Despite all good intentions to keep some balance in my life, things just seem busier than ever and just as I feel I'm on top of one thing something else comes along. The exhibition was well received last weekend and my workshops went well, but no sooner than I came home on Sunday and unloaded my car, I was planning the next class and desperately trying to finish the large commission that has been looming since the end of last year. Bags remain unpacked and there are no visible surfaces in my work room... It's crazy! And don't even get me started on family stuff! Usually when I feel under pressure I find solace in the kitchen and a couple of hours cooking or baking sorts my head out but I've not even being doing that lately. With less of us at home and less time to entertain, that means less of us around to consume the results so I haven't been bothering. I'll cook the evening meal but that's about it. But I miss being able to lose myself being creative in the kitchen.
But today I've taken some time out... I've done mending that has been sitting on my bedroom stool since December (one button and a hem and I've not even found time to do that... no kidding) whilst watching the Comic Relief Bake Off on i-player. And as I watched the lovely Martin Sheen produce a perfect Pavlova with passion fruit and lemon curd I remembered there were a couple of rather strange yellow passion fruit in the fridge. They came with the veg box and to be honest I didn't really know what to do with them... Strange things with gloopy insides that look like some sort of sea creature when emptied with peculiar little tentacles!
There was not enough to make a straight passion fruit curd so I combined them with lemons and made some passion fruit and lemon curd, fiddling a bit with a couple of recipes to get the results I wanted.
And here it is... Less than an hour of happily pottering in the kitchen and I've got two jars of the most sublime tasting curd. Which I can now use in some baking over the weekend when eldest son is coming to visit... Although I confess it does taste rather good straight off the spoon so I'm not sure it will last that long!
Should you feel the need for a little passion in your own life, this was my recipe:
Gina's Passionate Curd!
You will need: 2 large passion fruit and 2 large lemons, 200g caster sugar, 100g unsalted butter,
3 eggs (beaten) and a heaped tablespoon of cornflour (This really helps to stop the eggs scrambling!)
Method: Scoop out the insides of the passion fruit and press through a sieve, extracting all the juice. Throw away any pithy bits but reserve the seeds. Add the juice of the two lemons to the passion fruit juice. You should have between 200-250 ml. Add more of either juice to get the correct quantity. Stir the cornflour and sugar together in a large pan. Add all the remaining ingredients and whisk over a very low heat until the mixture thickens. Don't be tempted to turn the heat up or you will end up with fruit flavoured scrambled eggs! Pass the curd through a seive to remove any suspect eggy lumps. Stir in the passion fruit seeds and pour into jars. This does make quite a tart curd so feel free to increase the sugar if that is more to your taste.
This makes two generous jars plus a spoonful or two for tasting! The jars will keep in the fridge for a week or two.
And now I feel a little bit of balance has been restored, my passion for baking has been indulged.... And we've got something delicious to eat. Result!
Back to that commission now...