Recipe: Vicki Ravlich-Horan | Images: Brydie Thompson

My passionfruit vine is out of control! If I was a gardener of any calibre, I would be able to tell you why and I would probably also take back control of my front garden from the sprawling passionfruit vine. The truth is, I planted a small plant after removing a rambling wisteria in the hope it would cover the banister of our front step and provide us with a few passionfruit to enjoy each autumn.  The wisteria had to go because it had taken over and, due to my past experience trying to grow passionfruit, I didn’t think there would be any problem with it following suit. How wrong was I!

It now sprawls some 10 metres along the house. It’s tentacle-like shoots grab on to anything, wrapping itself around and almost suffocating every other plant. I know I should get the clippers and show it who’s boss, but each time I attempt to stand up for all the other life in my front garden I am seduced by the thought of those tropical pods bursting with sweet tangy seeds.

And then autumn arrives, and I have buckets of passionfruit. Vine hoppers buzz with delight, but I am not fazed as there are more than enough for all of us. Visit in May and you are guaranteed to leave with a bag, for if the truth be told there are only so many you can eat.

My solution, after filling the freezer with pottles of their tangy pulp, is to make a syrup. This can be poured over ice cream, cheesecakes or cakes, mixed through custard or cream for a quick tart or used as a cordial.

2 cups water
1½ cups sugar
zest of 2 limes
½ cup lime juice
1–1½ cups passionfruit pulp

Place all the ingredients, except the passionfruit, in a pot. Stir well and bring to the boil. Add the passionfruit, stir and allow the mixture to slowly simmer for 5–10 minutes or until it has reduced to a thick syrup.

Pour into sterilised glass bottles.  Once cold, keep in the fridge.

Serve over ice with sparkling water for a refreshing drink or add fresh mint, white rum and sparkling water for something with a little more kick.

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