This passion fruit curd is a tropical twist on the classic citrus spread. It’s bright and aromatic, with that familiar smooth texture. Easy and delicious!
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I’m not sure whether we always had some or not, but it felt like we generally always had some homemade lemon curd in the fridge when I was growing up, along with a homemade jam or two. I always loved the smooth texture and tart-sweet flavor.
What are fruit curds?
Fruit curds are a classic British spread, typically made with citrus fruits though you can use other fruits as well. They combine the fruit juice, egg, butter and sugar to make basically a sweet sauce.
You can use them very much like jam or preserves on bread etc, but they are also great for baking. Pour some into a tart shell and if you bake it a little, it will firm up for an easy citrus tart. They work well as fillings for cakes and cupcakes as well.
For whatever reason, we only really had lemon when I was a child, I guess maybe partly because it’s the most typical. However you can make fruit curds with much more than that.
As I say you can use pretty much any citrus fruit, but you can also use other fruits either combined with citrus, like my blueberry curd, or on their own. Since passion fruit are naturally tart, they work perfectly for curds. The flavor is that little more complex than citrus, with a slightly aromatic edge to it that’s wonderfully tasty.
What if I don’t have enough passion fruit?
Since you strain the passion fruit, and they can vary in how juicy they are, it can be a little hard to estimate how many you need. If you don’t quite have enough, or just since passion fruit can be expensive, you can combine with lemon juice for this.
I’d suggest at least half is passion fruit pulp to get the flavor. You can also use frozen, defrosted passion fruit pulp for this.
Removing the passion fruit seeds
Personally I prefer to remove all the seeds as part of what makes a curd special is how smooth it is, and the seeds detract from that, I think. If you want to add some back at the end, feel free.
Some people like to break the pulp away from the seeds with a food processor first, but only do this a little or you will cut up the seeds. Whether you do or not, then use a fine strainer to remove the seeds. Only measure out the juice/pulp after this.
Making fruit curds
Once you have your strained juice, this is really easy to make. The process for this is essentially the same as any other curd, although there are a couple ways to make them.
Some people prefer to heat the butter separately, pour into the fruit juice and egg then heat it up after that. In some cases, the heat is then direct so you need to take care.
Personally, I have always just put everything in the one bowl from the start, after first beating the egg, juice and sugar. Then use indirect heat ie put the bowl over water (a bain marie). This saves you using an additional bowl and heats everything gradually.
Make sure you break the butter into smaller chunks before you add it to the egg-juice mixture so they melt more quickly. As you are cooking, keep an eye and stir pretty constantly so the doesn’t thicken into clumps and to avoid getting any bits of scrambled egg.
If, by accident, you end up with lumps don’t worry, all is not lost. You can strain the mixture before putting it into a jar. This will hold back any lumps of egg and break up thicker bits of curd.
This passion fruit curd is lusciously smooth with a wonderful sweet-tart flavor. It’s that bit more aromatic than your tropical citrus curd, and just as delicious spread on toast and so much more. So give it a try and enjoy.
Try these other sweet spreads:
- Mango jam
- Strawberry raspberry jam
- Plum jam
- Plus get more jam recipes (as well as other condiments) in the archives.
Passion fruit curd
- 1 egg
- 1 egg yolk
- ¼ cup passion fruit pulp 60ml, strained volume
- 2 tablespoon sugar or a little more to taste
- 3 tablespoon unsalted butter 42g, cut into small chunks
- Strain the pulp to remove seeds and break up pulp from as many passion fruit as needed to give you the volume of strained passion fruit pulp (approximately 5, but may vary depending on how juicy they are).
- Use a bowl for the curd that will rest in a small saucepan without touching the bottom of the pan. Boil water for the pan so that it will come part way up the side of the bowl when it is submerged but without over-flowing.
- Whisk together the egg, egg yolk, passion fruit juice and sugar in a small bowl. Add the chunks of butter.
- Rest the bowl in the pan of hot water so that the water comes up the side without overflowing from the pan or into the bowl. Simmer over a low heat to keep the water hot. Stir the passion fruit-butter mixture regularly as the butter melts then constantly as the mixture starts to thicken.
- The curd is ready when it is thick enough to coat the back of a spoon, around 5 minutes. Remove the curd from the heat and transfer to a jar or other container. Strain if you think you may have any stray lumps of egg in the mixture otherwise it's not necessary. You can either use proper canning method, or cover the top of the curd with cling wrap/film until it cools slightly before removing the cling wrap and putting the lid on (it needs to be airtight or it will form a skin).
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