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my obsession

Recipe: passion fruit ice cream

I was commenting (read: whining) about the heat to my girlfriend the other day when she replied, “I want to kick the sun in the nuts.” That about sums it up. It was the hottest day of the year thus far. But then a lovely cool-down (literally) blew into town and we woke up to misty mountains and that chill on the morning air. Sunny days are beautiful and plentiful in Colorado, which is why I cherish those cool and cloudy moments when we can get them. Perfect hiking weather for a black dog.

clouds descend on the valley

happy dog

high runoff means parts of the trail were flooded

what is normally a lovely cascade is currently a torrent

June is the month of major upgrades here at urb. Oh wait, you thought I meant the blog? Ha! I’ll get around to editing that code in about 6 months. No, I’ve been making upgrades for my work (this blog is not my work, people). Upgrades like:

my second shooting body

and my desktop

There are more upgrades, but these are the biggest offenders. And by offenders I really mean these are my babies… my workhorses. So expect the next 3000 recipes to be some variation on how to eat dirt.

I’m kidding.

I have a really fabulous recipe for you today. It’s fabulous because I have been obsessing over it for a few years now. I’ve been obsessing over passion fruit which is prohibitively expensive here in Colorado. I was on a mission to find them in order to flavor buttercreams for passion fruit macarons. I started with a passion fruit syrup/nectar/concentrate from an Asian grocer in California’s bay area. It was decent. Then last year I received a package of goodies from my dear friends, Todd and Diane.

remember these beauties?

the passion fruits were more precious than gold

I scooped the guts of the passion fruits into a little container and popped it into the freezer. On my most recent trip to California, Jeremy and I were returning from Yosemite to the bay area when I sent my pal Lisa a text asking where she found the passion fruit concentrate for her passion fruit macarons (I had one of those macs, by the way, and they were out of this world). Whenever you ask Lisa for information, you are going to get ALL of it. That’s one of the reasons I love her. We’re both just a little OCD. Just a little.

i managed to snag the last container (and i defrosted the pulp i had in the freezer)

My issue with the concentrate from the Asian grocer is that it contains an ass ton of added sugar. This brand of passion fruit concentrate is beautifully tart, fragrant, and intensely passion fruity – the real deal. Take a taste and your mouth will pucker and your salivary glands will flood your mouth. The first order of business? Ice cream.

milk and sugar

whisking warmed milk into the egg yolks

It’s a concentrate, which made me wonder if I should cut back on the amount of passion fruit juice that was called for in the recipe. I started with half as much. After taking a taste, I decided to go whole hog and use the entire 1/2 cup of concentrate.

cook into a custard

combine the cream with the passion fruit concentrate

When I stirred it all together, the acidity of the passion fruit curdled the cream just a tad. I could see flecks of white in the mix and it made me fret. I’d kick myself for wasting that concentrate if it tanked. I forged on.

straining the custard into the cream mix

pouring cooled custard mix into the ice cream machine

I let it churn, checking every 5 or so minutes. The flecks were still there. At 15 minutes I resigned myself to just suck it up and then got distracted. When the timer went off, I returned to find that the soft ice cream was smooth – not a fleck of white in sight. Sweet!


more perfection! adding pulp and seeds to mix in before freezing

The addition of the seeds/pulp is optional, but I am quite fond of the crunchy texture the seeds add to the ice cream. It is a tart ice cream and I like it that way. Even the creaminess of a custard-based, heavy cream ice cream can’t mask the bold and bright flavor of the passion fruit. It is now my favorite ice cream and this passion fruit concentrate is my new crack.

it’s like taking a bite out of hawai’i!

Passion Fruit Ice Cream
[print recipe]
slightly modified from The Perfect Scoop by David Lebovitz

1/2 cup (125 ml) fresh or frozen passion fruit pulp or concentrate (6-8 passion fruits – strain the pulp to separate from the seeds)
1 cup (250 ml) heavy cream
6 tbsps (90 ml) whole milk
7 tbsps (85g) sugar
pinch of salt
3 large egg yolks
spoonful of passion fruit seeds (optional – but I’d highly recommend it)

Combine the passion fruit pulp and 1/2 cup of cream in a large bowl. Place the milk, sugar, and salt and 1/2 cup of cream in a medium saucepan and warm over medium heat. Give it a stir so the sugar dissolves. Put the egg yolks in a medium bowl and slowly pour the warmed liquid into the yolks while whisking constantly to keep the yolks from cooking/curdling. Scrape all of the contents back into the saucepan and set the pan over medium heat. Stir constantly with a heatproof spatula making sure to get the bottom and edges of the pan. When the mixture reaches nappe consistency (coats the back of a spoon or spatula), strain the custard through a sieve into the passion fruit-cream mixture. Stir until blended and cool over an ice bath. Chill the custard completely in the refrigerator and then churn in your ice cream machine. Stir a few spoonfuls of passion fruit seeds (or seeds and pulp if you have it) into the ice cream just before it is done. Makes about 1.5 pints (3 cups).

32 nibbles at “my obsession”

  1. TheKitchenWitch says:

    Nothing like a hike with a happy dog and a bowl of that gorgeous-looking stuff! Wow!

    Anxiously awaiting the recipes for The Summer of Eating Dirt. ;)

  2. Patricia Scarpin says:

    It’s freezing cold here in Sao Paulo today – we’re in the fall here – but I am craving this beautiful ice cream anyway, Jen! That is so beautiful – and passion fruit is loved all over Brazil. I’m completely biased to any recipes with it. :)

    Like you, I don’t like excessively hot days, so I’m enjoying the weather here. :)


  3. Wei-Wei says:

    Oh, amazing! I was looking forward to the lovely dark yellow and passionfruit seeds IN the ice cream, though. :S But it’s good enough. And sounds delicious. :D


  4. Peter says:

    I love it, passion fruit with the seeds and all looks so pretty and delish. I now have an ice cream maker and every recipe is of great interest to me.

  5. Kirsa says:

    this looks absolutely fabulous and delicious. I can’t wait to get the icecream maker attachement for my kitchenaid !

  6. Helene says:

    Perfect puree makes some of the best quality purees out there! I would eat this ice cream one mini spoonful at a time. It sure is like eating gold. Welcome to the new kids to the family!

  7. Estie says:

    I’m dying to work with passion fruit and can’t find ANY in Chicago…ANYWHERE!!!! Looks amazing Jen!

  8. Manisha says:

    Yay! You made passion fruit ice cream! I grew up with passion fruit in Kenya. There were two kinds: one with a smooth skin and grey pulp, and this one. I later found out that the former, which was cheaper and more readily available and a lot sweeter, is a cousin of the passion fruit and is called the sweet granadilla. As kids we didn’t care, we broke them open, and swallowed the pulp and seeds in one huge gulp. I haven’t eaten fresh passion fruit since!

  9. Rosa says:

    That ice cream looks to die for! I am madly in love with passionfruit!



  10. Georgia Pellegrini says:

    What a lovely and refreshing summer recipe…I’m off to go pick up some passion fruit!

  11. Bing Chou says:

    Dirt is underrated. Loved it as a kid.

  12. M @ Betty Crapper says:

    Lots of people in South Florida grow passion fruit on their fences. I should beg for some and try this ice cream.

    We have two labs and they go crazy for water. Kaweah must have been in heaven.

  13. Caitlin says:

    Oh that flavor sounds absolutely lovely! I’ve never lived somewhere passionfruit isn’t prohibitively expensive, so I’ve never tried it. Have fun with your new babies / toys!

  14. Chrissy D. says:

    I’ve never posted before, though I’ve been checking your blog every day for many months now, but I’m not a great cook and I’m reasonably shy. However, I just wanted to say that you are freaking spectacular, and you make me want to really learn to cook and make super awesome things for my husband and friends! Thank you for kicking ass <3

  15. Sharlene says:

    It’s sad but I don’t know that I’ve ever seen the inside of a real passion fruit! Your pictures are gorgeous and this ice cream looks absolutely delectable.

  16. Kath says:

    I tried my first ever custard-based ice cream last week (Abbott’s in Broomfield) – Twas a total yumfest!

    The passionfruit ice cream looks divine!

    Your ‘other’ Fruit looks pretty awesome as well.


  17. Lisa is Bossy says:

    Oh *DROOL* I want this so bad. Will you have any left in three weeks? :P

  18. jo says:

    Ooh, I’m going to try this out as soon as I get my hands on some passion fruit.

  19. Eileen says:

    Wow this looks amazing! Y’all eat like royalty, thanks for the inspiration :)

  20. Jill says:

    amazing, as always…….

  21. Shannon says:

    This post made me laugh and drool. Wow!

  22. Ruth Ann says:


  23. Pat says:

    I too am a fan of passion fruit but one needs a pot of gold to make a recipe with fresh passion fruit.

    After much searching I finally have found Goya frozen passion fruit pulp in AVANZA Mexican/Latin markets in the Denver area. Passion fruit is also known as maracuya/parcha.

    I think that this frozen pulp will work well in your ice cream recipe and not break the bank. I’m going to give it a try. Thanks for this recipe!

  24. Seanna Lea says:

    I had the milk mixture for my ice cream (different recipe) curdle this weekend, but the curdling mysteriously disappeared when I added the milk to the custard. I had a goof moment and was flavoring the milk mixture rather than the cream the way I normally do!

  25. Elaine says:

    droools at the mac pro. ohhhh maannnnn, oh and the passion fruit ice creammmmmmmmmmmm looks so good

  26. jenyu says:

    TKW – oh hon, I’ll have to get creative with that dirt! ;)

    Wei-Wei – there are seeds in the ice cream, but not a whole lot.

    Estie – I am pretty sure you can mail order perfect purée, although it’s EXPENSIVE to ship.

    Manisha – that is so cool, I never knew there were two kinds of passion fruit! I always learn something new from you :)

    Chrissy D – well I’m so glad you spoke up!! Welcome to urb and you know what? It doesn’t matter what kind of cook you are, as long as you enjoy what you do and have fun with it. xo

    Kath – we both love the fruit, don’t we?! :) Thanks sweetheart!

    Lisa is Bossy – yes! Because I don’t eat it and Jeremy has to finish a batch of lemon custard ice cream before he can touch the passion fruit ;)

    Pat – Michelle of Thursday Night Smackdown told me about that brand, I think. I never knew where to look! Thanks for the tip.

  27. Mel says:

    I love passionfruit (and your lab). I have just relocated to Shanghai from Hong Kong (via the US) and passionfruit is cheap here. No ice cream maker, but I am considering a custard after your inspiration! (I found you via smitten kitchen when Deb gave you shout out for chocolate doughnut holes…)

  28. Rose says:

    I just made this and it is my new favorite-thing-ever! I used the frozen pulp. That stuff is intense! But the ice cream was tangy, creamy, sweet, and delicious! I liked the crunchy seeds in there too (my pulp had seeds and I stirred some in at the end as suggested). Thanks!

  29. Passion Fruit Ice Cream « brakeacake says:

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  30. Nam Nguyen says:

    LOVELY! So where did you pick up the Passion Fruit Puree? I’ve been searching for years :) Thanks!!!

  31. jenyu says:

    Nam – I got it at Draeger’s in California’s bay area.

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