Saturday, December 7, 2013

Passion for Lilikoi

Guess what's in these jar. Gold to me!

In my quest for ideas to bring back to the restaurant, I knew I would find some ideas for Lilikoi [passionfruit] because:
  • I had a jamming date with my girlfriend and her daughter to make a batch with lilikoi from her mom's yard [reason one to move back to Hawaii, you can grow lilikoi in your yard]
  • It's one of my favorite flavors; tart and bright
  • It's exotic enough to spur some interest from my customers
I wish I had some pictures of lilikoi but I don't. Here's some facts that I learned about it on my trip:
  • the purple ones are sweeter than the yellow ones.
  • the purple ones start out green
  • they are not native to Hawaii and are invasive [learned this after talking to UH extension people at the KCC farmers market. See how informative the farmers markets are. I love farmers markets. Wish I didn't have to wait till May till my favorites open up again.]
  • my mom is as crazy about them as I'm
My jamming date starting off with dinner at Acapulco Mexican Restaurant in Waipahu. Once again, bad, no photos of food but I had great dish--pork with green sauce [not the real name Mr. A order for me as we were having the same thing]. Lots of garlic.

Then off to make the jam/jelly. Brought with jamming stuff that was needed; bottle lifter, funnel, jars . . . but the most important--pectin because lilikoi doesn't have much. Looked high and low for the Pomona stuff but could find first in NJ and then in HI and on top of that I only could get powder not liquid. So as you can see we were a little off from the start. 

After a couple of search on how to use powder pectin as sub for liquid we got started. We de-seeded [Mrs. A had scooped out the pulp and threw in the freezer] the pulp and started our jamming. We used this recipe from my lilikoi kitchen

STOP! We don't have enough sugar. Well, really, we can't stop because we were in the middle of it. What to do? Then we see the big bag of coconut palm sugar on the counter. 

So this is how our batch of lilikoi jelly became this darkest [almost black] and really delicious jelly [it is suppose be this beautiful bright yellow jelly] . A little bit scary when you first look at it. The coconut palm sugar gave is a slightly caramelized flavor. And it is suppose to be better for you than white sugar. Either way it is GOOD!

The jelly was a little loose but I had different plans from batch. But how bad could it be on great slice of toasted rustic bread with butter. Hmmmmm. Mr. A used on top of his ice cream. I think we can start a trend of this dark mysterious jelly. 

So now I'm hook and need to find lilikoi up in NJ. Probably frozen but good why to test out my skill before the next time I get out to Hawaii to whip up a batch. In my endless search about all things lilikoi, I found this leaflet of recipes from University of Hawaii Cooperative Extension Service from 1955 for award winning lilikoi recipes. I can't wait to try some. 

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