Fruit curds can be made with many fruits, including mango and berries.
Fruit curds can be made with many fruits, including mango and berries. 123RF

Microwaves make life easier

MICROWAVES. I'm not a fan; I have never cooked a meal in one and use my 28-year-old model - a beast of a thing compared to today's tiny boxes - to thaw meat I've forgotten to remove from the freezer. Sometimes I'll reheat leftovers if I'm really pushed for time.

While no scientific studies have ever proven it, I have a theory that microwaves are a part of the dark arts. There's something weird about putting plastic into a device that is capable of generating heat in food, but not in the plastic. Having said that, my late mother-in-law cooked everything in a microwave after she bought her first in 1983, and she died at the ripe old age of 86. Mind you, she could read a book in bed at night without a lamp on.

There is no doubt, though, that they can make your life easier in many ways. For example, making fruit curds such as lemon or passionfruit butter. Done the traditional way, you need to stir the mixture over a pot of simmering water for long periods. This is a recipe that really is made simple by using the dark arts, so give it a go - if you dare.

Passionfruit butter

 

INGREDIENTS: 1 cup white sugar 3/4 cup fresh passionfruit pulp and juice 125g unsalted butter, cut into cubes 4 large free-range eggs.

 

METHOD: Preheat the oven to 100C to sterilise jars. Place warm, clean jars onto a tray and heat at 100C for 10 minutes. Lids will be sterilised later.

Place sugar, passionfruit pulp and juice, and cubed butter in a large heatproof jug, and microwave on high for 3 minutes. Stir halfway through.

Whisk eggs in a bowl and beat into passionfruit mixture.

Cook on high for 3-5 minutes, stirring every 30 seconds. The mixture should start to thicken after 2 or 3 minutes. Do not overcook.

Place lids in a heatproof bowl and cover with boiling water for one minute before sealing jars. Pour passionfruit butter into hot jars and seal. Label with name and date of batch. Allow to cool. Store in the refrigerator for up to three months. Makes 750ml.

Contact Maggie at maggies.column@bigpond.com



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