Passionfruit & Vanilla Ice Cream, with Rubies

Passionfruit & Vanilla Ice Cream, with Rubies.

Do you remember those ruby chocolates with passionfruit cream centers that completely failed to set, a few months back? I threw them in the freezer, because I’m frugal that way, figuring I’d come up with something to do with them eventually. Last night, I pulled half of them out, chopped them up, and then stirred them into a fresh batch of vanilla ice cream, along with about 1/4 c. of passionfruit puree. Reader, it was good.

I’m going to make a second batch, the next time I can get cream from the grocery store (they were only able to deliver half of what we’d ordered), and then will freeze for a party some sunny day from now. We’ll gather together again…

Dragonfruit Marshmallows

The flavor of the dragonfruit comes through more strongly in marshmallows than in chocolate, so it’s a little startling if you’re not used to that flavor! Honestly, I will pick passionfruit over dragonfruit any day.

But that said, it’s interesting and fruity, I’ll happily eat a few in a row, and if you’re looking to make a pretty dessert without using food coloring, this is a great option — it’s just colored with pure dehydrated dragonfruit powder.

I’m going to try dipping in chocolate and sprinkling more dragonfruit powder on the top — will report back with more photos, next week, probably. 


Dragonfruit Marshmallows, with Honey, Lime, and White Pepper

1/2 c. lime juice
1/4 t. white pepper
3 packages unflavored gelatin
1 T dragonfruit powder
1/2 c. water
1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
1 cup honey
1/4 teaspoon salt
powdered (confectioner’s) sugar
butter (for greasing the pan)

1. Add lime juice, white pepper, gelatin and dragonfruit powder to the bowl of stand mixer (whisk attachment). Stir briefly to combine.

(NOTE: If you don’t have a stand mixer, you can make marshmallows in a large bowl with a hand mixer — you just have to be willing to hold and beat it for 12 minutes. Prep the pan and spatula for the marshmallows ahead of time.)

2. In a small saucepan (a bigger one will be heavy and hard to hold steadily at a later stage) combine water, granulated sugar, honey, and salt. Cover and cook over medium high heat for 4 minutes. Uncover and cook until the mixture reaches soft ball stage (240 degrees if you have a candy thermometer), approximately 8 minutes. Once the mixture reaches this temperature, immediately remove from heat; if it continues, it will swiftly turn into hard candy.

3. Turn mixer on low speed and, while running, slowly pour the sugar syrup down the side of the bowl into the gelatin mixture. (Be very careful with the sugar syrup, as it is scaldingly hot and will burn you badly if it gets on your skin.) Once you’ve added all of the syrup, increase the speed to high.

4. Continue to whip until the mixture becomes very thick and is lukewarm, approximately 12 minutes.

5. While it’s whipping, butter a large 9 x 12 pan and dust with powdered sugar. Prepare an oiled spatula.

6. Pour the mixture into the prepared pan, spreading it evenly (and swiftly) with an oiled spatula.

7. Dust the top with enough of the remaining powdered sugar to lightly cover. Reserve the rest for later. Allow the marshmallows to sit uncovered for at least 4 hours and up to overnight.

8. Turn onto a board, cut into squares and dust all sides of each marshmallow with the remaining powdered sugar, using additional if necessary. May be stored in an airtight container for up to 3 weeks, or frozen.

Passionfruit and Ginger Shortbread

Passionfruit and Ginger Shortbread
(45 minutes + optional 15 minutes chilling time)

I have to note that if you’re making these, you’d better cut the passionfruit really small (ideally a little smaller than I did in these photos), because dried passionfruit is quite chewy — the consistency is similar to a new stick of gum at first. Is it worth the extra effort? Well, I’m a passionfruit fiend, so I say yes; I thought these were delectable. .

Note: I find that a pair of kitchen shears is much easier to work with than a knife for cutting up sticky dried fruit.


3/4 pound unsalted butter at room temperature
1 c. sugar
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
3/4 t. salt
3 1/2 cups flour
1/2 c. dried passionfruit, chopped fine
1/2 c. crystallized ginger, chopped fine

1. Preheat the oven to 350F.

2. Cream together the butter and sugar; add the vanilla and salt. Then add flour and mix on low until dough forms. Stir in mango and ginger.

3. Turn out dough onto floured board. (If it’s not coming together into a dough, the heat of your hands will help.) Firmly pat flat (to desired cookie height, usually about 1/2 inch). If using cookie cutters, cut out shapes, place on parchment-covered baking sheet, and chill for 15 minutes (to help hold shape).

NOTE: Can be kept chilled at this point for several days, covered in plastic wrap, and then rolled, cut, and baked fresh.

Alternately, press into baking pan or shortbread mold, prick with fork. (For this batch, I did half cut-outs and half in a pan, using an 8 x 8 baking pan.) You can also cut shapes out after baking — shortbread is very forgiving that way — but then the individual cookie edges won’t be browned.

3. Remove from fridge and bake for 15 to 20 minutes, until the edges begin to brown, then remove to wire rack to cool. Delicious with chai! If you wanted to dress it up, you could drizzle with dark chocolate, but honestly, I love them just as they are.

Why All the Soaps, Mary Anne?

Why all the soaps, Mary Anne? Well, one reason is that I’m planning to give some to some healthcare folks as a little thank you. Another is that I’ll put some in the spring surprise packages shipping out with book orders next week.

But I admit a third, perhaps most powerful reason, is that I’ve been holding off on experimenting with making interesting cocktails until the last big batch of paper grades is done.

This is incredibly responsible of me, I’ll have you know. I didn’t know I had this much willpower in me.

Two papers to go.

Eating Has Gotten Oddly Random Around Here

Eating has gotten oddly random around here, in pandemic time, mostly dependent on my mood at any given moment. Sometimes I tell the kids, “Mommy’s busy, make yourself a sandwich or a bowl of cereal or something.” Sometimes Kevin cooks for them (like tonight, when I’m grading).

But sometimes, just randomly on a Tuesday afternoon, I decide to make them a beautiful cheese omelette with bacon, banana bread scones, and a bowl of sliced berries, just for the heck of it. But tomorrow, gruel!