Can we pretend like it’s January yet? Because I’m ready for the new year. I feel like collectively we may be a little worn out from the December holidays (and I’m throwing Thanksgiving in there also, because it was basically in December this year also) and are anxious for the new year to begin. I’ve already made (some of) my new years resolutions – some for myself, some for this space here – and am ready to set those plans in motion. Yesterday, I managed to move an entire room of furniture and exorcise all the clutter demons which existed in the space, and I feel so good inside because of it. Granted, some of that clutter now exists in other rooms, but I’m getting there. Baby steps.
Feast must have been anxious for the new year to start also, because the January issue is already out – hooray! In the spirit of freshness, my column this month is about passion fruit: probably the freshest, most exotic way to begin anew that I can think of. It’s everything that the winter holidays are not: light, bright, and tropical, and eating it now is like sitting on a sun-swathed beach while your home town is blanketed in snow. You can’t always find it in grocery stores, but it’s worth the hunt. You know how we’re all going to go crazy in a few weeks over blood oranges and Meyer lemons like we’re explorers who just discovered the New World? Passion fruit deserves to get included in those annual obsessions, too.
Passion fruits are luxurious right out of the gate: there’s nothing at all wrong with devouring it from its protective outer skin. The problem? Passion fruits can be pricey (just like those marrons glace from last month), so it’s nice when you can stretch that dreamy flavor out somehow. Thankfully, passion fruits are tiny flavor powerhouses, so a little goes a long way. This month, I paired them with raspberries inside a curd: it’s the perfect way to enjoy these fruits, because they remain the floraly star of the show against the background of tart raspberry. Their colors blend into a lovely magenta, and the texture is superb: I leave the passion fruit seeds in for a fun little crunch and speckle to the finished product.
Use this any way you please: it’s terrific spooned into these almond thumbprint cookies (the almond flour really works well with the passion fruit-raspberry combo here) or served alongside an angel food cake. It’s incredible also over meringue nests or a big fat pavlova (or smaller individual pavlovas) atop a cloud of whipped cream. No matter which way you choose to enjoy it, just know that you will enjoy it: even if it’s just you, a jar of this, and a spoon. No judgement; I did it too.
For more about what passion fruits are and what you can use them in, head over here to my little article about them on the Feast Magazine site. If you’re local, run (run, I say!) to the nearest place which carries it and grab a copy for yourself. If you’re lucky enough to be blessed with passion fruits in your local market, gather them up and bring them home to make this curd: you’ll find the recipe right here.
I’ll be back with the third installment of the Just One Question Project in a few days: if you still want to share your thoughts on the question and haven’t yet, please feel free to send your answer my way. I’m going to spend the last breath of December 2013 writing, catching up on my blog reading, and planning for the new year. I’m going to make food again, I promise. IT WILL HAPPEN.