I didn’t know what to make of sago when I first encountered it — strange slippery see-through little bubbles, like shiny beads or bubbles in a rock pool or, well, frogs’ eggs. If you allow yourself to embrace the texture though, rather than fear it, you’ll grow to love this strange stuff. Especially when it’s soaked in the summery flavours of coconut cream, passion fruit and mellow caramel.
Freeze-dried passion fruit powder can be found in speciality food shops. While it’s a little expensive, it lasts for a long time, and the merest spoonful gives the most unbelievably intense hit of pure, blissful passion fruit. When the weather gets warmer, my criteria for food becomes more and more along the lines of ‘is from the fridge’ and ‘requires little effort to eat so I don’t get even more overheated in the process’. This pudding meets both of those requirements easily, as well as that other important criteria: it’s ridiculously delicious.
Coconut and passion fruit sago
- 1 cup sago pearls
- 75g palm sugar
- ½ cup water
- ½ cup coconut cream
- Pinch of ground cinnamon
- 1 tbsp Fresh As freeze-dried passion fruit powder
- Extra coconut cream
- Fresh fruit, such as sliced mango or pineapple
- Toasted coconut threads
- Bring a good-sized pot of water to the boil — use as much water as you would for making pasta.
- Carefully tip in the sago and simmer for around 15 minutes. Stir continually with a silicon spatula (or similar) as it simmers, to prevent any sago sticking to the base of the pan. Do this until the sago pearls have swelled and become translucent and soft, like tiny bubbles.
- Drain the sago in a sieve — the holes in a colander are too large! Inevitably, some pearls will stick to the sieve and be impossible to get off, so don’t worry if this happens and do your best to scrape it all off. Transfer the cooked sago into a mixing bowl and set aside.
- Put the palm sugar and ½ cup of water together in a small pan and heat gently, stirring until the sugar has completely dissolved and the mixture is syrupy.
- Stir this syrup, the ½ cup of coconut cream, the cinnamon and the passion fruit powder into the bowl of sago.
- Divide the mixture between four ramekins/small bowls and refrigerate for at least an hour.
- Serve with more coconut cream poured over the top, sliced fresh fruit and a sprinkle of toasted coconut threads.