A Pulp-able Love for Passion Fruit
These simple passion fruit recipes deliver a big pop of flavor. Opt for store-bought pulp, puree, or concentrate so you can save time and enjoy this tropical treasure year-round.
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Tropical Passion Fruit Mousse Pie
If you haven’t tasted passion fruit, you've been missing out, big time. Both sweet and sour, tangy with tart notes of citrus and a floral finish, edible black seeds, and a rich aroma that’s as powerful as good vanilla, this tropical fruit will transform you into a true believer — if you’re not a convert already.
There are many varieties but the most common are purple, yellow, or orange-red, and can range from the size of an egg to a small grapefruit. Though today passion fruit is grown in parts of the U.S. and can be found fresh in some markets, the recipes below call for packaged pulp, puree, or concentrate so you can devote yourself to the pleasures of passion fruit all year round.
And while "passion fruit" sounds like an aphrodisiac, its modern name comes from the use of the fruit’s glorious purple flower by Jesuit missionaries in South America to demonstrate elements of the Passion, or final period, of Christ’s life to the indigenous peoples they hoped to win over. But whatever the etymology, these recipes with passion fruit will stoke your desire, spark joy on your tongue, and deliver you to a heavenly place, fork in hand.
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Passion fruit tips and tricks >>
Custard, mousse, and fools for passion fruit >>
Passion fruit cakes, tarts, and bars >>
More creative passion fruit recipes >>
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Passion fruit tips and tricks
Read on for some good-to-know passion fruit info.
Can I substitute purchased passion fruit pulp for fresh?
It’s ok to take the easy road in the recipes that follow. For every 2 1/2 passion fruits called for in a passion fruit recipe, use 1/4 cup of packaged pulp (shelf-stable or frozen).
Where can I find passion fruit juice, pulp, or puree?
If you’re fortunate enough to live near a Mexican market there should be plenty of options on the shelves; the word for passion fruit in Mexican Spanish is maracuyá. In the Latin or Hispanic aisle of the grocery store it’s sometimes called granadilla (similar to “pomegranate” in Spanish), or maracuja (as it’s called in Brazil and Ecuador), or parcha (Venezuela), or perhaps parchita or chinola (Puerto Rico). In Hawaii, passion fruit is called lilikoi. It’s also easy to order from big online food retailers under any of the above names.
What’s the best way to store passion fruit pulp or puree?
Once you've opened a package, store the unused portion in an airtight glass or plastic container in the refrigerator for about four days. If you’d like to keep it longer, simply divide it into an ice cube tray (the wells in a standard tray are about two tablespoons each, or one ounce), freeze, then pop out the cubes and store in a resealable bag. Frozen passion fruit puree lasts about six months.
Custard, mousse, and fools for passion fruit
A little passion fruit goes a long way to flavor silky custards, mousse, and even an updated fool.
Tropical Passion Fruit Mousse Pie
A crunchy coconut cookie crust brings a kiss of butter to the base of this vanilla-flecked passion fruit mousse pie, which comes together quickly thanks to a blitz of purchased coconut cookies in the blender and passion fruit juice concentrate. Feel free to skip the passion fruit seed garnish on top; a sprig of mint or a few food-safe flowers are just as lovely.
Passion Fruit Custard Pots
These sweet little custards make a fragrant dessert, and are decadent enough to be an endnote to a lighter meal. The simplicity of the ingredients — milk, cream, eggs, and sugar — allows the brightness of the passion fruit to shine, in flavor and fragrance. Be sure to plan on a few hours for the custards to cool in the refrigerator.
Passion Fruit Mousse
Use your imagination when deciding how to serve up this brightly colored passion fruit dessert recipe. The mousse can be presented in one large bowl, or in old-fashioned tea cups or individual ramekins. Everyone will appreciate the one-two flavor hit of fluffy passion fruit mousse topped with a reduction of the same fruit.
Passion Fruit Fool
Who among us hasn’t been a fool for passion at some point? This old-fashioned dessert is an English classic usually made with gooseberries, but this recipe with passion fruit pulp gets a tropical twist. Only four ingredients required: cream whipped with sugar and orange liqueur, and a cup of passion fruit pulp gently folded in. Now that’s exciting.
White Chocolate and Passion Fruit Mousse
We eat with our eyes first, as first century gourmand Apicius reportedly said. So be sure to serve these rich little passion fruit desserts in clear glasses or bowls to see the exquisite shifts from rich white chocolate mousse to plump red raspberries to golden-pink sweet and sour passion fruit and raspberry juices below.
Passion fruit cakes, tarts, and bars
A taste of the tropics elevates traditional treats with a powerful sweet-yet-tart kiss.
Passion Fruit Cheesecake
The sunny yellow center of this cheesecake will have everyone smiling when you bring it to the table. Macadamia nuts and cinnamon in the crust complete the island vibe, while a mere half cup of passion fruit puree flavors the filling and scents the air.
Passion Fruit Pudding Cake
This lovely passion fruit cake recipe gives you two desserts in one: The top is a delicate, aromatic golden cake, and thanks to the bain marie (water bath) in the oven the bottom becomes a luscious soft pudding. It’s best to begin a day before you plan to serve it so the saucy cake has time to set up in the fridge.
Passion Fruit Bars
Take a detour from the lemon bars everyone expects and add some frisson to your dessert table. The filling for these simple bars comes together in minutes if you embrace the Brazilian approach: Toss the ingredients in the blender and let the blades do the work! Feel free to skip the seedy syrup on top; they’ll still be gorgeous.
Passion Fruit Tart
This simple yet beautiful tart calls for a sweet short crust pastry that’s easily whizzed together in a food processor. The lush sunflower-yellow filling with tart citrusy notes, made from a combination of passion fruit pulp and lemon juice, requires only a bowl and a whisk to prepare.
Passion Fruit Melting Moments
These delicate little sandwich cookies have an airy quality that pairs perfectly with the sweet perfume of their filling, thanks to the addition of passion fruit curd. Please note: The “icing sugar” in the filling is Australian for confectioners’ sugar.
Passion fruit drinks
The intoxicating aroma of passion fruit enhances the experience of many beverages.
Spicy Passion Fruit Martini
Heat up your evening with this cool martini that has only three ingredients: the spicy vodka of your choice, passion fruit concentrate, and a little simple syrup. A cocktail shaker (or in a pinch, a sturdy jar with a tight lid), ice, and a little elbow grease are all that’s required.
Want to make your own piquant spirit? Fill a jar with vodka, add some hot peppers — if you’re bold a few orange habaneros (also known as Scotch bonnets), or just a couple jalapeño slices for a little kick — and set aside for a week in a cool spot. Strain out peppers before serving.
Passion Fruit Bubble Tea
Boba tea (or bubble tea, its Americanized moniker), is widely popular but rarely made at home. But that’s easy; the hard part is finding the right tapioca pearls (which these days are easy to order online). Purchased simple syrup makes this treat quick to prepare, and the black tea gets a bright lift and tart kick from the passion fruit concentrate. Feel free to use cream or sweetened condensed milk instead of a nondairy option, which will curdle from the acidity of the passion fruit.
Frozen Passion Fruit Margarita
This slushy cocktail gets plenty of acidic zing from the passion fruit juice, so less lime juice than usual is required. A blender, some ice, and a handful of ingredients are all it takes to stir up this sophisticated margarita.
Hawaiian POG Drink
In this juice blend fragrant with passion fruit pulp, that Hawaiian favorite claims the “P”, while orange juice delivers the “O,” and guava gets you the “G.” Whether over ice or taken straight up, it’s a vacation in a glass.
Passion Fruit Hurricane
The Hurricane was conceived in New Orleans during WWII as a way to use up plentiful stores of rum (while most drinkers preferred harder-to-find whiskey). The passion fruit juice gives it a lofty floral note. Today the strong, sweet cocktail is a favorite Mardi Gras drink and delicious any time you want to whirl up a party!
More creative passion fruit recipes
Try a modern update on a classic, a twist in dressing, and a sweet and healthy passion fruit recipe to start the day. Explore the novel passion fruit recipes below.
Pavlova Ice Cream Jars
Passion fruit is often part of a traditional Pavlova dessert, but in this cheerful, easier variation, you crumble in purchased meringue cookies rather than whipping up a meringue from scratch. Thus this refreshing passion fruit recipe becomes a sweet snap to prepare.
Passion Fruit Vinaigrette
Homemade vinaigrette sounds fancy, but the main skills required are the ability to put ingredients into a jar, screw the lid on tightly, and shake it up. Done! This exquisite dressing smells amazing thanks to the passion fruit pulp.
Tropical Smoothie Bowl
Begin the morning with a jaunt to the tropics, all in one beautiful bowl. Pineapple and mango chunks are blended with coconut milk and ice, then form the base of a modern art breakfast you design with sliced pineapple, passion fruit pulp, and shredded coconut. Why not paint a tropical sunrise you can eat?
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