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    • Randy Graham

    • August 11, 2013 in Columnists

    Passion Fruit

    Photographer: Randy Graham

    The first time I cut a passion fruit in half and looked inside I thought I was looking into a prop from The Little Shop of Horrors (the 1986 remake not the 1960 original). Then I tasted it. It was out-of-this-world. That was a good thing!

    The purple passion fruit is native to the Amazon region of Brazil through Paraguay to northern Argentina. It was first planted in Hawaii in 1880 where the vine became popular in home gardens. It soon found its way to the California coast. California-grown varieties are available from January through November, while in Hawaii it’s available just about all year round.

    I like to eat passion fruit straight out of its natural wrapper. I cut the fruit in half, smell the goodness and then dig out the fruit and pulp with a spoon. Healthy and delicious. Here’s a simple recipe I call Passion Fruit Mousse.

    8 passion fruits
    2 teaspoons agave nectar
    1 (14 ounce) can sweetened condensed milk
    2 cups cream

    Break passion fruits in half, and empty contents into a bowl. Use a little water to help rinse the juice out of the skins. Mix with hands to soften pulp. Strain pulp back into the bowl through a sieve or cheesecloth. Stir in agave and sweetened condensed milk.

    In a chilled bowl, beat cream until stiff peaks form. Fold 1/3 of the cream into the passion fruit mixture, then quickly fold in remaining cream until only a few streaks remain. Refrigerate for 1 hour before serving.

    See Chef Randy’s food blog for more recipes at http://valleyvegetarian.blogspot.com

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