Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Passionfruit Crêpes

I had never had a passionfruit in my life until I watched one of Nigella's cooking shows years ago in which she spoke rapturously about the odd, wrinkled-looking fruit. She was making a Passionfruit Pavlova and I was determined to impress my friends with this billowy dessert the next time I had a dinner party. When I headed to the grocery store to buy the passionfruits I was astounded - I realized I would be spending $18 on 6 of them. I hesitated, almost not able to do it, but in the end the passionfruit intrigue won out and I served the pavlova to rave reviews.

To me, passionfuits are all about the perfume. They give off such a tropical, alluring scent that there is no mistaking them for anything common. When I was at the market here in Australia the other day, I stopped at stared at a heaping pile of passionfruits with a sign advertising "Passionfruits: $2.99 a bag". This bag contained 7 of them which almost caused me to jump for joy if I were a little more crazy. I'm in passionfruit country which is just splendid!

I originally wanted to make some sort of a passionfruit shortbread until it dawned on me that I don't have a mixer (how does one cream butter without one?). So, I settled on crêpes instead. I've always been a pretty good crêpe-maker because it doesn't faze me that the first crêpe is inevitably not going to turn out that great. I suspect it has to do with the heat of the pan or getting into a groove of swirling the batter or something. Regardless, I set aside the ugly one for myself, forge onward and it all turns out fine.

For 6 crêpes:
  • 1/2 cup all purpose flour
  • Pinch of sea salt
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 3/4 cup milk
  • 1 egg
  • Finely grated zest of 1 orange
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter, melted + a bit more for greasing the pan
  • 6 ripe passionfruits
Cut the passionfruits in half and scoop out the pulp into a small bowl. Stir the pulp together and taste it - if it seems a bit too tart, stir in a small amount of sugar or honey to taste. Set aside.

In a bowl whisk together the flour, salt, and sugar. In another bowl whisk together the milk, egg, orange zest, vanilla and the melted butter. Pour the liquid into the flour mixture and whisk thoroughly until the batter is smooth.

Heat a nonstick pan over medium-high heat. Lightly grease it with butter. Quickly pour a 1/4 cup of batter into the center of the pan and then immediately swirl the batter around in a circular fashion. Allow the crêpe to cook until just set, about 30 seconds, and then flip it and cook for 30-45 seconds more. Place on a plate and keep warm.

Repeat with the remaining batter, adding a bit more butter as you go to the pan if needed. When all the crêpes are cooked, fold into triangles. Arrange two crêpes on a plate and spoon the passionfruit pulp on and around them. Dust with confectioner's sugar if desired and serve immediately.

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