Even the name gives it an exotic flavour. It has been used for years in traditional medicine in a number of countries around the world, especially as a calming tonic for hyperactive children as well as adults. Today, research has thrown up evidence that it inhibits the growth of cancer cells. The fruit is high in fibre content – that’s if you eat it with the seeds - as well as potassium and Vitamins A and C.
So what can you do with passionfruit? The unusual, exotic flavour lends itself to a number of recipes. You first need to cut the fruit in half and scoop out the orange pulp inside.
The first thing that comes to mind! You can strain the pulp through a sieve, squeezing out every bit of it, or you can put the pulp with the seeds through a blender and strain. Then, mix with water and sugar and enjoy! How concentrated or dilute to make it is up to you. Some like the tartness, others prefer it to be watered down and enjoy the light, exotic flavour.
I usually make a syrup and store it in the refrigerator. I bring 2 cups of water and 1 cup of sugar to the boil, cool it and add the strained pulp of 10 passionfruits. In a glass, I add 1/3 of this concentrate to 2/3 cold club soda for a refreshing drink. Add a bit of Bacardi and it’s a cocktail to die for!
Mix together cucumbers - diced, onions – cut in rings, feta cheese or mozzarella cheese – cubed (I also use paneer, the Indian cottage cheese), iceberg lettuce – shredded, cherry tomatoes and basil. Blend together olive oil, cider vinegar, salt, honey, chilli flakes and passionfruit pulp and mix through the other ingredients. You can add a few croutons just before serving (optional).
Line a large sieve with cheesecloth and put in 2 cups of yoghurt so any excess whey drips off. Whisk it with 2 teaspoonfuls of passionfruit pulp and 3 teaspoonfuls of sugar, powdered (optional). Serve in bowls with a teaspoon of passionfruit pulp with the seeds spooned over.
Soak 1 level tablespoon powdered gelatine in 1/2 cup of warm water for 15 minutes. Mix together the pulp of 7 passionfruits (sieved), 1 cup milk, 1 cup thick cream and 3/4 cup sweetened condensed milk. Mix in the dissolved gelatine (you can heat it a bit in a double boiler if it hasn’t dissolved). Leave in the refrigerator overnight to set.
Remy Cointreau makes one of the most exotic liqueurs with passionfruit and it’s called Passoa. It’s smooth, it’s sweet, it’s heady. If you want to make something at home with passionfruit, put the pulp of 10 passionfruit into ½ a bottle of brandy, add a cup of sugar and put it away for 6 months – a year if you can! Strain and enjoy!
We get such a large crop every year from our garden so I freeze a lot of the pulp and there's enough to last us till the next crop is ready.