SERVES 6……skip the text and go straight to the recipe

Passionfruit Floating Islands was a signature dish at Mistress Augustine’s in the mid 80s. They were the days when as the end of the local passionfruit season you could buy a box of 80 passionfruit for just $4.00 AUD. We got the market boys to save them for our weekly shop, bought dozens of boxes and froze them for this dish, another signature dish Passionfruit Butter Crepes and a beautiful baked Passionfruit Cheesecake. 

When I was a child between our family gardens we had multiple passionfruit vines and whilst no one had a freezer big enough to store more than a tray of ice and a little bit of ice cream good cooks preserved passionfruit in little jam jars but they never rated with fresh passionfruit. This dish takes patience and skill, but making these dishes today with the current price of passionfruit makes them extremely expensive.

It’s worth it and best of all everything is made in advance.

The French Boiron frozen seedless passionfruit is an excellent product and if you leave it out of the freezer for about 10 minutes you can cut of pieces and return the remainder to the freezer.

However, the Boiron frozen seedless passionfruit does not have the delicious acidity of fresh passionfruit. We do use it sometimes, but, we always do half of the required weight Boiron frozen seedless passionfruit and half fresh strained passionfruit. Best is still fresh.

Also just a tip do not try and heat passionfruit juice on the stove top it will scorch and wreck immediately… use the microwave.

When purchasing passionfruit don’t buy the wrinkled ones that have already started to dry out instead always select the smooth firm skinned ones. The pulp will be better quality and give you a better yield.

120g fresh strained passionfruit juice, weighed into a microwave container
8 extra large egg yolks[61g eggs]
120g caster sugar
400g cream, weighed into a microwave container
about 1L ice
6 passionfruit
Italian meringue click here
500ml full cream milk
1 vanilla pod split and scraped

Put the whole eggs into a bowl, cover them with hot tap water and set a timer for 10 minutes. Set up a pot of water and place it on high heat. Select a stainless steel bowl that will easily hold all of the ingredients.

Put the ice and roughly half a cup of water into a bowl large enough hold another bowl for the custard and sit that bowl on top of the ice. 

Drain the water from the eggs. Reserving the egg whites separate the egg yolks into the bowl, weigh in the sugar and immediately whisk together. Place on the pot of water turn it down to a very slow simmer. Microwave the cream for 3 minutes on high and immediately whisk it into the egg yolks. Swap the whisk for a spatula and stir constantly scraping the entire bottom of the bowl until it is very smooth and evenly thickened.

Immediately remove the custard from the heat and strain it into the bowl over the ice. Stir again with a spatula, still scraping the bottom for 2-3 minutes then cover tightly with plastic. Prick the top with half a dozen tiny pin pricks to allow the steam to escape.

When the custard is cold, stir it and transfer it to an airtight container, cover and refrigerate. Remove the pulp for the 6 passionfruit, put it into an airtight container and refrigerate.

for the snow eggs

243g fine caster sugar
80g filtered water
75g room temperature egg white
2g cream of tartar or strained fresh lemon juice

please note it is impossible to make a smaller amount of Italian meringue and as a consequence there will be some left over. This can be piped onto baking sheets covered with baking paper and cooked at 60°C for 2-3 hours

Put the water and sugar into a saucepan. Place the pan on high heat, stirring just long enough to lift the sugar from the bottom of the pan. When the sugar syrup starts to boil, put the thermometer into the saucepan and continue cooking the syrup until it reaches 112-114°C.

While the syrup is cooking, put the egg whites and cream of tartaror lemon juice into a clean electric mixer bowl. When the syrup is almost ready, start beating the egg whites and beat until they are very stiff.

With the machine running, and making sure you pour down the sides of the bowl, very slowly add the syrup to the egg whites, continuing to beat until the meringue is very stiff and shiny. Continue whisking the meringue until it is almost cooled.

to cook the snow eggs
this must be done same day they will hold for 3-4 hours. Induction is best because you can keep the temperature so low

Set up a tray covered with a double folded clean tea towel.

Put the milk, vanilla pod and seeds into a pan and place it on low heat. Induction 80W 80°C is perfect. Using two large deep oval spoons shape the eggs and drop them into the infused milk. Wash the spoons and for 20 minutes every 5 minutes gently turn the snow eggs over, then using a slotted spoon carefully remove them from the milk onto the prepared tray and contact cover them with Freezer-go-between or a similar product. Do not refrigerate leave in a cool place until you are ready to serve.

to serve
Divide the custard between your serving bowls, add a snow egg to each bowl and then divided the fresh passionfruit between the serves.