Passion Fruit/ Granadilla Compote with Lemongrass, Ginger and Cardamom
Some time ago, we planted this tiny little passion fruit plant. We wanted something to grow and climb around a dying mulberry tree. Nurturing a ‘passion fruit tree’ into existence, if you will. We were looking for a fast-growing plant, but also something that renders produce, right in our back yard. After some research, I kept coming back to those magnificent climbers I admired in Greece and Italy. And the flowers! White delicate flowers, with tones of indigo, lime green and sunshine-yellow. A true sight to behold- especially when it covers the entire façade of a building.
It was off to a slow start. Then one day, a myriad of flower bulbs popped up. They were perfect. The most delicate white and periwinkle flowers you could imagine. Soon thereafter we had buckets full of granadillas falling to the ground.
As I collected our very first harvest, I recall growing up with granadillas, pomegranates and berries in our back yard. We would sit in the bottom of the garden with teaspoons, and scoop out the flesh of sweet, sun ripened granadillas. It was one of my favourite things to do. And here I am, the best part of three decades later, doing the exact same thing.
Problem is, our new ‘granadilla tree’ was a bit more eager than the one I remember growing up with. I can’t store them indefinitely, and we’ve handed out bags-full to anyone who walks by slow enough. How do we get more mileage out of our spectacular harvest?
Passion fruit compote- great as a topping for plain yogurt or fruit salad; thicken it a bit, and upgrade your cheesecake; dilute the living daylights out of it, and you have a cordial… To give you an idea of how many fruit we ended up working with: my final batch rendered a staggering 2 liters of passion fruit compote!
A compote is, by definition, fruit cooked in (or preserved with) water, sugar and spices. The combinations are endless, and you can play around with flavours and textures. It is runnier than a jam or jelly and contains pieces of the fruits you use. It is also thicker than a syrup.
The best part: it is vegan friendly and gluten free!
- 1 cup Passion fruit / granadillas flesh, pips included
- 1 cup Sugar
- ¼ cup Water
- Juice of ½ a lemon or 1 whole lime
- 1 stem Lemongrass (optional)
- 1 tbsp Ginger (optional)
- 5 pods Cardamom (optional)
- Scoop out the flesh of the passion fruit/ granadilla and discard the shells.
- Crush the lemongrass and slice the ginger into thin slices. Keep the pieces fairly chunky, as you would have to remove them after cooking.
- Combine all the ingredients in a saucepan, bring to a boil, and simmer until the fruit is transparent and the sugar dissolved. (Typically, 15-20 minutes on a medium-low heat)
- For a thicker consistency, simmer a further 10-20 minutes, and allow the mixture to reduce.
- Keep in mind that the consistency will change as the compote cools, and it will become thicker still when kept in the fridge.
- Remove from heat and allow to cool. Remove ginger, lemongrass and cardamom pods.
- Remove foam with a spoon, should there be any.
- Decant into sterilised glass containers if you plan to keep the compote for a longer time.
- Alternatively, allow to cool, and enjoy!