When to harvest and eat passionfruit

Wednesday, January 25, 2006

In warm areas the vines fruit most of the year; in colder areas in late summer. Pick the fruit when they change colour and shrivel just slightly, or wait till they fall off the vine.

Home-grown fresh passionfruit will keep for several months in the fridge or a cool cupboard, but will gradually lose their sweetness. Passionfruit pulp can be frozen in iceblocks for later use. Excess passionfruit can be made into passionfruit curd, passionfruit syrup or cordial to be enjoyed when the memories of summer's passionfruit have become a distant sweet memory. Most friends will also love a basket of homegrown passionfruit.

There is NOTHING like a sun-hot, freshly picked passionfruit. Eat it with a spoon, like we did when we were kids. Fresh passionfruit pulp is lovely spooned over icecream, or stirred into fresh orange juice, on pavlovas and on iced cakes or in cream sponges. Add passionfruit pulp instead of milk, buttermilk or water liquid in cake or biscuit recipes to make them passionfruit-flavoured instead.

Even the pulp of one passionfruit lifts the flavour of a mixed fruit salad. If you have some slightly disappointingly flavourless strawberries mix a passionfruit through the sliced strawberries to give them some zing.

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