Passion Flower Fruits are Edible

http://blogging.la/archives/images/2006/08/bla-passionflowerfruit-thumb.jpgPassion Flowers grow on beautiful, albiet invasive, vines all over southern California. I have some on the chainlink fence in the back of my yard and have wondered for years if their pretty little orange fruits were edible. They’re related to the larger commercially grown Passion Fruit, but then again Deadly Nightshade is related to Tomatoes.

Erin over at Erin’s Kitchen recently posted a confirmation that the Passion Flower Fruits are edible. As a little fact-check, I went into my back yard this afternoon and picked on and ate some of the seeds and have lived to blog about it.

The little fruits are smaller than a plum and kind of mushy feeling instead of being dense and hard like a stone fruit. Ripe fruits are orange and you can peel back the leathery rind to find the blood red seeds which are mushier than Pomegranate seeds, but kind of similar in flavor.

I’m not quite sure what you can do with them, except maybe strain them for some juice/pulp to be added to a smoothie or maybe a pie or preserve. Anyone ever use them in anything? The harvest on my back fence isn’t quite ready yet.

6 Replies to “Passion Flower Fruits are Edible”

  1. Cybele you were reading my mind. A couple weeks ago I was at the Taco Bell across from Tommy’s at Rampart and Beverly and all over the fence along the drive-through hangs a bumper crop of passion fruit. I was going to go back and pick some but I doubted their edibility. Now I’m gonna go back tomorrow and hope some are still there.

  2. We use them a lot in Brazil, mostly for juices, but the mousse is a very popular dessert.
    They are supposed to have calming properties.
    For the juice, just blend them with a little water or ice, and sweeten to taste.
    Their taste tends to the acid/ tart side, so I don’t know how concentrated you want your juice to be! :)
    For the mousse, there are several different recipes. For these we use the processed concentrated juice you find at stores (there’s a couple brazilian supermarkets in town that carry them). But having the little black seeds to make a glaze with makes ALL the difference in the final presentation.
    The easiest mousse recipe is as follows (and it’s absolutely delicious):
    1 can condensed milk;
    1 can “creme de leite” (table cream)
    1 can concentrated juice.

    Just mix in the blender and arrange in dessert cups.

    And then have the pulp and seeds of a couple of the fruits boil really quickly with some water and sugar to form the glaze to top the mixture.

    Some people use this same “mousse” and glaze recipe as a component of a nice charlotte, with lady finger cookies and whipped cream.

    The most elaborate recipes call for mounted egg whites and flavorless gelatin.

    There, here is my report on Brazilian desserts! :)

  3. If you have passion fruit growing on vines outside your house consider yourself very very lucky! I love that fruit… The brazilians call it “maracuja.”

    Now, what to do with all the persimmons I have in my backyard? (Can’t stand that fruit!)

  4. Flavia–thanks for the recipe ideas–as I reported on my blog the curd I made with the passionflower fruits didn’t let their flavor really shine.

    If anyone is looking for some of these fruits, I got mine from a parking lot near my old office in Culver City–on Blackwelder St, which is basically an alley where Fairfax meets La Cienega (you’ll see JR’s BBQ at the corner). The parking lot is on the left/south side of the streeet, and you can’t miss it–the fences are covered in passion flower vines.

  5. The birds pretty much got to mine before I could. I didn’t know what they were, so last week to a picture to the local nursery and they told me what they were.

    The finches and crows pretty much have picked them apart by now.

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