Lilikoi (Passion Fruit) Jelly

Liliko‘i -- or passion fruit -- is the epitome of tropical flavor and perfect for turning into jelly.

Otherwise known as passion fruit, liliko‘i is Mother Nature’s answer to a SweeTart. The first sour bite of a liliko‘i will jangle all the way back to your jawbone. Stick with it, though, and you’ll catch the tropical sweet undertones if this much-loved fruit. Filled with small black seeds wrapped in a juicy orange membrane, it grows on a vine that can get rambunctious in this mild climate. While I’m told there have been attempts to eradicate the vine as a pest, I consider myself lucky to have one growing in my backyard.

One can only eat so much lilikoi fresh out of hand, though, so I find myself juicing much of my bounty to turn into lilikoi jelly and lilikoi bread. Earlier this week, I made a batch of lilikoi jelly in teeny tiny jars so that I can take them with me on my next whirlwind visit to see family and friends on the mainland. There are not a lot of lilikoi jelly recipes on the ‘net – and certainly none that are as low sugar as this one – so I thought I’d share here even though it’s primarily a tropical fruit. (Though if you really want to try it, you can get passion fruit concentrate shipped to your door.)

I use Pomona pectin, since it allows me to use less sugar than other pectin brands.

Passion Fruit Jelly
Makes 5 pints

Ingredients

  • 8 cups liliko‘i juice
  • 5 cups organic sugar*
  • 8 teaspoons Pomona pectin (the large packet)
  • 8 teaspoons prepared calcium water (from Pomona; see below)

Prepare calcium water. Put 1/2 teaspoon calcium powder (the small packet) and 1/2 cup water in a small jar with a lid. Shake well before using.

  1. Fill your water bath canner to a level that will cover your jars. This varies depending upon jar size. Bring to a boil. Proceed with next steps while the water is heating.
  2. Wash and rinse jars. Bring lids and rings to a boil; turn off heat and let stand in hot water.
  3. Measure 8 cups of lilikoi juice and 8 teaspoons of prepared calcium water into a large stock pot.
  4. Measure 5 cups sugar into a separate bowl. Thoroughly (and I mean thoroughly) mix in the 8 teaspoons of pectin.
  5. Bring juice to a boil, stirring frequently. Add sugar mixture and stir vigorously to dissolve the pectin. Return to a boil and then turn off heat.
  6. If you’re concerned about your jelly looking pretty, skim off the foam. It’s totally edible, but if you’re giving jars as gifts or entering in your county fair, it’s just not as pretty.
  7. Fill jars to within 1/4″ of top. Wipe rims clean with a damp cloth. Screw on 2-piece lids/rings and place in boiling water bath. Bring water back to a boil (it doesn’t need to be a hard boil) and set the timer for 10 minutes. Remove jars to a towel-covered counter top to cool.
  8. Check seals. Lids should be solid and pulled down tight. (if they flex and pop, the jar didn’t seal; put unsealed jars in the refrigerator and use those first).
  9. Remove rings and wash outsides of jars. (You don’t need to store the jars with rings.)

*You can use rapadura if you prefer, but the resulting jelly will be darker.

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  • Sonia ,

    I love liliko’i and am also lucky to have a couple of vines that grow wild on our property! I’ve never attempted to make the plain liliko’i jelly, but I do make liliko’i syrup quite often and from that, I can also make liliko’i vinaigrette, and passion fruit hot pepper jelly, which we love!…I also have made a liliko’i flavored rice pudding (TDF) and a fantastic chocolate cake with liliko’i and cream cheese icing….

    http://www.gather.com/viewArticle.action?articleId=281474977417898

    http://www.gather.com/viewArticle.action?articleId=281474977432020

    • Kris Bordessa ,

      I find I don’t use the liliko‘i/hot pepper jelly as much as the regular jelly! Thanks for sharing these links.

  • April ,

    Oh, I love passion fruit. I haven’t had it since I lived in Brazil. They make a wonderful passion fruit mousse there that is just the perfect sweet tart combo (in Portuguese it’s called creme de maracuja). And the juice, so delicious! Although, it always made me so sleepy. I had to be careful not to drink it at lunch (which is the main meal of the day there). If you are interested, I might be able to dig up that mousse recipe, or translate one from the net. I can taste that mousse right now. Those were two of my favorite things there. I miss all those tropical fruits.

    • Kris Bordessa ,

      That sounds *fabulous! Why did it make you sleepy? I’d certainly give it a whirl if you were to share a recipe…

  • Have never tasted this. Now I’m curious. Will I find it ever at the local supermarket?

    • Kris Bordessa ,

      I suspect not, unless you have access to a high end gourmet store. It IS available on Amazon, though – search for Hawaiian Sun Passion Fruit Jelly.

  • I planted a passion fruit vine for Frugal Man this past summer-a black one though, not a yellow one. It is establishing well and we should get some fruit off of it this coming summer. Not sure it will be enough to can extra, but I’ll keep this in mind!

  • April ,
  • Raven ,

    Adapted your recipe to make liliko’i ginger jelly today. I’m a canning virgin no more! Thank you for making my first experience easy! Now I’m starting another batch of liliko’i wine… yum!

    • marylou ,

      I had my first taste og lilikoi ginger jam and now want to make it. I have my passionfruit and ginge, what is your recipe an why the calcium water and will any pectin work.

      • Kris Bordessa ,

        I’d just juice the ginger and replace a portion of the liliko‘i juice. Just guessing – maybe a quarter cup? (I guess it depends how gingery you like it!)

        I use Pomona brand pectin because it allows me to use less sugar than the standard brands. The calcium powder comes with the Pomona pectin.

        Hope it turns out great!

        • marylou ,

          Thank you so much, I will let you know how it goes!

  • My children were born and raised in Brazil, and their favorite fruit is still passion fruit, aka maracuja. It was in season pretty much all year. My youngest loved mousse de maracuja so much that I used to make it for him instead of birthday cake.

    I also used to make passion fruit jelly. I couldn’t get commercial pectin, so I just “made do”, which wasn’t hard since the seeds and skin of passion fruit have a lot of natural pectin in them. I used to just chop the whole fruit up, soak in over night, simmer for a couple of hours, drain in a jelly bag, add a cup of sugar to a cup of juice, and boil it until it set. It worked just fine.

    • Sonia ,

      Interesting. Never thought to use the whole fruit and then drain it in a jelly bag….Thanks!

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