Saturday, 1 October 2011

Pawpaw Compote

It must be this heat feels strange for England. Its really hot but the days are not long, about 12 hours of daylight, and a little like deja vue I am getting a strange feeling. Sound seems to travel differently in the heat too, and one can hear the dogs barking. It feels as if I am back in Mauritius.

Maybe it is this that drew me to three pawpaws in Sainsbury's, as I remembered the deliciously delicate pawpaw jam which sat in a bowl in my mother's big fridge waiting to be spooned onto pain maison. As soon as I had landed, I was on the look out for the fragrant sun ripened fruit in the garden, and I would get cooking on the outside back veranda.....

We never had a recipe, and never added as much sugar as normal jam. This was more a 'compote', sweetened fruit which would keep long enough in a bowl. I would add a couple of small Rodrigues limes, and of course vanilla, which my dad said my Grandmere always insisted on. I added a normal lime and one vanilla pod, and half the weight of sugar to prepared fruit. I love the tiny vanilla seeds black against the rich colour, after a few days the vanilla will infuse the preserve. It is also lovely spooned onto plain yogurt.

I called Vita to come and have some special coffee and walnut cake and scones make with gluten free flour and we sat in the gazebo sampling the small pot. Delicious, and just right on plain sweet scones.

I looked through some of my books and as usual found Jane Grigson's Fruit book useful. What a coincidence that she quoted a passage about a pawpaw tree from a love story set in Mauritius written in 1787: Paul and Virginie, by Bernadin de Saint-Pierre,

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