Passionfruit. Sigh. My granddaughter takes after me and loves them. She will eat them straight from the shell.
Glazed apples are delicious and endlessly versatile. We have made them before, and used them to top porridge. They can also be used to top any pudding, syrupy cakes or endless desserts. Sit atop some junket, for example. Or over icecream, with grilled banana, on top of a fruit salad, topping a bowl of yoghurt. Any way you like.
Bill Grainger in his book Sydney Food has glazed apples with Banana Porridge. We hinted at it in our last recipe. Today we get more specific about how to make that porridge, with our own twist, of course. It really is delicious, and so Australian!
One of the major changes is that we have added passionfruit. It is a very Australian thing, but also the sour notes of the passionfruit cut through the sweetness of the apples and porridge.
I think every country person of my era grew up eating junket as cows were aplenty and therefore milk was abundant. How easy to make a dessert with a couple of cups of milk, a junket tablet and some sugar? Easy, mostly healthy, cheap.
It is decades since I ate junket and, to be honest, I didn’t know if the supermarket would still stock the tablets. But they did, to everyone’s surprise! Junket is a little like custard, a little like flan filling, a little like sweet tofu, but it is none of these. It is a milk-based dessert, made with vegetable rennet, usually sweetened and flavoured. Today I am topping it with some macerated strawberries and passionfruit.
I think it’s about time for junket to make a come back, for it’s a delicious dessert, with a fantastic texture. Junket can be flavored with a variety of milk spices, such as cinnamon, nutmeg, and cardamom, or allspice, ginger, and mace. It can be made with any type of milk, be it cow, goat or sheep. And it can be spike with cream or spirits to make a more celebratory dessert. – David Asher.
Did you know that junket actually used be served to the sick in hospitals? It is so nutritious and also easy to digest, so it was perfect hospital food. Why have so many hospitals changed to unhealthy desserts these days?
The name of junket comes from the fact that it used to be made in a rush basket, the Medieval Latin word for which is iuncāta, the French jonquette and the Middle English jonket.
Predecessors of junket were made as early as Medieval times where a cream-and-rennet mixture, sweetened and flavoured with rosewater, sugar, and spices, was an upper-class food, served to those among noble ranks. Since then it has fallen in and out of flavour. But I can tell you it is back in favour at our place!
One of our cumquat trees is hanging heavy with fruit, looking gorgeous in the Autumn sun. The other one is covered in flowers! Go figure the timing! It is a different variety though, so perhaps that accounts for it.
We use a lot of cumquats, loving cumquat tea, poached cumquats, cumquat jam, cumquat pickles and many other ways of using them. I saw a house with a cumquat tree hedge recently, and I have just gone wild thinking about how I can do that at my place!
Today we are roasting the cumquats, and using them with some of our thyme that is flowering in the garden, and the seeds and juice of passion fruit, and sitting it all on an eggless custard type mixture that I love to make. I call it Indian custard, but its real name is Besan Payasam.
BTW, In Australia we spell passionfruit as one word. They are abundant here and we take them for granted. We eat them fresh from the garden, we use the pulp for our national dish Pavlova, and we used to drink Passiona soft drink by the litre back in the day.
Maceration is a process of breaking down and softening various substances. In food preparation, the process most often occurs when soaking fruit in sugar, perhaps with a liquid such as fruit juice, alcohol or other flavoured liquid, so that the fruit softens and takes on the flavour.
Maceration changes a fruit’s taste and texture. It is used to improve the texture of hard, under-ripe fresh fruit and also to enhance the flavour of ripe fruit. When fruit is macerated, it softens and releases some of its flavours and also aroma and becomes something quite different – a complex mix of the various flavours and textures.
Today’s recipe does not require any added liquid – strawberries and passionfruit release their own juice into a wonderfully delicious mix that provides its own liquid for maceration. But when macerating fruit you can, if you wish, add liquors, liqueurs, wine, fruit juice, vinegars, and infused water. And any of these can be infused with flavourings such as spices, herbs, tea, and coffee. Alcohol can include gin, vodka, whisky, brandy, rum. Flavourings also include vanilla bean, chilli, basil, lemon thyme, fresh ginger, cinnamon, black pepper, whole cloves etc.
The soft fruit and liquid combo has many uses: a tasty dessert on its own topped with a dollop of whipped cream or sweetened yoghurt; a sauce for ice cream, pudding or cake; or a filling for pie or cake where it adds flavour, colour and moisture.
Delicate fruit like strawberries and raspberries can over-soften, so maceration time is best from 30 mins to a couple of hours – tougher fruits can be macerated overnight and up to 2 or 3 days.