What an amazing fruit lilikoi is and it’s so easy to grow in Hawaii. A good choice to grow the perennial vine is on a non-fruit bearing tree. Ours grows on a gliricidia or Jamaican quick stick.
The extremely beautiful flowers attract carpenter bees as pollinators and the gulf fritillary butterfly lays its eggs on the 3-lobed foliage.
Each fruit is about the size of a large hen’s egg. Don’t hand pick these jems, wait until they fall off the vine. Cut the round orb with a sharp knife as you would when slicing a orange in two.
The cavity of the fruit is filled with juice-encased seeds. The intensely-flavored fruit is tart and sweet. Hollow out the seeds and pulp into a small strainer and use the back of a spoon to push the liquid through into a glass jar.
With lilikoi juice, a little goes a long way. Put the juice of one or two into a quart of water along with a little honey. Shake it up and you have a delicious, refreshing beverage. It’s also good when made into a glaze for a topping in any cheesecake recipe.
To make this jelly recipe, you will need the juice from about 20 plus lilikoi fruits. The recipe below is a Hawaiian favorite. Makes 4 – 8 oz glasses of jelly.
3 cups Maui sugar
1 cup water
1 cup lilikoi juice
1 pouch certo
Bring sugar and water to a full rolling boil (a boil that doesn’t stop bubbling when stirred), and boil for one full minute. Add butter to reduce foaming. Add Certo and mix rapidly then return to full rolling boil and boil exactly 1 min., stirring constantly. Remove from heat. Add juice and stir well. Skim off any foam with metal spoon. Pour into sterilized jars and boil in a hot water bath for 5 minutes.