This recipe is perfect for a long Sunday lunch, or even Christmas dessert.
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Step 1: Fill the bottom half of a double boiler with water and bring to the boil. (If you don’t have a double boiler, use a heatproof bowl that fits snugly over a pan of boiling water.) Place the milk and caster sugar in another saucepan over medium-high heat and bring to just below boiling point, stirring until the sugar dissolves. Remove from heat.
Step 2: Beat the egg yolks in the top half of the double boiler off the heat, then whisk the hot milk mixture slowly into the egg yolks, beating constantly. Place double boiler back over low heat and stir egg yolk mixture with a wooden spoon for about 6-8 minutes until thick enough to lightly coat the back of a spoon. Remove the custard from the heat and cool a little.
Step 3: Cut the tops off the passionfruit with a sharp, serrated knife. Scoop the passionfruit pulp into a sieve set over a bowl, then press down on the seeds to extract as much juice as possible. Stir the passionfruit juice into the custard mixture, then set aside.
Step 4: Place 100ml warm water (it should be quite warm) in a small stainless-steel bowl and sprinkle the gelatine powder over the top – as if you were sprinkling sugar onto the crema of a short black. The idea is for the warm water to absorb the gelatine without any need for stirring (this won’t happen if you use cold water). Stir gelatine mixture into the custard mixture.
Step 5: Beat the eggwhites to stiff peaks, then fold into custard mixture. Transfer to a 1-litre glass serving bowl, then cover and chill for 1 hour or until set.
Step 6: Meanwhile, for the passionfruit syrup, place caster sugar and 1/2 cup (125ml) water in a saucepan over low heat and stir to dissolve the sugar. Increase the heat to medium-high and simmer for 3 minutes until syrupy. Remove the pan from the heat, then stir in the passionfruit pulp. Allow to cool, then chill the syrup until ready to serve.
Step 7: To serve, pour the passionfruit syrup over the set cream.