What is Lilikoi or Passion Fruit Puree?
Let’s start with why this fruit has multiple names, Lilikoi and Passion Fruit, and so many more in other places around the world. I live in Hawaii. Here passion fruit is called Lilikoi. The best way to describe the pronunciation is that it sounds like the name Lilly and the fish Koi combined. If you travel much you will find that passion fruit is called something different in almost every country.
Passion Fruit Puree is simply the juice extracted from the passion fruit. If you are lucky enough to live where you can grow passion fruit I have a quick “How to Juice Passion Fruit” tutorial.
There are over a hundred varieties of passion fruit. The closer to the equator that you are, the better chance you have of being able to grow this fruit. Since the fruit is hard to get in the US, most people look for the puree.
The most common varieties are the purple ones as in the photo above and the yellow ones that are in the photo below. The purple and yellow varieties both grow in Hawaii. I use the yellow most frequently because they yield more puree than the purple. They both share the same exotic sweet and tangy flavor that you just can’t get enough of. They are very aromatic and liven up any meal from cocktails all the way through to dessert. This Hawaii food is loved by all the locals.
Passion Fruit puree is frequently substituted in recipes that call for citrus juice like lemon or lime. It has such a strong flavor that you don’t need zest even when called for in a recipe. I don’t recommend trying to zest a passion fruit because it won’t work; if you do want zest for color or texture, lime zest pairs best with lilikoi.
Why is it called a puree instead of a juice or concentrate?
Some fruits have so much fiber pulp that it is impossible to get it all out when juicing them. If your juice is not a clear juice, it is called a puree or a nectar. Passion Fruit falls well into that category as you will notice it isn’t a clear juice like apple juice might be. A concentrate is when the juice is cooked down to remove the water. It is generally frozen and when you take it home from the market you add water back into the concentrate to use it.
As you can see in the photo above, there is not much fruit in a passion fruit. Each lilikoi contains about 1 Tablespoon of juice and some little black seeds and that is it. Each racquetball sized piece of fruit has a thick, hard outer shell, like a gourd. You will need to use a sharp knife in order to get through the outer shell.
They may not have much in the way of juice or fruit to eat but what they do have is an incredibly bright smell and bubbly flavor that will make your taste buds dance the moment it enters your mouth. Anything you serve using passion fruit puree will make your friends and family ask the question that every cook wants to hear, “can I have seconds?”
I hope this has been helpful to answer some of your questions. You can visit our web site to find lilikoi or passion fruit products and flavorful, easy recipes using this amazing fruit.
The Passion Fruit Lady