In Hawaii, passion fruit is called lilikoi or liliko’i. Yellow passion fruit is tropical, therefore grows more abundantly in Hawaii than the subtropical purple variety. Passion fruit packs a distinctive, tart yet sweet taste. The flavor could be described as similar to mango or papaya, with a lemony tang. Lilikoi juice is featured in many tasty Hawaiian recipes including syrup, jam, jelly, ice cream, cocktails and baked goods such as cakes and bars. There is no need to buy store-bought lilikoi juice for your baked treats. You can easily make your own fresh passion fruit juice in just a few minutes.
Things You'll Need
Cut the passion fruit in half. Use a sharp knife to carefully cut through the leathery, thick rind.
Use a small, sturdy spoon to scoop the pulp and seeds into a bowl. Scrape the inside out to make sure you get out all of the pulp. Discard the skins.
Transfer the pulp and seeds into a food processor or blender. Use the pulse setting a few short times to gently loosen the seeds from the pulp and liquify the pulp a bit. Do not use the pulse setting for longer than a total of 30 seconds.
Place a mesh strainer or sieve over a bowl. Transfer the lilikoi mixture into the strainer. Work in batches if you are working with several passion fruit, pouring about a half cup of lilikoi in the strainer at a time.
Use the back of the spoon to push the juice through the strainer. Push down several times to ensure that all of the juice is separating from the seeds and pulp. Discard the seeds and continue to strain the rest of the lilikoi, if any.
Measure the juice and use in your baked goods recipe, or store for later use. Store any lilikoi juice that won’t be used immediately in a tightly covered container in the refrigerator for up to a week. Freeze in heavy duty freezer bags for up to a year.
Reserve any excess juice, if desired, for use in other recipes such as drinks or syrup.
The word “lilikoi” is usually synonymous for “yellow passion fruit.” If a recipe calls for lilikoi juice, you can assume that it is asking for yellow, unless it specifies purple. Purple passion fruit is smaller, the pulp slightly less acidic, and is usually the preferred for consuming fresh. Regardless, the varieties taste quite similar and can be used interchangeably.
Look for yellow lilikoi that are a bit wrinkly and brown, as this is a sign that the fruit is fully matured and has the sweetest taste.
You can ripen lilikoi, if needed, at room temperature. Once ripe, store whole fresh passion fruit for up to a week in the refrigerator.
You can eat lilikoi fresh by cutting it in half, then scooping the pulp and seeds out with a spoon. The tiny, brown to black seeds of lilikoi are edible but very hard. They are usually sorted from the pulp and thrown out.
References and ResourcesTrade Winds Fruit: Lilikoi
Purdue University: Passionfruit
Huffington Post: Travel: The Best Ways to Eat Lilikoi, The Tangy Fruit You've Never Heard Of
The Garden Island: Recipe for Delicious Lilikoi Bars
The Little Ferraro Kitchen: A Taste of Aloha-Lilikoi Bars With Fresh Lilikoi Glaze
My Family Doctor: Passion Fruit