Passionfruit and Mint Panna Cotta


There is nothing quite as wonderful as cutting into a bountiful passionfruit and waiting for the sweet aroma of the pulp to permeate the air around you. Part of the joy of eating a passionfruit is holding it in the palm of your hand, taking a small spoon and gently working the pulp free from the shell.

Despite the passionfruit being native to Brazil it is now grown all over, with the Australian passionfruit industry being the largest producers of purple passionfruit in the world. Available all year round, the passionfruit takes its name from the fruit’s gorgeous flower which is said to symbolise the passion of christ.

When buying passionfruit look for fruit that feels heavy its their size. Passionfruit have a taut shiny skin when they are freshly picked and will shrivel and wrinkle as they continue to ripen (avoid buying excessively wrinkled fruit). When the fruit is fresh, the pulp is usually refreshingly tart with the flavour becoming sweeter and more complex as the fruit ripens.

I recently became the possessor of 7 of the largest passionfruit my eyes have ever seen. As a lover of tart passionfruit and realising how fresh these beauties were, I quickly took to eating one straight out of the shell (purely for testing and research purposes of course). With an abundance of pulp just screaming to be turned into something spectacular, I took it upon myself to avail the remaining 6 passionfruit of their pulp immediately. I delicately cut the top off each passionfruit being sure to preserve the shell, because whatever I created just had to be served inside.


Before I knew it a cunning plan started to formulate.

Clearly the passionfruit shell can handle liquid, so I decided to make a passionfruit panna cotta and set it in the shell. Topped with fresh passionfruit pulp, I knew I could serve it to friends who would not realise that it was a panna cotta until they started eating – the ultimate surprise dessert.

Panna Cotta translates from Italian quite literally to “cream cooked”. A dish from Northern Italy, it is now eaten all over Italy. In its simplest form it is cream, milk and sugar boiled together and set with gelatine, and it is a dessert that is much easier to make than anyone realises. In fact I am gladly reminded of how easy panna cotta is to make every single time I cook it.

To flavour my panna cotta I added fresh passionfruit puree (sans pips) and mint. The resulting panna cotta was a heady mix of fragrant tart passionfruit and fresh mint which perfectly counteracted the creaminess of the dessert.

Chew Town would like to thank Passionfruit Australia Inc for the fresh Australian passionfruit used in this recipe. They were absolutely spectacular passionfruit which resulted in a truly special dessert!


  1. says

    VERY CUTE! I don't really like passionfruit, I have issues with seeds :p But I do love pannacotta! And I like how this recipe excludes the seeds from it (besides when they are topped with the pulp) The fiance LOVES passionfruit though so maybe we can compromise with this recipe. Thanks Amanda!
    My recent post Game of Thrones Lemon Cakes

  2. says

    You will be surprised to know that I haven't had passion fruit yet!! I know, I know I am missing out a lot. I am so going to look for these fruits or buy it online. The panna cota looks stunning!
    My recent post Tiramisu Ice Cream

  3. says

    Great recipe! Passionfruit has such an interesting taste. Alas, it's relatively expensive in the US, so I don't make much use of it (although I can buy frozen passionfruit puree at a reasonable price in Mexican markets). But this looks so tempting, I really should make it. Thanks so much.
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