Passionfruit are a subtropical delicacy. Tart, floral, and sweeter as they age, their seedy pulp is hidden inside a hard shell (which can be smooth or wrinkled depending on their degree of ripeness). They can be enigmatic, a vexing dinosaur egg, for first-time passionfruit eaters. What is the best way to enjoy them, especially if they have come with a hefty price tag attached? Whether you are growing your own (hello, California!), buying them online, or shopping at a local Asian produce market (always a source of otherwise hard-to-find produce), here are some ideas, ranging from simple to decadent, to suit every pocket.
Photos by Marie Viljoen
If you have never eaten a passionfruit, start simply: Just slice in half and scoop. It’s a purist’s dessert: simple, but dramatic.
Let’s say you have just a few, or even one, precious passionfruit. What to do?
Spoon the pulp onto thick, creamy yogurt, with a drizzle of honey.
You can also use passionfruit: Poured over raw fish or shrimp for a quick, acid-cooked ceviche. Swirled into kefir for a lassi. Churned into ice cream. Frozen into granita. Dropped into the hollow of a sweet papaya. Folded into whipped cream for a passionfruit fool. Mixed into a mousse (my go-to dessert). Plopped atop pavlova.
Some people hate the seeds. If you want to use only passionfruit juice, pulse the pulp briefly in a food processor to sling the seeds from the pulp, then strain. For mouthwatering passionfruit bars simply substitute passionfruit juice for half the lemon juice in your favorite lemon bar recipe (and do make the up the other half with lemon juice).
Or just shake it all up. This cocktail is named after the passionfruit purveyor who ships Californian passionfruit countrywide, in season.
3 oz gin
1.5 oz passionfruit juice or pulp (from 1 large passionfruit)
0.5 oz simple syrup
0.5 oz fresh lime juice
Shake up with plenty of ice.
Strain, pour, sip.
For more recipes, see:
- Honeysuckle Cordial: A Delicious Way to Control an Invasive Vine
- So You Grew a Lemon: Now What? 7 Easy Ideas
- Elderflower Fizz Recipe: From Garden to Glass