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Passionfruit are in season, and our possum is gorging herself on them. Occasionally though, she drops some and we get a harvest. Ours are the golden passionfruit, a short lived sub-tropical perennial that crops very prolifically. The golden ones are sweeter than the more familiar purple passionfruit. I planted a bought seedling to cover the pagola many years ago, and since then they have self seeded enough to keep a vine always on the go, this one climbing a wattle tree along our driveway.

This year I have actually propagated seed, thinking that maybe I can get the possum to the point where she cannot eat another thing. I know it won’t work – she’ll just increase the size of her family. But I can dream – even with her best efforts we are still getting some passionfruit now.

This is the fifth in my Muesli Bar Challenge series.  The rules are that the challenger must be within the Witches Kitchen version of healthy and ethical, it has to be easy enough for busy parents or kids themselves to make, and my school age reviewers have to prefer it to the overpackaged junk food marketed  as suitable for lunch boxes.

Passionfruit are a good source of Vitamin C, A, iron and potassium. Cooking won’t do the Vitamin C levels any good – only about half is likely to survive this recipe – but that’s still plenty, and the other nutrients are stable in cooking. This recipe also has decent levels of protein and calcium in the cottage cheese and yoghurt, and of course eggs are a super-food rich in a whole range of nutrients.

Fruit juice doesn’t fit in the Witches Kitchen version of healthy. Removing the fibre destroys so many of the health benefits that fruit juice is often little better for you than cordial. However, one of the Muesli Bar Challenge reviewers is in the Tooth Fairy stage of life, so seeds that get stuck in teeth are understandably unwelcome. So for this recipe I have strained the passionfruit pulp through a course sieve to remove the seeds but keep as much as possible of the fibre.

The Recipe

For this recipe you need a shallow cake pan that is 21 cm diameter, or (preferably) a similar area in a square or rectangular shape, eg 18.5 cm square, or 14cm by 25 cm rectangle. Grease it with butter and line with greaseproof paper.

The base:

In the food processor, blend together 60 gm of butter, 1 ½ desertspoons of brown sugar, ½ cup wholemeal SR flour and ½ cup shredded coconut. Press into the base of the  pan so that it is about 1 cm thick.

The filling:

Rinse out the food processor, and blend together until smooth: ½ cup low fat cottage cheese½ cup low fat plain yoghurt, 2 small eggs, 1 desertspoon cornflour½ teaspoon vanilla essence, ½ desertspoons brown sugar. Add 60 ml passionfruit pulp, (with or without the seeds) – about 3 passionfruit.

Bake in a moderate oven for about 45 minutes until set and lightly golden tinged.  Cool, then slice into 8 squares and use a cake slice to remove from the pan.


This recipe was my son’s all-time favourite lunch box  baking for all of his high school years.  Unfortunately for him, there is only a small window of opportunity when both apples and passionfruit are in season.  But this is it! The first of the new season Granny Smith apples are just starting to become available here in northern NSW, and there are still a few weeks left in the summer passionfruit season.

This is the fourth in my “Muesli Bar Challenge” series.  So far I have three from three, but last week’s Choc Chip Cookies are the one to beat!  The challenge is a lunchbox baking recipe, that is fast and easy, healthy, ethical, and that my school age reviewers actually prefer to the junk food marketed as “muesli bars”.

The Recipe

Quantities are a bit difficult to specify for this recipe, because apples come in lots of sizes, and passionfruit are variably juicy.  You are aiming for a muffin-type batter, which is not quite as thick as a standard cake batter, sort of between a pikelet and a cake batter, and not over-mixed.  The apple needs to be diced fairly small or they tend to break up.  The recipe is pretty forgiving though.

Into a bowl mix (in more or less this order):

  • 1 large or 2 small peeled and finely diced green apples (about a cup of diced apple)
  • Pulp from 5 passionfruit
  • 2 good desertspoons of plain, low fat yoghurt
  • 2 good desertspoons of butter, melted
  • ¼ cup milk
  • 2 good desertspoons of brown sugar
  • 1 beaten egg
  • Pinch cinnamon and a small pinch of cloves (careful – it’s easy to overdo it with cloves)
  • Enough wholemeal SR flour to make a thickish pancake batter – about 2/3 of a cup full.

Mix just enough to combine,  and spoon into greased muffin tins.  A small circle of greaseproof paper in the bottom of each tin helps the muffins come out easily.

Bake in a moderate oven for 30 minutes or so, until a skewer comes out clean.

Makes 7 medium muffins (unless Casey finds them as they come out of the oven).