to a lemon tart fill­ing that I make.

The beauty of mak­ing pas­try from scratch is that it pro­vides you with an op­por­tu­nity to cre­ate in­dul­gently rich tarts ( and sim­ple quiches) for any oc­ca­sion. Adapt­ing recipes is fun for the ad­ven­tur­ous cook. In this tart, the hint of co­coa pow­der in the pas­try is not oblig­a­tory by any means, but it adds a sub­tle choco­late flavour and the tart shell con­trasts with the bright fill­ing.

You can omit it al­to­gether and stick with us­ing a plain pas­try. A slice of this easy to make tart, served chilled, with a dol­lop of freshly whipped cream is trop­i­cal par­adise for choco­late lovers.

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