Passionfruit would have to be one of our favourite fruits. Could have something to do with the deliciously easy slice I make whenever I get my hands on some! (I'm yet to meet anyone who doesn't like it.) Besides being a delicious fruit, the flowers are beautiful and the bees love them!
One of the first things Andy planted when he ripped up the lawn was a passionfruit vine. We had read that we could expect fruit in about 18 months, but it has been less than 12 months and we are currently blessed with a vine absolutely dripping with fruit.
Andy got a few things right when he planted the vine (which could be why it's so very happy). Here are some of the ways to make your passionfruit vine happy too:
🌱A great spot for a passionfruit vine is one that's out in the open, has full sun and no trees or competitive roots. Grow it on a structure like a strong trellis, or like ours, a fence and a poor unsuspecting bottle brush shrub!
🌱Clean it up in winter or early spring. You don't have to prune hard every year, but in early spring take off about 30 centimetres.
🌱Provide lots of iron when you plant it. In the good old days people would often plant a passionfruit vine on top of a piece of offal, like a sheep's liver. Some pelletised chook manure scattered about a metre around the root system will do the same job.
🌱Mulch around the root system, to protect it from the hot sun. Especially if you are here in Australia, where it feels like we are planting on the surface of the sun for half the year.
🌱Passionfruit vines like heaps of food, well-drained soil and lots of water.
Cool trick - when you see the fruit developing, get your little creatures to get a nail and scratch their name into one...they get a thrill when they end up with their own branded passionfruit.
So once you have a productive passionfruit vine, you might want that recipe I mentioned. My Grandmother used to make a version of this and it's been around forever. Probably not an 'everyday' food but it's certainly good for the soul.
What you need
Melted butter, to grease
150g (1 cup) self-raising flour
85g (1 cup) desiccated coconut
100g (1/2 cup) caster sugar
100g butter, melted
1 x 395g can sweetened condensed milk
What you do
Preheat oven to 180°C. Brush a 16 x 26cm (base measurement) slab pan with melted butter to lightly grease. Line the base and 2 long sides with non-stick baking paper, allowing the sides to overhang.
Use a wooden spoon to combine the flour, coconut, sugar and butter in a large bowl. Use your hands to bring the dough together in the bowl. Transfer to the prepared pan. Use a metal spoon to press firmly over the base. Bake for 12 minutes or until light golden. Set aside to cool (or don't I often can't be bothered waiting and it's ok as long as you are careful when doing the next step.
Reduce oven temperature to 150°C.Use a balloon whisk to whisk together the condensed milk, lemon juice and passionfruit pulp in a large bowl until smooth and well combined. Pour into the pan and spread evenly over the base. Bake in oven for 15 minutes until just firm to the touch. Set aside to cool completely. Cut into slices to serve. Hide some at the back of the fridge for after everyone else goes to bed.
Wishing you bountiful vines and baking.