Jul 6, 2023
Have you ever eaten passion fruit? If you haven’t, it’s an exotic tropical fruit that looks almost like a fig outside but has a similar flesh to a pomegranate, only more vicious and oozy. It’s native to Brazil from the Amazon, but you can get it in California and Florida. It’s got a sweet-tart flavor that’s kind of citrusy in a tropical way. Imagine a cross of flavors between a kiwi and a pineapple.
But this exotic fruit isn’t always available. Sometimes you’ll see huge loads of them in your grocery, and sometimes it’s gone for days. Storing huge loads of this fruit is also a challenge because it gets moldy. So, here’s how to freeze dry passion fruit so you’ll have as much as you need for years for your drinks, snacks, and meals.
The best part of freeze-drying passion fruit is you can buy it in bulk at its peak ripeness. Choosing the best fruit is like buying a melon. Pick those that are large, firm, and a bit heavy for their size.
They should be plump and has a slight give to them when pressed. Avoid ones that have bruised skin as they are in the overripe stage.
If you want the maximum sweet-tart experience, go for passion fruit with wrinkled skin. The wrinklier the skins are, the riper the fruit.
If you want passion fruit for snacking, go for the ones with purple skin. If you want to consume it as a beverage, go for the yellow ones. Whatever color you choose, make sure the color’s uniform although out. Discard ones that have discoloration on them.
This fruit has a lot of seeds in it, making it difficult to freeze dry as it is. The seeds are edible, yes, but they don’t freeze dry well because of the outer skin. What you need to do is to separate the flesh from the seeds to make your freeze-dried passion fruit last longer.
For the preparation, you’ll need:
Don’t discard your bowl of seeds because some bits of flesh are still left behind. But, since we can’t take it out from a strainer, let’s make passion fruit tea with it.
Since we’re talking about liquid here, it’s best practice to pre-freeze the passion fruit before freeze-drying. This is because:
This is where the ice cube trays come in. Pour the passion fruit juice and passion fruit tea in separate trays, and they’ll be easier to pre-freeze. Once they’re frozen, you can dump them on cold trays, and they’re ready for freeze-drying.
Freeze-drying passion fruit juice is easy when you have a Harvest Right Freeze Dryer.
Freeze-drying passion fruit can take around 24-31 hours or longer. Passion fruit is made up of 73% water, so it might take a while. Your prepared tea might also take the same time, or longer, depending on how much water it has.
The best time to check your freeze-dried passion fruit is when the trays are still warm. The cubes should be dry, light, and crumbly. Cut a random piece or two and check the center. The inside should be flakey and powders like mica.
If any piece feels cool, moist, and soft, put the trays back for 3-6 hours of extra dry time.
Your freeze-dried passion fruit stays shelf stable for 25 years or more. The key here is to store it properly in Mylar bags or Mason Jars.
You can store them as cubes so you’ll have a chunk of passion fruit when you reconstitute it. Or you can buzz it into a fine powder for faster reconstitution for drinks and recipes.
Mylar bags are great for long-term storage, while Mason jars are good for on-demand use. Put in 1-2 of 300cc oxygen absorbers before vacuum sealing. Keep them in a dark, cool room with a temperature no higher than 72°F (22 °C).
You can reconstitute the cubes in a bowl of cold water. Just add enough until they’re fully covered and let it absorb moisture for 5-15 minutes or until soft.
If you want to make juice out of your freeze-dried passion fruit powder, use a 1:1 ratio of passion fruit and water. You can use less or add more, depending on your taste. Start with less if you want to because it’s easier to dilute the juice than to add more powder.
How does passion fruit taste to you? Let us know in the comment section.
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