Passionfruit are stemmed fruits with either purple or yellow skins that fit in the palm of your hand. The edible part is the jelly-like pulp and seeds at the centre, which have a pleasant sweet and sour flavour.
Common varieties readily available in the Canadian marketplace are Granadilla and Purple Passionfruit. Additional varieties include Maracuya but they are not typically available in most Canadian grocers. Granadilla tends to have the sweetest taste and the other varieties have a lovely sweet-sour flavour.
To select, look for orange Granadillas with hard and shiny skins. Purple passionfruit skins can be leathery and slightly tender and as they ripen, they become more wrinkled. Purple passionfruit taste sweeter when their skins are wrinkled. You can also give them a gentle shake, choosing the ones that sound like they have the most moisture inside. Another suggestion is to smell them; when they have a sweet tropical scent, they’ll taste that way too.
Don’t be put off by Maracuya with wrinkled skin! A wrinkled texture doesn’t mean the fruit is overripe, but rather it is perfectly ripe! Just when you think you might need to throw it away is when it will taste the sweetest.
How to Store: Passionfruit can be kept at room temperature until ripe then stored in the refrigerator. Once opened, the seeds and pulp should be refrigerated and consumed within one or two days.
To prepare passionfruit: Wash and cut in half with a knife, trying not to let the juice run out. Scoop out the pulp and seeds with a spoon, leaving the bitter white pith inside. Discard the skins. Enjoy the seeds with a spoon as they are, or add them to smoothies and fruit salads. Try spooning some passionfruit over ice cream and slices of cheesecake, stir into yogurt and oatmeal, or spread onto toast and muffins.
Passionfruit is a versatile flavour that can glam up any dish! Try it in a layered pudding, use it to flavour cheesecake parfaits, make a bubble tea with it, or even fill some cream puffs or eclairs with a passionfruit cream filling!