Passion fruit are amazingly delicious little things, but their high price can instantly upset anyone. So what do you do if you’re in desperate need of passion fruit, but don’t want to shell out $2 per fruit ? There are alternatives you can use, and they will cover the flavor quite nicely.
So we’ve made you this passion fruit substitute list, and hopefully you’ll find just what you’re looking for.
Best passion fruit substitutes
The best passion fruit substitutes are passion fruit derivates, mango, pineapple, papaya, guava, peach or nectarine. All of these will work very well in any recipe, whether you need a syrup, jam, puree, or fresh fruit.
Keep in mind that passion fruit is also very impressive and beautiful to look at, so our alternatives are also great for decoration, not just flavor.
It’s up to you which you choose, just know that you can always combine a few of these to get a more rounded flavor. None can truly emulate the flavor of passion fruit, which is a cross between a mango, pineapple, and papaya, with a definite tang to it.
But if no one’s looking when you’re making the dessert or drink, then they won’t really know what you’ve used, will they ? So let’s get to these substitutes.
Passion fruit derivates
We’re starting with these because you’re likely to find them, but maybe they weren’t the first thing that popped into your head. Of course if you simply can’t stand passion fruit, you might want to skip this part.
You can use any passion fruit derivate, not just fresh fruit. So something like passion fruit syrup, jam, preserve, puree, anything you can find will likely be good.
For example if you’re makin a Hurricane, the syrup in passion fruit preserve will work almost as well as store-bought passion fruit syrup. A puree can easily be thinned out and sweetened, and maybe run through a blender again.
Similarly, if you need to decorate with passion fruit, you can make a thick jello with the puree or syrup, and cut it into small cubes, and sprinkle those on top.
Alright, now let’s see some other substitutes, maybe you’re in a place with no chance of ever finding passion fruit.
Mango is a great substitute for passion fruit, but you’re going to need to add a dash of lemon or orange juice. Those bring up the acidity and chance the flavor a bit.
Mangoes are great both in the fresh form and pureed or canned or jam, or in any way you find them. Actually, all the fruit on this list are good to use in any way you find them. As long as you recipe allows for that.
Pineapples are less impressive to use as decoration, since they don’t have that striking color. But they’re so delicious and go well with everything! Not just that, but pineapples are that kind of sweetness that seems to take the edge off everything.
Pureeing pineapple is a bit of a challenge, but if you’re got a good food processor or blender then you should be fine. You can also use the juice and syrup from pineapple in baking or cocktails or in any way you like.
Read also: Is Pineapple A Citrus Fruit?
Papaya has a mellower flavor but definitely sweet, and you can easily use it in in conjunction with other fruit if it’s not enough. It has a really great color but might still need a dash of lemon juice.
Guavas are a little difficult to find if you can’t find passion fruit, since they’re both native to Latin America and are sold in the same areas. But if you can find guava go ahead and use it, since it will be a nice substitute.
So far it’s the last passion fruit-like on all the list, as it’s more like a cross between a very sweet watermelon and bubblegum, with a hint of strawberry.
Still, it’s one delicious tropical fruit and definitely something you should try out at least once. Just keep in mind that guavas have some very annoying seeds that need to be strained.
Peach or nectarine
Peaches and nectarines are basically the same flavor, except peaches have those little fuzzy hairs on the outer skin. But they’re delicious and much like a cross between mangoes and pineapple. So you can safely use them in place of passion fruit.
The upside to these is they’re common fruit, and much cheaper. You can find them in pretty much any form, whether it’s canned, jam, syrup, frozen, anything.
When substituting for decoration
If you’re substituting for decoration, then you need to figure out why you need passion fruit. Is it because it’s a yellow-orange pop of color on a Pavlova ? Is it the main ingredient in a jello or jam on a cheesecake ? Is it the translucent seeds that are just so cool to look at ?
For color, any yellow-orange fruit will work well in place of passion fruit. You can use puree or sliced fresh fruit, as long as you’re getting the right color.
What substituting for flavor
If flavor is the biggest concern, we recommend mixing mangoes with pineapple, or just getting peaches or nectarines. These all have very similar flavors, especially when you combine them. So they can stand in for passion fruit very well.
This is especially useful if you’re using a recipe that calls for the flavor but you don’t get to see the actual fruit. Something like a puree or syrup or juice in a loaf.
If you’ve never had passion fruit before, you might be wondering what all the fuss is about, and what it really tastes like. Well, it’s got its own flavor, but the best way to describe it would be a cross between mango, pineapple, and papaya with a bit of strawberry for tartness. You can easily confuse it with peach or nectarine, especially if you’ve only ever had it in flavored sweets.
Can you freeze passion fruit ?
You can also freeze passion fruit and take it out when you need some. This is especially useful if you live in an area that doesn’t see too much passion fruit action throughout the year, just one short season.
Try buying a few extra fruits, and freezing them for later. We recommend cutting the fruit in two, scooping the seeds in a freezer-safe bag, and freezing them. Be sure to squeeze out as much air as possible !
It’s possible to freeze a whole passion fruit, but it will thaw unevenly. Best to just take out the seeds and place them in a single layer. Don’t freeze too many in one go, freeze in small portions so you can only take what you need.