Passion Fruit Sorbet

Whenever I have a bumper crop of fruit I eat it fresh until I’m sick of it, then my mind turns to sorbet. If you’re not making sorbet, you should. It’s cheap, easy, and delicious. It’s also a great way to preserve fresh fruit. I make sorbet from uncooked fruit puree and sugar. Dehydrated and jam are other options, but sorbet captures and preserves the fresh, bright flavors of the fruit. And because you’re only using the juice, you’re preserving it in a compact, convenient form; no canning or vacuum sealing required.

My mom had a bumper crop of passion fruit this year. I love passion fruit, it’s one of my favorites. But it’s damn expensive. At farmer’s market it can go for $6-8 per pound. At the grocery store they sell them for $2 each! If you want to attempt this recipe it helps to be rich, know someone who grows the fruit, or find a place to forage it. Many people plant passion vines for landscaping. There are many “ornamental” varieties that still produce fruit. I haven’t eaten them, but who knows. Or you can cheat and buy passion fruit concentrate somewhere.

Passion Fruit Sorbet
2 cups passion fruit juice
1 cup sugar
1 cup water

Make a simple syrup. Combine sugar and water in a pan. Bring to a simmer, stirring occasionally until sugar is dissolved. Simmer until thickened slightly, then cover and chill to fridge temp.

Juice the passion fruit. Hold the passion fruit with stem side up and cut around the crown like you would a pumpkin. Carefully remove top and set aside. Invert passion fruit over a bowl, to catch the juice then scrape out remaining seeds and juice with a spoon. Lastly scrape the seeds from the crown. Continue until you have about 3 cups of juice and seeds.

The seeds are surrounded by a juice filled membrane. You can work them through a strainer with a spatula to extract the juice. Or a food mill on medium setting makes quick work of it. Continue on until you have 2 cups of juice. Then chill to fridge temp.

When juice and syrup are both fridge-cold, combine and pour into running ice cream maker. On mine, 25 minutes made sorbet with the perfect firm, but fluffy, texture. The resulting dessert is an intense experience; tart, tropical, and visceral. Serve with fresh passion fruit over the top, or if you’re really ambitious, a fresh strawberry syrup.

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