Tangy, creamy, sweet, and tart, passionfruit ice cream is really delicious! I am in love with this wonderful tropical “Sicilian Gelato,” and I think you will love it as well.

If you enjoy off-the-beaten-path flavors, you may also enjoy my strawberry rose kulfi.

And don’t miss the round-up of all my ice cream recipes in one place. Thank you for visiting!

Three bowls of passionfruit ice cream with flowers in the background.

Aboslutely fabulous recipe!

Reader Monica

Why This Recipe?

Y’all. This passion fruit ice cream is one of the smoothest and creamiest I’ve ever made.

It’s also nice that there’s a very short ingredient list.

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There are no eggs to worry about, and that also allows the passion fruit flavor to really shine through.

Eggs often tend to muddy bright flavors, so you won’t have that issue here. All you’ll taste is pure sweet-tangy passionfruit bite. So great!

In ice cream making, large ice crystals are the enemy of smooth, creamy goodness, and the goal is to minimize them.

One of the easiest ways to do that is to limit the amount of water in the base.

For this ice cream, I cut off the water supply in two ways.

First, I cooked the half and half, reducing its volume by 25%.

I also cooked the puree with corn starch. The starch binds up some water and also thickens up the base.

The resulting ice cream, and I guess it’s really more of a “Sicilian gelato” according to Anders over at Ice Cream Nation since it doesn’t contain eggs and uses a starch as a thickener, is smooth, dense, creamy and delicious.

It melts to a thin custard-like consistency that coats the still-frozen parts like a sauce.

What Does It Taste Like?

Overhead shot of passion Fruit Ice Cream in 3 small bowls.

Passion fruit is one of those flavors that’s juicy. Just thinking about it makes my mouth water in anticipation.

Passionfruit ice cream is paradoxically creamy and tart at the same time. Think of it like a super creamy sorbet, even though it’s dairy-based.

It firms up nicely in the freezer but only needs about five minutes on the counter to a scoopable texture.

Made this recipe according to the first variation. I used tapioca starch instead of cornstarch, but otherwise followed the recipe exactly. This ice cream is perfect. Captures the flavor of passion fruit. Gelato-like texture that scoops beautifully. Thank you so much for sharing, I’ll be making this one a lot and will use this base for all my tropical fruit ice creams.

Reader Sarah

How to Make It

Ingredients

collage of ingredients for making passion fruit ice cream
  • passion fruit puree: I used Goya brand, but you could also use a confectionary passion fruit puree available on Amazon. Or if you have access to fresh passion fruit, run the pulp through a food mill to get out the seeds. You can also substitute mango puree or raspberry puree to change the flavor completely. Or try a mango passion fruit combination
  • sugar: necessary for both sweetness and balance and to keep the ice cream from setting up too firmly
  • half and half: provides the bulk of the liquid, body, and creaminess. I have not tried to substitute other dairy, but I think you could use whole milk as long as you up the amount of cornstarch by 2 teaspoons or so
  • lemon juice: adds an additional punch of citric acid, rounding out the juiciness of the passion fruit
  • salt: counteracts any bitterness. Because we want tart and puckery. Not bitter
  • cornstarch: gives the final base a thicker texture to help inhibit large ice crystals. It also prevents the ice cream from setting up too hard in the freezer

Procedure

ice cream in a bowl with flowers

When I first made this ice cream, I allowed the amount of half and half to reduce on the stove to 2 1/4 cups to help limit water content.

Since then, I realized you can just add additional cornstarch and cook everything together at once.

I will outline both procedures, and then you can decide which best fits your time constraints.

Version 1

  1. Cook the half and half and salt until weight is reduced by 6 oz. In this case, that’s 25%. Strain and chill.
  2. Bring puree, sugar, lemon juice, and cornstarch to a boil. Keep at a low boil, whisking constantly, for 2 minutes. Strain and chill.
  3. Whisk both the half and half and puree mixtures together until evenly combined.
  4. Chill until at least 40F.
  5. Churn in your ice cream maker until it is the consistency of soft serve.
  6. Pack in a container and freeze for at least four hours before serving.

Version 2

In this second version, we’re reducing the amount of half and half and increasing the corn starch to make sure the base still has a velvety texture.

  • Cook half and half, salt, and cornstarch together. Boil for 2 minutes. Strain and chill.
  • Bring puree, sugar, lemon juice, and cornstarch to a boil. Keep at a low boil, whisking constantly, for 2 minutes. Strain and chill.
  • Whisk the two mixtures together, and chill until at least 40F.
  • Churn in your ice cream making until it’s the consistency of soft serve.
  • Pack in a container and freeze fo at least four hours before serving.

Tips for Success

The reason I don’t combine the dairy with the passionfruit before cooking is I don’t want to risk the base curdling when the acid hits the dairy.

Cooking the two parts of the base separately takes this issue off the table.

The more you strain your base, the smoother your final ice cream will be. Is it strictly necessary to strain 3 times? No. But multiple strainings will give you the smoothest and creamiest ice cream possible.

Make sure to thoroughly chill the base before churning. The longer it takes to churn the base, the more potential for larger ice crystals.

And larger ice crystals equals grainy ice cream. Which is good for exactly nobody.

Q&A

How long will it keep?

Your ice cream will keep just fine, well-covered, in the freezer for up to two weeks. After that, it may start picking up some “freezer flavor.” For best flavor and texture, eat within a week.

How far in advance can I make the base?

Make the base up to five days before you want to churn. Keep the base in a covered container in the fridge until you’re ready to churn.

Can I turn this into popsicles?

Yes. If you want to make passion fruit paletas or popsicles, simply pour the churned puree into popsicle molds. Make sure to tap the molds firmly on the counter to get rid of air bubbles. For longer-lasting popsicles, pour the base directly into molds without churning. They will be denser and won’t melt as quickly.

ice cream in bowls with flowers in the background

A Note About Measurements

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07/19/2024 12:57 am GMT
5 golden stars for rating recipes
Passion Fruit Ice Cream

Passion Fruit Ice Cream

Jennifer Field
The perfect combination of smooth & creamy and sharp & tangy, this passion fruit ice cream is well balanced and delicious.
See NOTES for Variation 2, for making without the half and half reduction.
4.54 from 15 votes
Tried this recipe?Please give it a star rating!
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Freezer Time 4 hours
Total Time 4 hours 40 minutes
Course Ice Cream Recipes
Cuisine American
Servings 1 quart
Calories 217 kcal

Ingredients

  • 24 oz 3 cups half and half (or 18 oz if going with variation 2, see NOTES)
  • ¼ teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 12 oz 1 1/2 cups passion fruit puree
  • 1 teaspoons lemon juice
  • 2 teaspoons corn starch 2 additional teaspoons if going with variation 2. See NOTES
  • 7.5 oz a slightly generous cup granulated sugar

Instructions
 

  • In a large saucepan, bring the half and half and salt to a low boil. Watch it carefully so it doesn’t boil over, and let it boil until it has reduced by 25%. When finished, it should weigh 18 oz (2 1/4 cups).
  • Strain through a fine mesh strainer into an ice bath and stir. until cool.
  • In the meantime, bring the puree, lemon juice, corn starch and sugar to a boil, whisking constantly.
  • Allow the puree to boil for about 10 seconds, still whisking constantly, to cook off any starchy taste and let the mixture thicken.
  • Strain through a fine mesh strainer into the same bowl the dairy is in. You may need to add more ice to your ice bath.
  • Stir the mixture together until cold, about 45F.
  • Cover and refrigerate the mixture until thoroughly chilled. I shoot for about 38-39F.
  • When chilled, strain the mixture once more through a fine mesh strainer and churn according to the manufacturer’s instructions.
  • When the ice cream is the consistency of soft-serve, pack into a container/s and press plastic wrap onto the surface of the ice cream.
  • Put a lid on your container and ripen in the freezer for at least 4 hours.
  • Allow the ice cream to sit out for 5-10 minutes for Optimal Scooping.

Did You Make Any Changes?

Notes

You’ll note there is a lot of straining in this recipe. It’s really necessary to get the smoothest possible result
.***I have not tried this, but I am almost 100% sure that this base (the reduced half and half) and the proportion of puree to base will translate to other fruit flavors. I think mango would be an excellent variation as would raspberry. You might have to adjust the amount of sugar a bit, but it’s definitely worth playing with.

FOR VARIATION 2

Reduce the amount of half and half from 3 cups to 2 1/4 cups and cook together with 2 additional teaspoons of cornstarch.
Proceed with the rest of the recipe as written.

Nutrition

Serving: 3/4 cupCalories: 217kcalCarbohydrates: 55gProtein: 3gFat: 1gPolyunsaturated Fat: 1gSodium: 94mgFiber: 7gSugar: 38g
Keyword homemade ice cream, how to make passion fruit ice cream, passion fruit ice cream
Did you make this recipe?Please tell us what you loved!

If this passionfruit ice cream doesn’t shout Summer, I don’t know what does.

Thanks so much for spending some time with me today. Have a lovely day.

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33 Comments

    1. I think using whipping cream can result in an ice cream that is too fatty and can leave an unpleasant buttery film in your mouth. If you prefer to use whipping cream, you certainly can. Enjoy!

  1. Highly recommend this recipe. It was delicious!! Nice balance between sweet, tart, tangy and creamy. I will be making it often. I used version 2, but the instructions were a little confusing. The printed recipe is different from the explanation above.

    1. I’m so glad you enjoyed it! Thanks for letting me know about the inconsistency. I probably updated the recipe card without updating the rest. I shall fix it so that others don’t have the same issue you had.

4.54 from 15 votes (14 ratings without comment)

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