This time, in addition to bringing you a recipe, we bring you a unique pairing combination, from the newly released
Composing the Cheese Plate
book by Brian Keyser and Leigh Friend. This duo worked in Casellula in
New York City
and Brian is getting ready to open a new location of his unique wine-cheese bar in
PASSIONFRUIT BASIL-SEED CURD
Sometimes it’s OK to keep it simple. Passionfruit curd is fresh and tart like lemon curd, but with a unique tropical note. It is delicious with chèvre or any other fresh, rich cheese. Tangy and bright, this combination is a great way to wake up your palate at the beginning of your cheese course.
YIELD: 2 CUPS
PREP TIME: 5 MINUTES
COOK TIME: 20 MINUTES
5 ounces frozen passionfruit juice
1⁄4 cup granulated sugar
2 egg yolks
2 tablespoons butter, cold
Pinch of salt
1 1⁄2 teaspoons basil seeds
Fill a medium mixing bowl half full with ice, and place it in the freezer.
Pour 3 inches of water into a medium saucepan and bring it to a boil. Then reduce to a simmer.
In a medium heat-proof bowl, combine the juice, sugar, eggs, and egg yolks. Set the bowl over the simmering water. Cook, whisking constantly to avoid scrambling the eggs.
Continue cooking and whisking for 5 to 7 minutes. At this point the liquid should be slightly foamy. Continue whisking until the bubbles are few and the texture has thickened, about 3 more minutes. Be careful not to overcook the eggs; doing so will create an undesirable eggy taste and grainy texture.
Dip a spatula in the curd and lift it out.
Run your finger horizontally through the middle of the curd. If the curd holds its shape, it’s done. If it runs, keep cooking and whisking.
Once the curd is cooked, immediately transfer it to a blender, and blend on high for 2 minutes.
While the curd is blending, remove the bowl from the freezer, and fill it halfway with cold water.
Carefully add the butter and salt to the blender. Continue to blend on high for 20 seconds.
Place the blender container holding the curd in the ice bath. Stir in the basil seeds.
Once the curd is cool, pour it into an airtight container. Serve chilled or at room temperature.
Chef’s notes: Frozen passionfruit juice can sometimes be found in the frozen-foods aisle at an ethnic grocer. Beware that some brands add sugar. If the brand you purchase contains added sugar, reduce the amount of sugar in this recipe to 2 tablespoons.
Make ahead. It will keep for up to 1 week.
Other cheeses to serve with this accompaniment: Bright, fresh cheeses like chèvre, farmer’s cheese, or mascarpone. Creative suggestions: Combine the recipe with 3 cups stiff whipped cream, and pour the mixture into a graham cracker crust.
Refrigerate for 2 hours, top with toasted coconut, and you have an easy, light pie.
Reprinted with permission from Running Press, a member of the Perseus Books Group.