Lilikoi is a Hawaiian term for passion fruit. In Vietnam they are called chanh leo which literally means climbing lime. There are several varieties of them. The ones that are most often seen on Maui are yellow when ripe. When I was in Panama I ate the purple ones. You cut the fruit in half and eat the inside including the seeds. It is tart with some sweetness. It has a nice aroma. I came across a bucket of fruit so I decided to make a syrup. When the fruit drops to the ground they are good and ready to eat. Even if they are all wrinkled and ugly looking they are still very good. It's one that you cannot judge from the outside!
25-30 lilikoi fruits (all sizes)
1) Cut each lilikoi fruit in half and scoop out the inside.
2) Puree the scooped out fruit and its juice in a blender.
3) Strain the contents in a fine strainer and discard the seeds.
4) Heat a large pot over high heat, add the juice, once the juice is about to boil turn heat to low and allow the juice to simmer (uncover) for 30-35 minutes.
5) The sauce will reduce down to about 1/4 of the actual juice after you are done.
6) Let the syrup cool completely, reserve in an airtight jar, and keep in the refrigerator for future use.
|three lilikoi fruit on vine|
|lilikoi flower and leaf|
|ripe lilikoi fruit of all sizes|
(these are about the size of a lime or lemon)
|cut in half, scoop out the inside|
and discard the outer thick skin
*I pureed the fruit in a blender with the seeds. The seeds are fine to eat. Some people don't like to keep the seeds. If you don't want the seed bits then just strain the contents after you scoop out the inside. I find that if I put them in a blender I yield more fruit juice. The fine black specks from the seeds give the sauce an interesting look.