Scones & Passion-fruit Preserve

Its been raining here non-stop for past few days, as a result the temperature has dropped down and it has somewhat become gloomy, Bankim hates it, I on the contrary am very relived and happy about taking a break from the harsh sun for a change. It is as close as it is going to get to winters here in Pondicherry. I enjoy my spice tea two to three times a day looking at the rain from my office window.

The streets here are filled with potholes and there is an issue with excess garbage floating on the roads when they flood up with the rain water. Luckily my office is on the first floor – so as long as I don’t look down on the street…it is all beautiful 🙂

This time of the year here is flooded with passion fruit, its every where. Last season I kept thinking a way to use the fruit – in dessert, in a drink or as juice, nothing really felt quiet appealing. Its a bit tricky to use this fruit as it is full of seeds and not necessarily very appealing to look at. I know a lot of people don’t like passion fruit because of the way it looks and its texture – but this preserve is a great way to eat it. The passion fruit that we get here are deep yellow in color from the outside and turn orange as they ripen, but from the inside they are a muddy grey color with lots of seeds. While making this recipe I also used the outer skin of the fruit along with the pulp. The outer skin or shell  gives this preserve a pretty golden/yellow-ish color and also act as a natural pectin (basically the stuff that turns the liquid into jelly/gel).

If you don’t like the seeds too much then you can take them out either by using your hands or by running the fruit pulp through a strainer. The next time I make this recipe I will take the seeds out from half of the pulp.

This preserve goes really well with the scones I made. It is a very simple and a quick recipe that does not need too many ingredients. I used buttermilk in the scones so they have a slight tang from it, compliments the sweetness from the preserve very well. Smear some butter and slather the preserve on the scone or any of your favorite bread and enjoy with you favorite hot beverage on a cool day…a rainy day in my case.

Serving:

roughly 3 medium jars full of preserve

7 medium size scones

Things you will need

Passion fruit Preserve

14 no. passion fruit

juice of 1 lemon

2 1/2 cups sugar

1 cup water

more water to boil the passion fruit peel

  1. Separate the fruit (juice and seeds) from its shell in a container, keep in the refrigerator.
  2. Take peel of half the passion fruit (7 numbers) and soak it in water (enough to cover the shell) overnight.
  3. Cook on medium low till the peel turns soft and you are able to scrape the pith from the shell – for about 15 to 20 minutes. If you forget to soak the shells, you can still make the preserve – just do same process only the shells will take a lot longer to cook…about an hour to hour and a half.
  4. Alternatively, if you have a pressure cooker you don’t have to soak the shells overnight – just put water and shells in the pressure cooker and cook on medium low for 10 whistles or about 15 to 20 minutes. Scrape the pith from the shell.
  5. Chop the pith roughly (pulp-ish consistency) and return to heat in a deep pan.
  6. Add the reserved juice and seeds to the pulp and mix well over heat with a spatula or a wooden spoon.
  7. Continue to mix for a minute and then add sugar and water.
  8. Cook on medium low till it starts coming together – a preserve like consistency.
  9. Add lemon juice and mix well. Turn the heat off and let cool.
  10. Transfer into sterilized jars and store in the fridge.

Scones

2 cups flour

5 tbsp butter, cold and cut into small squares

3/4 cup buttermilk

1/4 cup sugar

2 tsp baking powder

  1. Preheat the oven at 350 F. Prepare a baking tray.
  2. In a large bowl sift or mix together flour, baking powder and sugar.
  3. Add the cold butter to the flour and using your finger tips rub the butter into the flour mixture till you get bread crumbs like texture.
  4. Using a fork, mix in the buttermilk into the flour and butter mixture. Mix just till it comes together as sticky dough.
  5. Spoon a tbsp full of batter onto the baking sheet.  Repeat to make 6 or 7 more scones.
  6. Bake for 20 minutes or till the top turns slightly golden.