Passionfruit Ice Cream Recipe

I try my best to buy local produce and fortunately, B.C. has a healthy variety of local foods. However, it irritates me when people purchase berries imported from Texas in January at $5.00 for a half pint. I hope they’re purchasing it out of dire urgency and not mindless oblivion. Firstly, those cannot taste like berries should and secondly, can you really not wait until summer when buckets of berries rain from the sky and can even be picked from the road-side?

Then, there are foods that are only available imported and I will not feel guilty for purchasing them to appease my extensive palette. I’ve struggled to find the right balance and have concluded that purchasing according to SEASON is the most important for me.
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Case in point: passion fruits. These purple or orange gems have shiny outer shells that spill out a slippery pulp reminiscent of tadpole eggs when split. Their mission is to bring intense fragrance and complexity to the ingredients they interact with. In Taiwan where it is a staple flavour, passion fruit is called 百香果. 百香 (bǎi xiāng) not only rhymes with “passion” but it also means “a hundred fragrances”. This fruit has a distinguishably sweet, tropical scent with round citrus notes. What I learned from turning it into ice cream is that the seeds lend an awesome crispy texture and is as delicious and unique as the pulp itself.
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Passion Fruit Ice Cream
Adapted from The Perfect Scoopby David Lebovitz


pulp from 6 ripe passion fruits, strained and seeds reserved
1 cup heavy cream
6 tbs whole milk
6 tbs sugar (I made mine less sweet)
pinch of salt
3 large, organic egg yolks
zest of 1 orange, grated


Mix the passion fruit pulp, orange zest, and 1/2 cup of the cream in a large metal bowl and place a mesh strainer over it. Prepare an ice bath in the sink.

Prepare a simmering saucepan of water over the stove. In a second bowl, whisk the egg yolks. Warm up the milk, sugar, salt, and the rest of the cream in a second saucepan until just before a simmer. Slowly pour the milk mixture into the egg yolks and whisk briskly.
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Place the egg mixture over the simmering water without allowing the bottom of the bowl to touch the water. Stir the custard until it is thick enough to coat a wooden spatula and a solid line holds when a finger is drawn over it.
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Pour the custard through the strainer into the pulp and cream mixture and cool it over the ice bath. Refrigerate overnight, placing cling film directly on top of the custard (or at least until the mixture is thoroughly chilled).

Lick the bowls and utensils clean.

Slowly pour the chilled custard into an ice cream maker and add a few spoonfuls of the reserved seeds in when the ice cream is just about ready. Scoop the ice cream into an air-tight container and allow it to harden.
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Makes about 3 cups

  1. June 20, 2009 by Cucinista

    My lack of ice cream maker is the only thing standing in between me and your recipe. Good for my thighs, bad for my taste buds. Great pictures of the ingredients and stages as always.

  2. June 20, 2009 by Mel (admin)

    Cucinista: I’ll admit, I mostly use it for sorbets and fat-free alternatives. Heavy cream on rare occasions. Not sure if I should post those and get flamed!

  3. June 20, 2009 by Stumptown Savoury

    “Lick the bowls and utensils clean.” I’m trying, but the monitor just gets in the way. Really great looking ice cream and excellent, instructive photos.

    Have you tried making ice cream with coconut milk? I think the flavor would match very well with passionfruit.

  4. June 20, 2009 by Robert-Gilles Martineau

    Dear Mel!
    Passion Fruits are very much in season now in Japan!
    They are grown in the southern islands of the Archipelago.
    In Shizuoka, I found a great Kyoto-style bar which prepares them as cocktails!

  5. June 21, 2009 by carooo

    my mouth just watered with those pictures!! i love your site!!!! :) i will attempt to make this next weekend, so i can surprise my bf :P !!hehehe

  6. June 22, 2009 by Miranda Hagan

    This looks incredible!!!I just got a ice cream maker for Mothers Day. I have made three types. Blueberry frozen yogurt, and two types of vanilla.
    I diff. have to try this…..

  7. June 24, 2009 by helen

    Ah…, I have fond memories of eating passionfruit in Taiwan too. My mother use to blend and strain the pulp to make a concentrated syrup. With a bit of ice and topped with water or soda, it’s the most refreshing drink ever.

  8. June 26, 2009 by French Cooking for Dummies


  9. June 30, 2009 by Tangled Noodle

    Such a poetic name for a delicious dessert! I finally liberated my ice cream maker but I’m starting slowly – easy, no-egg mixtures first but I may have to accelerate my learning curve. I can’t wait too long for this!

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