French: Fruit de la passion
West Indies: Maracudja
Origin: South America
Etymology: the name was given to it by the Jesuits, who used it to portray Christ’s passion to the Indians whom they were trying to convert.
From the passiflora tree
It is a climbing plant, a parasitic liana (vine) found in tropical regions, as well as in the West Indies, Africa, Australia and Malaysia.
The fruit is an egg-shaped berry covered by a smooth thick skin; it is the size of a small apple and yellow, pink or purplish-brown in color. It contains a large number of black seeds surrounded by tegument, which caused the Spanish to nickname it the “little pomegranate.” The pulp is light yellow or orangey and very mucilaginous.
Nutritional values per 100 g
Calories: 90; carbohydrates: 21 g; fat: trace; protein: 0.2 g. Rich in potassium and vitamin C.
The skin has a leathery appearance and should be supple to the touch; it should give when lightly pressed. If the skin is very smooth, the fruit is immature; avoid any with a lot of black marks.
It should be darkly-colored, as egg-shaped as possible, large and heavy.
The yellow variety is the most acidic.
It is ripe when the skin is slightly rumpled; leave at room temperature, away from direct light, to allow the fruit to ripen.
Place in the vegetable crisper of the refrigerator to stop the ripening process.
Rinse the passion fruit under cool water.
Both acidic and sweet, its flesh is delicious and flavorful, reminiscent of the guava; it can be cut in half and eaten with a spoon.
It is a fruit that can be easily puréed to make jellies, creams, sorbets and ice cream.
To make jam, combine 1 lb. passion fruit flesh and 8 oz. sugar in a saucepan. Simmer to the desired consistency.
Use the juice to flavor cocktails or fruit salads.
Try a cocktail of rum, cane syrup and passion fruit juice.
Purée passion fruit to make a sauce to serve with fresh white cheese and assorted berries.
Try a Brazilian-style mousse made from passion fruit juice and seeds, gelatin and condensed milk.
Pan fry turbot or other firm white fish in a little butter. Remove from the pan and keep warm. Slice some passion fruit and cook in the same pan. Serve with the fish and the pan juices deglazed with a little orange juice and a spoonful of passion fruit or red currant jelly.
Guadeloupian passion fruit sorbet - Collect the pulp and juice from twelve passion fruits; mix in a blender; add sugar syrup (10 oz. sugar, 15 oz. water and the juice of one lime) and freeze in an ice cream maker.
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