It’s that time of the year again. Christmas time. Last year was the first that I’ve been away from home and my family for the holidays. It was a great experience but at the same time a little bittersweet as I was missing my family and the Christmas morning tradition of sitting around the tree in our pyjamas opening presents. This year too will be different. No Christmas mornings together as a family and no Christmas dinner as a family. I guess that’s what happens when you grow up. Things change, traditions change, new people show up at your holiday gatherings and some disappear.
So, this sounds like I’m whining about not having things stay the same anymore. But really I’m thankful for all that I have when so many others cannot. I’m thankful for all those who are in my life and all those who have made my life the way it is today. And I am thankful for the changes in our traditions because that means life goes on.
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A few years ago I read a post by David Lebovitz about Jacques Genin’s passion fruit caramels and since then I have been dreaming about biting into one of those chewy morsels. I really could not get the thought of it out of my head for the longest while. So, a few weeks ago I made it my mission to track down some passion fruit pulp and make the caramels that I couldn’t get my hands on. I managed to find passion fruit puree at one of the latin grocery stores in Kensington Market and set about making the caramels the other day. As well, I made sure to buy a candy thermometer since the texture and taste of candies heavily rely on the correct temperature.
The end result was tangy, buttery, and sweet. The texture was just right but next time I make them I plan to add a few little changes. Less butter, more pulp, and use a smaller pan for setting as they were a bit on the thin side for my liking. Though that didn’t stop me from eating a few of them as a fast as I could but next time I should slow down as to avoid biting my cheek in the same spot multiple times. Ugh.
Passion Fruit Caramels
Makes about 60 bite sized caramels
Caramel recipe inspired by Deb Perelman’s recipe
* This is the recipe I would use next time
4 tbsp (56g) salted butter, cut into chunks
1 cup plus 2 tbsp (230g) granulated sugar
1/2 cup (110g) packed brown sugar
1/3 cup (80mL) heavy cream
1/2 cup (125 mL) passion fruit puree
Lightly grease an 8″ X 8″ square metal pan (or smaller if you want thicker caramels). Line the pan with 2 sheets of parchment paper so there is over hang to lift up later. Grease the parchment paper as well.
Add all ingredients into a heavy bottomed sauce pan. Cook without stirring (you may swirl the pan) to exactly 252˚F/122˚C. This took me about 15 minutes. Always keep an eye on the temperature as the heat of the candy can jump in a matter of seconds. Carefully pour the hot candy into the prepared pan without scraping the bottom. The bottom will be dark and burnt looking and you DO NOT want this in your caramels. Let it sit out at room temperature for about 8 hours or until it is completely set and cooled.
Lift the caramel out of the pan and cut into small squares or rectangles with a well oiled sharp knife. Or if you have an open flame nearby you can heat your knife to cut clean pieces. Wrap individually with squares of parchment paper.