Start to Finish: 15 minutes
Difficulty Level: Beginner
With its pleasantly tart finish and strong, fruity aroma, passion fruit is not only a satisfying thirst-quencher by itself, but also a robust base for a tropical juice blend that needs sourness to balance the sugars. The juice is quick and easy to make, but does require added water because the fruit itself is mainly seeds.
- 10 to 12 ripe passion fruits
- 1/3 cup brown sugar or 2 tablespoons honey
- 3 cups water
- 2 teaspoons lemon juice, to taste
Wash the passion fruit under cold, running water to remove any wax covering or fruit-rust patches on the skin. Passion fruit are yellow, orange or purple when ripe, depending on the country of origin, but should feel plump and heavy.
Cut the fruit in half with a sharp paring knife. Lay the fruit on a chopping board and pierce the thin, leathery skin with the tip of the knife, then work around the circumference with the blade.
Scoop out the seed pulp at the center with a spoon, holding the fruit over a mixing bowl. The skin and its pulp can be discarded. Once all the passion fruit are open and empty, transfer the combined pulp to a blender and add the water and sugar.
Pulse the mixture for no more than 10 seconds until the juice takes on the color of egg yolk. The seeds will be separated from their protective covering, but if they are blended for too long, they will be small enough to escape filtering, giving the juice a gritty texture.
Pour the juice slowly through a fine-mesh strainer into a jug filled a third of the way with ice. Agitate the sieve occasionally to stop the seeds blocking the mesh, or stir the mush gently with a spatula. Discard the seeds.
Add a dash of lemon juice, according to taste, and stir the juice with a spoon. Don’t worry if a fine froth head forms on the juice.
Serve in a tall glass with a slice of citrus fruit.
Tips and Serving Suggestions
Passion fruit can be an acquired taste. The juice served in the Caribbean and Latin America is often cloyingly sweet. At the other extreme, the finish would be too tart for most palates without any sugar or honey. The wisest approach to achieve the appropriate blend is to use the sugar and water sparingly before blending and to add either or both once the filtered pulp is in the jug.
The distinctive sourness makes a great mixer for juice blends. Adding passion fruit to orange juice counters some of the latter’s acidity, while mixing it with pineapple juice allows for using less sugar in the blend, since the pineapple brings its own dominant sweetness.
Passion fruit with wrinkled, weathered skin can still be ripe and ready for juicing, but avoid those with tender or moist patches, a sign that the protective wax covering has been compromised.
The fruit stays fresh for a week in the refrigerator, while the pulp or juice can be frozen for a couple of months without any noticeable loss of flavor.