This dark, spherical fruit is most usually sold unripe. Keep them till the skin has thinned and its surface is covered with dimples, like a golf ball. Here, I use their knife-sharp juice to make tiny pots of golden cream – just four or five teaspoons per person to end dinner with.
Makes 6-8 espresso cups
passion fruit 16
double cream 500ml
caster sugar 150g
lemon juice 35ml
Cut the passion fruit in half and scrape out the seeds and juice into a small sieve balanced over a measuring jug or bowl. Push the juice from the fruit through the sieve with a teaspoon. Set the juice aside in a cool place and reserve the seeds for later.
Put the cream and caster sugar in a saucepan and bring to the boil, stirring occasionally to dissolve the sugar. Lower the heat and leave to bubble for 3 minutes, stirring from time to time. Put the lemon juice in a measuring jug and make the quantity up to 75ml with the reserved passion fruit juice. Keep the remaining juice cold.
Remove the cream mixture from the heat, stir in the lemon and passion fruit juice and leave to settle for a few minutes. Pour into 6 or 8 espresso cups or very small glasses. I like to stir a few of the reserved passion fruit seeds into the mixture for a contrast in texture (say, half a dozen per cup). Cool, then refrigerate for at least a couple of hours.
Just before you serve the creams, spoon a little puddle of the passion fruit juice over the top. As each diner digs in with their teaspoon, the juice will trickle down into the depths of the cream.
• Nigel's new book, Kitchen Diaries II, is published by Fourth Estate at £30. To order a copy for £19.99 (including free UK mainland p&p), go to guardian.co.uk/bookshop or call 0330 333 6846.