Time in the kitchen over the last few weeks has been focused on sourdough. Having run through the process a few times now, I am feeling more confident, and happier to experiment. My sourdough starter is now active enough to store in the fridge and just to be ‘fed’ with a little production sourdough whenever I make a loaf. The starter has a seriously strong smell – I made the mistake of opening the lid and taking a big close up sniff…the gases felt like they were burning my nose for a good few minutes afterwards. However, what it creates is amazing; these loaves are started from literally no more than water and flour. They are beautiful in their bubbly-ness and the unique pattern and shape you get each time you bake. I am looking forward to experimenting with some Easter baking in the coming weeks.
I have a thing for passionfruit at the moment, which is surprising, as I have always thought of it as a somewhat pointless fruit, with its wrinkly skin, stringy pink flesh and hard black seeds. Perhaps that’s due in part to the fact that when I was young my acquaintance with passionfruit was that of a wrinkly old one that would sit in our fruit bowl at home for weeks. Just before it had expired, it would be halved, and the contents plonked over yoghurt as a last minute desert. However, using them fresh, straining the juice and removing the seeds produces much enhanced results. I have previously mentioned making passionfruit truffles (here) and last week I had a notion to make passionfruit curd. The preserves book I read suggested that whilst there were lots of varieties of curd to try, straightforward lemon curd was hard to beat. However, I found the results were definitely worth it and I would have to jump in here and stand up for the brilliance of passionfruit curd. The wonderful tropical smell packs a punch when you open the jar, the flavour is divine, and the texture is smooth and creamy like custard. Definitely best eaten straight from the jar, if it survives a bit longer, I would recommend drizzling over a cake or on top of a bowl of muesli and yoghurt.