Love Is A Loaded Passion Fruit Vine
I love my loaded Passion fruit vine during February. Passion fruit thrive in the subtropics and almost anywhere that is not frost affected. Our vine, is 4 years old now and produces the purple fruit, Passiflora edulis. It was planted to grow on the boundary fence, but amazingly it has grown over the safety net around the trampoline. The effect is magnificent, and is a very good use of the vertical space created by the net. The result is a bouncy, leafy bower, complete with dangling sweet treats.
Packed with Vitamin C and iron, the delicious healthy balance between acidity and sweetness lends itself to complement many deserts and ice creams, though most of ours are eaten straight off the vine. I will give away and process much of the fruit in the coming weeks as the crop quickly ripens. It is wonderful to pull out frozen Passion fruit pulp mid-winter for a treat.
Fun fact – a Passion fruit is actually a berry, and within each berry is typically 250 seeds.
Endless Passion fruit is sweet compensation for the lack of leafy greens from the garden at the height of summer, but for now the laden Passion fruit vine is ripening at the rate of 2 or 3 Passion fruit per day – one for me, one for you and one for the freezer, perfect!
Here is the recipe for the jam I made recently. Strawberries were not from my garden, but in season and very tasty. The recipe can be altered to whip up smaller batches, which I did as an emergency when we finished the first lot.
P.s Apologies to the blogger whose recipe made it easy – I will improve at cross-referencing!!!
8 cups strawberries
4 cups sugar
1/4 cup lemon juice
These quantities made 6 small jars of jam.
Hull the strawberries and wash. Chop to desired size – I like small chunks in my jam – and place in a wide, shallow pan. Add 1/4 cup of water and heat until fruit is soft.
Add sugar and lemon juice and stir. Keep stirring, more stirring!
The stirring takes longer that 15 minutes, this allows time to sterilize the already washed jars and lids in the oven for 6 minutes, just place them all on a tray. I find that a regular set of tongs is fine for handling the hot jars.
Test jam by blobbing a teaspoonful on a saucer that has been chilled in the freezer. When the jam cools to the desired consistency stop stirring and pour jam into the prepared jars. I use a small stain-less milk jug to do this, and it makes less mess than using a ladle.
Place full jars – with lids tight – into a pot of boiling water, boil for 15 minutes. Use tongs for this. Remove from the water. As the jars cool, they should pop, this shows that they are sealed. For the jars don’t pop, keep in the fridge until eaten.