Otherwise known as passion fruit, lilikoi is Mother Nature’s answer to a SweeTart. The first sour bite of a lilikoi 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
- 8 cups lilikoi juice
- 5 cups 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.
- 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.
- Wash and rinse jars. Bring lids and rings to a boil; turn off heat and let stand in hot water.
- Measure 8 cups of lilikoi juice and 8 teaspoons of prepared calcium water into a large stock pot.
- Measure 5 cups sugar into a separate bowl. Thoroughly (and I mean thoroughly) mix in the 8 teaspoons of pectin.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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).
- Remove rings and wash outsides of jars. (You don’t need to store the jars with rings.)
*I used rapadura, which is evaporated cane juice. It is brown, so this batch of jelly is quite a bit darker than my previous batch, as you can see in the picture below.