I was supposed to be having a cooking lesson with my granddaughters today, but a power outage has put paid to that. We were going to make one of my favourite quickie desserts Pears in passionfruit sauce, from Beverley Sutherland Smith's A Taste in Time. At the time that I bought this - perhaps back in the 80s I used this particular book such a lot because it had heaps of very good recipes that were quick and simple but classy all at the same time. And this is one of them that I have made many times since. I think the last time I made it was for my 70th birthday brunch. I would have taken a photograph and maybe I will when we actually have the lesson, but at the moment I don't have one. But I do have the recipe. Do try it some time.
PEARS IN PASSIONFRUIT SAUCE
1/3 cup sugar, 1 cup water, About 8 strips orange rind, 1/2 cup fresh orange juice, 4 pears – choose pears that are beginning to ripen as they will take a long time to cook if very hard., ¼ cup thick cream, 2 passionfruit
Place sugar, water, orange rind and juice into a saucepan and heat. While this is warming, peel the pears and core the. Cut each pear into about 8 pieces. Place into the liquid and cook, without a lid for about 10 minutes, turning the fruit around in the syrup occasionally. Then place a lid on the pan and cook until tender.
Remove the lid, add the cream, turn up the heat and boil rapidly until the juices are rather glazed and slightly thickened. Remove from the heat, cut the passionfruit into half and add the pulp to the saucepan. Place in a bowl to cool. Remove the orange rind. Serve warm just as it is or with some small biscuits.
Best served warm as the butter starts to solidify if it’s cold or chilled.
I think it works so well because it's a contrast between the soft, smooth and delicate pears with the tangy passionfruit with the orange juice playing an essential part. I would extemporise on passionfruit for this post but I've already done that, and I would do the same on pears, but to be honest I am feeling lazy - making marmalade, going for a walk and not having any electricity for hours has drained me a bit.
However, I did search for recipes and found dozens - of an amazing variety. And I am going to list them here in haphazard groups with their pictures. There was also a reference to a chutney by Nigella Lawson but it's not online. However if you have her book At my Table, it is apparently in that.
You can do just about everything with pears and passionfruit, and none of these recipes are from any of my usual sources either. None of those seemed to have thought of this delectable combination.
Here's the first group, from left to right, top to bottom: French toast with quince, pear and passionfruit (Flowerdale Farm); Frosty passionfruit pear cheesecakes (One Green Planet); Pear and passionfruit pudding (Victoria Hansen Food); Pear tiramisu with passionfruit (Viva); Pear and passionfruit Chicano cocktail (Goya); Pear and passionfruit gratin (Good Food).
But there's more: Pear and passionfruit yopops (Dairy Australia); Pear and passionfruit smoothie (Foodfulife); Pear and passionfruit upside down cake (Sea and salt); Pear and passionfruit jam (My Foodbook); Pear and almond cake with passionfruit glaze (Australian Women's Weekly); Roasted pears with passionfruit and honey (Sydney Markets)
And yet more: Pear, passionfruit and white chocolate muffins (Queen); Pear and passionfruit crumble (Taste); Pear and passionfruit shortcake (Crafty Cake Creative); Caramelised passionfruit pear pudding (Bowel Cancer Australia).
I know that's probably all a bit boring, but I was blown away by how many things you can do with pears and passionfruit, even though it doesn't appear to be a recognised coupling, like, say, basil and tomato, peaches and cream. And what a weird selection of people beavering away to bring you recipes. The Australian Women's Weekly and Taste were the only ones of note there. And then just to cap the weirdness I found this very detailed comparison of the nutritional content of pears and passionfruit: Nutrient breakdown - Pears vs. passionfruit - Kale.World
Passionfruit and bananas are another very good combination, in some ways a bit similar to pears I guess. But I don't think you could make jam, or crumble with them. Cheesecake and pavlova though are brilliant.
I might try the jam one day or maybe one of the cakes.
Here it is - the finished dish. We finally did it today after a power outage for me and no internet for them. It was pronounced delicious.