This delicious dessert idea came from Dr. Marta Robertson, a native of Brazil. After marrying and practicing in Europe for a few years, she and her husband moved to Louisiana, where she practices family medicine in Donaldsonville.
Though she loves Louisiana food, she occasionally prepares some of her favorite family dishes from her home country. This is a family recipe and note she shared with me: “I suggest this recipe for an exotic and fresh dessert. It is very popular in Brazil. My mother and aunts make it when they have guests. It is incredibly easy, as long as you have the right ingredients. Look for the concentrated passion fruit juice on the Internet. Maguary is the best brand, but other brands are OK.”
I didn’t find the Maguary concentrate, but I found the Goya frozen passion fruit pulp at A-Z International Fine Foods market on Tiger Bend Road in Baton Rouge. The concentrate or frozen pulp is what you need. Robertson actually orders hers online most of the time; it’s quick and shipping is free, she said.
Passion fruit is native to Brazil, but I remember a passion fruit vine growing in my grandmother’s backyard in Church Point. We didn’t realize that the fruit was edible, but I was so impressed with the story she told of the flower. The various parts of the flower resemble different symbols of Christ’s crucifixion.
When the fruit is ripe it has deep dimples and looks like it’s past its prime, but that’s when the sweet-tart insides are the best. The flavor is tropical and very perfumy. The fruit also has edible black seeds.
Corinne Cook is a columnist for The Advocate. Reach her at email@example.com.