Lilikoi is truly the flavor of the tropics! It’s bold, sweet, and so refreshing, which makes it the perfect fruit for making an unforgettable sorbet.
It’s lilikoi season here in Hawaii. The season runs from late August through late December. And if you have ever tasted lilikoi, also know as passionfruit, you’ll know why I get excited! Lilikoi has a very bold, distinct taste that can range from super-sweet to super-tart. But either way, the taste is amazing and unforgettable!
I freeze most of the juice we get from the lilikoi, so we enjoy its amazing flavor year-round – it really feels like we are spoiled sometimes! If you want to read more on lilikoi, you can find information here.
One of our favorite ways to use lilikoi juice is to make sorbet. And sorbet really is quite easy to make. I’ve learned some tricks along the way to get the perfect sorbet, and I’ll share those with you below.
For this recipe:
Start with making a simple syrup. In a small saucepan, gently heat 2 cups of water with 1 cup of sugar over medium heat until the sugar is completely dissolved. Stir the simple syrup occasionally to help with the dissolving process. This should only take a couple of minutes; you don’t want the syrup to boil. Boiling will end up evaporating too much of your water and run the risk of burning the sugar. When the sugar is completely dissolved, remove it from the heat. Let it cool for 10 minutes, and then stir in the 1 1/2 cups lilikoi juice. Cover the saucepan with plastic wrap and chill in the refrigerator for at least 4 hours – or even better, overnight. You need the juice to be as cold as possible. Do not rush this step!
At this point, put the container that you will be storing the finished sorbet in into the freezer. That way, your sorbet won’t melt going into a room-temperature container. Any melted sorbet will refreeze to ice and will be difficult to scoop. You’ll want your sorbet to have some air mixed into it, giving it a soft, creamy texture – any melting will lead to icy-hard sorbet.
Once your juice is completely chilled, put it into an ice cream maker. At this point, follow the manufacturer’s instructions on using your ice cream maker. As a guide, I turn my ice cream maker on and let it process the sorbet for 20 to 25 minutes. When it’s done, it should be thick and almost creamy with no remaining watery juice. Transfer the sorbet from the ice cream maker to the container you had previously put in the freezer. Move quickly at this point to avoid any melting of the sorbet. Freeze for about 4 hours to allow the sorbet to firm up before serving.
If the sorbet is a bit too hard to scoop, allow it sit at room temperature for 10 minutes.
The ice cream maker that I use and love:
- Ice cream maker
- 2 cups water
- 1 cup sugar
- 1 ½ cups lilikoi fruit juice, unsweetened (passion fruit)
- Add sugar and water to a medium saucepan. Bring the mixture to a simmer over medium heat, stirring occasionally. Allow to simmer until the sugar is completely dissolved, about 5 minutes. Do not use high heat – or boil the mixture – as you run the risk of scorching the sugar.
- Remove the mixture from the heat, and allow it to cool for 10 minutes. Then stir in the lilikoi juice.
- Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate until completely chilled, at least 4 hours – or even better, overnight.
- Place the container you plan on storing the finished sorbet in, into the freezer. This way, it is ice-cold when you add the finished sorbet to the container and won't melt the sorbet.
- After the mixture has completely chilled, pour the mixture into an ice cream maker and follow the manufacturer's instructions. As a guide, I run my ice cream maker for 20-25 minutes. The sorbet should be thick but not watery.
- Add the sorbet to the chilled container, and freeze for two hours before serving to allow the sorbet to firm up.