A Simple Sweet
Recipe by Louisa Shafia
This is a simple dessert that is aesthetically beautiful,
and incorporates a few distinct yet complementary flavors. It requires
no cooking and
is ideal for summer, when passion fruit, the centerpiece of the dish,
is in season. This dessert is elegant and light by itself, but if you
want something a little heavier, you can use it to dress up ice cream
A little about passion fruit: they are native to South America, from southern
Brazil through Paraguay to northern Argentina. They made their way to mainland
U.S. via Hawaii, where they were first planted in the 1880s to enhance home gardens
with their stunningly beautiful flowers. Though there are several different varieties,
the one most commonly found in stores is the purple passion fruit, commercially
cultivated in Florida. Purple passion fruit is in season from late May through
early July. If you really fall in love with them, you can take a trip to San
Francisco in the fall, where a yellow variety of passion fruit can be found growing
wild around the city.
Not every market in New York carries passion fruits, but two places where I’ve
found them are the Manhattan Fruit Exchange inside Chelsea Market (79 9 Avenue
at 15 Street), and Integral Yoga Natural Foods (229 W. 13 Street, between 7 and
Once cut open, the fruits have a wonderful perfumed aroma, and a dramatic interior
of purple membranes with yellow flesh and grey seeds. For a special occasion,
save the passion fruit rinds after you have scooped out the flesh, and use the
rinds as cups to serve the finished dessert.
Passion Fruit and Orange with Shaved Chocolate
5 Passion Fruits
2 oz. Semisweet Chocolate (1⁄2 of a standard 3.5 ounce bar)
3 T. Brandy, Rum or Bourbon
4 T. Sugar
1⁄4 Bunch Fresh Mint Leaves, picked, cleaned and dried
1. Carefully slice the passion fruits in half crosswise and scoop the flesh into
a bowl. Set aside.
2. Over a bowl, cut the oranges into supremes. To make supremes, slice the skin
and the pith away from the fruit so you can clearly see the membrane surrounding
each section of the orange. Slice
the flesh next to the membrane on either side of each section. You should end
up with slices that are completely free of seeds, skin or membrane. As you work,
let the extra juices from the oranges fall into the bowl with the supremes.
3. When you are done slicing the oranges, use a spoon to remove the slices from
the juice and add them to the passion fruit, but leave the juice in the bowl.
Add the liquor and sugar to the orange juice
and stir until the sugar is dissolved.
4. Pour the sugar and juice over the passion fruit and oranges and toss. Cover
and refrigerate for 1 hour.
5. Using a mandoline or a peeler, shave the chocolate into a bowl. Remove the
passion fruit from the refrigerator and sprinkle with the chocolate shavings.
Stir gently to incorporate the chocolate
into the fruit.
6. To serve, spoon the fruit and juices into parfait glasses and sprinkle with
extra chocolate and a few mint leaves.
Louisa Shafia is a cooking instructor, private chef and caterer with her company,
Lucid Food catering. To learn more, visit www.lucidfood.com.
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