OMG OMG OMG! I’ve fallen in love… with a compote!
No you are not imaging these words and I really am saying them. But I’ve just made the most amazing tropical fruit compote that’ll having you thinking that you’re sitting on a beach from the very first spoonful – and by beach I don’t mean Southend (although, of course, there’s nothing wrong with good old Southend!)
It was my second attempt at making this compote. The first attempt wasn’t too bad but I felt it was missing something. So I added more spices, some honey, and some booze – because let’s face it, everything tastes so much better with booze!
Initially I wasn’t a hundred per cent sure if all the flavours would work well together, even though I knew that many of the ingredients used to give flavour worked well individually with the pineapple, mango and passion fruit used in this recipe. Thankfully they did and I was thrilled with the result.
I loved the heat you got from the spices and the rum; the fresh zingyness of the lime; the sweet aroma of the vanilla, and the somewhat simultaneous sweetness and tanginess of the fruit. Delicious!
But don’t just take my word for it – have a go at making it yourself!
Another thing I’ve discovered about fruit compotes – whether you use fresh or dried fruit – is that they are so versatile. You can serve them hot, warm or cold and they can be used as a topping for porridge or toasted brioche as part of a yummy breakfast; they can be served as dessert with cream, mascarpone, ice-cream or custard. Compotes can also be used as a topping for cheesecake or a sponge pudding, or can be used as a filling for pancakes, crumbles, pies, cobblers or tarts.
And if you’re feeding little people – and by little people I mean children not vertically challenged people like myself – you might want to leave out the rum.
THE HEAT IS ON TROPICAL FRUIT COMPOTE
THE FOOD STUFF:
1 medium pineapple
2 large mangoes
5 passion fruit
Zest of 1 lime
Juice of 1/2 lime
1 vanilla pod
1 star anise
1/4 teaspoon mixed spice
2 tablespoons runny honey
a couple of good glugs of Malibu
THE EQUIPMENT STUFF:
1 Sharp knife
1 chopping board
1 baking tray
A variety of spoons
- Turn oven on to
- Peel and core pineapple and cut into chunks.
- Peel mangoes and cut into large chunks.
- Cut each passion fruit in half and scoop out pulp.
- Place fruit in an oven proof dish.
- Cut vanilla pod in half lengthways and scrape out seeds.
- Add vanilla to the fruit.
- Add remaining ingredients.
- Combine well.
- Pop in the oven and cook for 25mins or until pineapple chunks have softened.
- Take out of oven – and enjoy any way you wish!
Passion fruit mousse is supposed to be the closest thing that Brazil has to a national dessert. It’s not hard to see why. Mousse? Great! Passion fruit? Amazing! I absolutely love tropical fruits, so this dessert is right up my street.
Prep: 15 minutes, plus 1 hour chilling time
- 4 passion fruit, pulp and seeds scooped out
- 150g sweetened condensed milk
- 175ml fresh whipping cream
- 4 lemon shortbread thins, to serve
- Put ¾ of the passion fruit pulp and seeds (reserve the rest for decorating) in a food processor or blender and whiz to a purée.
- Push through a sieve into a bowl, to remove the seeds.
- Add the condensed milk and stir until smooth.
- Pour the cream into another bowl and use a hand-held electric whisk to whip until stiff peaks form.
- Fold through the passion fruit mixture, 1/3rd at a time, until combined.
- Spoon into small serving glasses and chill for at least 1 hour before serving.
- Spoon the reserved passion fruit over the mousses and serve with the lemon thins.
Everyone who knows me knows that although I try to eat healthy and like fruit, I’m not really an apples and oranges kind of girl. I love anything that’s a bit out of the ordinary so I can’t get enough of exotic fruits. Dragon fruit, mango, lychees, rumbutans… you name it, I’ve tried it. Or so I thought… After being introduced to grenadillas by a friend this week, I tried them for the first time. “If you like passion fruit, you’ll love grenadillas,” said my friend confidently. And he wasn’t wrong. The grenadilla is indeed a relative of the delicious passion fruit and hails from South America. Whereas passion fruits have a tough purple skin, grenadillas – which are larger in size – have an inedible, shiny, orange-gold skin which appears hard at first but is actually surprisingly fragile. There is a very spongy pith before you get to the edible part of the fruit. As with passion fruit, the edible part consists of black seeds covered in a jelly-like pulp; the only differences being that the pulp is more of a pale champagne colour and is much sweeter in flavour – almost like honey.
HOW TO PREPARE
- Grenadilla is orange and firm when it is ripe.
- Ripe grenadilla can be refrigerated for a few days.
- Cut the fruit into two halves as you would with passion fruit.
- Scoop out the jelly-like pulp with a spoon. The skin is not to be eaten.
HOW TO EAT
- Granadilla is commonly eaten by itself but it can be cooked or juiced.
- It makes a great jelly, jam, pie filling, flan topping or cake frosting and also makes a great addition to fruit salads.
It also has great nutritional value and is said to be an excellent source of fibre and essential minerals, such as phosphorus, iron and calcium. They are usually available in the spring months so now is the time to try them. You never know – it could be your new favourite fruit!
Try this recipe for a granadilla and blood orange meringue pie – a tropical twist on the classic lemon pudding.
GRANADILLA AND BLOOD ORANGE MERINGUE PIE
1 20cm pie case
385g can of condensed milk
125ml lemon juice