Passion Fruit In Time For Valentines

Valentine’s Day is right around the corner so why not surprise your special someone with a decadent passion fruit beverage!

It makes sense that this exotic, fragrant, flower would produce a pleasantly sweet but tangy fruit called passion fruit or granadilla. It looks like a flower that you would find in the movie Avatar. Even though there are around 500 species of passion fruit, there are really only two main types, purple and yellow. I grew the purple variety. If you have never tasted passion fruit then now is the time to get your taste buds ready.

I bought my passion fruit vine from Home Depot, planted it by a wooden fence in my garden and crossed my fingers it would survive.

They are vigorous climbers so plant this vine somewhere sturdy, where it’s tendrils can grab on to something. This plant would be great on a arched trellis or arbor.

I dug a hole 3 times the size of the container it came in and amended my soil with compost, worm castings and Dr Earths plant food .This plant is subtropical and prefers a frost free climate so it is a perfect choice for my home in southern California. My vine gets south facing light and has done quite well since it needs full sun to produce fruit and flowers. If you live in a very hot area it might need a little shade to protect it from the sun. You will get fruit off of your vine in 1 to 3 years from the time you plant it.

This wonderful deep green, waxy leaf vine is full of surprises. In the spring and summer it had the most exotic looking flowers and then in the fall it produced the most appealing, guava like tasting fruit.

When the fruit first appeared on my vine it was green and had a tough rind but it wasn’t time to pick them yet. Snails love this plant so I threw some organic snail bait from time to time but rind of the fruit  is so hard t hat the snails only did damage to the leaves.

Passion fruit

Excellent drainage is necessary and this vine is a heavy feeder. I planted mine on an incline so it never sits in water. Once you pick them you need to set them aside until they are  brittle and wrinkled with a deep purple skin. The Passion fruit vine can live for 5 to 7 years.

passion fruit wit oranges
Most of my fruit fell off the vine when they were ready and I collected them in a basket. They should be left at room temperature to ripen. Once ripened you can store them in the refrigerator up to 1 week.

The seeds are edible so you can eat the orange pulp straight from the shell. Passion fruit is more commonly sieved and its highly aromatic pulp and juice are used as a flavoring for beverages and sauces. The pulp has an intense aromatic flavor, while the texture is jelly-like and watery. I made some passion / orange fruit juice out of mine this time.

passion fruit

Once you open up the cavity you will find a mass of double-walled, membranous sacs filled with orange-colored, pulpy juice and as many as 250 small, hard, dark-brown or black, pitted seeds.

The pulp is great over ice cream or other soft fruits as well. You can make a delicious jam or jelly and the seeds add a unique crunchy texture.

eating passion fruit
My son Cole just loves passion fruit. He snuck into the kitchen and downed a few of them seeds and all when I was making my concoction. This fruit might look a little scary for some children, but not for my 10 year old.

passion fruit
To make the passion/orange juice I began by cutting the fruit in half and scooping out the fleshy pulp with a spoon and putting it in a bowl.
I transferred the pulp and seeds to a glass pitcher. Then I juiced my oranges and added the juice to the pitcher.

passion fruit and oranges
I then added an equal amount of water to the juice and a touch agave nectar or sugar to sweeten.

passion fruit and agave
I stirred briskly with a whisk to separate the pulp from the passion fruit seed. The liquid from the orange juice and the water will help with this process.

To remove the seeds, I poured the juice into a colander and used a spoon in a stirring motion to separate the rest of the pulp from the seeds.

passion fruit and strainer
Then I poured the juice back into the pitcher and the juice was ready to serve. It takes a little effort but trust me it is worth it.

passion fruit juice
Lastly I added a little mint from my garden and ice and served it to my eagerly awaiting little boy, Cole.