Thought to be native to southern Brazil, passion fruit are named for the bloom of the spectacular passion fruit flower, not for the fruit itself. It’s believed that Spanish missionaries thought parts of the flower resembled different religious symbols.
Choose passion fruit that feels a bit heavy for its size — it should look plump, despite any wrinkles in the skin. (Wrinkled skin is okay, as long as it doesn’t look dry). If your passion fruit’s skin is totally smooth, it’s a good idea to let it ripen for a few days at room temperature. Ripe passion fruit can be stored in the refrigerator for a week or so.
1. Simply slice the fruit in half.
Some people describe the flavor of passion fruit as the true taste and essence of the tropics. The pulp of a purple passion fruit is golden yellow and intensely aromatic — the flavor ranges from sweet-tart to very tart.
2. Use a small spoon to scoop the pulp from its skin.
Passion fruit pulp is gelatinous and full of small dark seeds.
3. Add the pulp to a small bowl and gently heat it to liquify it a bit — this will make it much easier to strain. Now you can strain the warmed pulp through a fine sieve to remove the seeds. If the juice doesn’t seem to be going through, use the back of a spoon to put pressure on the pulp and seeds.
This luscious juice can be used in sweet or savory sauces, in salad dressings, as a marinade, in cocktails, cheesecakes, ice cream, sweet mousses, and more.
It’s also quite common to eat the Passion Fruit seeds. They can add crunch to salads and are often used as garnish over a recipe that includes the juice. And some simply eat everything together, right out of the skin, with a spoon. It’s too tart for me though — I love it mostly in desserts when it’s made sweeter. (And personally, I’m not a fan of the seeds — but I’m also not a fan of pomegranate seeds so maybe it’s me.)