Passion Fruit: The Fruit, The Whole Fruit & Nothing But The Fruit
I love passion fruit with all my heart and soul and was thrilled to discover a few years ago that it grew in Nigeria. Seasonal, I get mine from Vegetable Express who work with farms and farmers in the north of Nigeria.
Because I order my passion fruit by the kilo and from the north, I tend to make bulk orders, between 8 and 10 kilograms.
Because the seeds keeps very well frozen, I’ve never been worried about ordering too much. The first few times I got batches, I would cut in half and remove the seeds, bag them in ‘portion-sizes’ and freeze. Then I would discard the empty shells. Painfully though for it seemed like such a waste.
and then one day, I decided to investigate further – was there more we could do with the pulp? It turns out that yes, there is more. It turns out that the more is marmalade or jam. Leaving my heart and soul better, leaving me feeling like I’m doing my bit for the universe.
So, here’s how it goes:
The Seeds & Juice
I wash my passion fruit and then cut each in half, over a bowl. This way, I collect the seeds and juice. Sometimes, the seeds and juice tumble out willingly, other times they have to be assisted with a spoon.
I portion the passion fruit into little zippy bags, enough for a jug.
When I want to make juice, I get a bag out, pass it through a sieve with water and reserve the seeds.
I add the seeds to cakes and bakes for an interesting crunch. One of my recent experiments included adding them to puffpuff batter – yum yum yum.
I learned that the pith was edible, once cooked.
To prepare this, you cook the passionfruit shells by putting in a large pot/ pan and covering with water. Some let this sit overnight before cooking, I often cook right away.
If I don’t have time to cook them immediately, I freeze them till I do.
When ready, cook the passionfruit shells and the soaking water, for half an hour or until the inner part, the white pith softens.
When cooked, allow to cool down, then using a spoon, scoop out pith.
It’ll be a light pink-purple, or yellow.
Also reserve the cooking water. The pith isn’t very tasty – is somewhat bitter but it has some bulk and pectin which can help the base of your jam. Both freeze very well.
I blend this cooked pith and add it to a mix with passion fruit juice and seeds, some sugar and vanilla and cook down to make a loose marmalade (because it is slightly bitter I call it marmalade not jam).
We enjoy that on sarnies, in trifles and parfaits and everyone is happy!
So there, Passionfruit – the fruit, the whole fruit and nothing but the fruit.
What else would you do with your passion fruit?