Lychee puree comprises lychee fruit, which is mashed until it is broken down and then strained. Lychee puree is a great addition to many different dishes by adding extra lychee flavor. Try it in your morning smoothies, homemade ice cream with an array of sundae toppings, desserts, and more for something unique and delicious.
Lychee is an oval or round red fruit that has a white creamy fleshy interior and a bumpy outside. While you can’t eat the skin, the inner white flesh is pulpy and very sweet. The fruit has a slightly perfumy floral taste which makes it unappealing to some, but for those who enjoy it, eating it fresh is the best.
Lychee trees are what produce the lychee fruit and they grow mostly in Asian countries like Malaysia, Vietnam, and China. However, they grow in places like South Africa and India as well.
Why homemade lychee puree?
The lychee fruit has such a soft texture, kind of like green grapes, which makes it a perfect candidate for blending up into a smooth texture. Making it into a puree means you can add it to many recipes like fruit smoothies, blended cocktails, lemonade, cakes, and more.
The reason why I recommend you try to make lychee puree is that only a very small amount, can endow your drinks, cakes, or smoothies with a strong lychee flavor all year long.
Add the lychee puree between cake layers with icing if you are trying to find a unique way to use it.
The best way to store lychee puree is to pour it into a sealable container like a plastic tub in the fridge. If you refrigerate the lychee puree, it shouldn’t spoil too quickly. In fact, the lychee puree should be able to stay fresh for up to 1 week to 1 and a half weeks. It will be clear if the puree has gone bad if it has an off color, smell, or taste.
You can also put the lychee puree in the freezer if you know you won’t be able to use it before the spoilage date. Just as you would for storing the puree in the fridge, place the leftover lychee goodness in a container with a tight-fitting lid and then place it in the freezer. When you are ready to throw the puree into your smoothies or use it in other recipes, you can allow it to thaw in the fridge or on the counter. It should stay fresh in the freezer for 1 to 2 years, although the freezer may cause the texture and flavors to lessen over time. As with most foods, I recommend consuming lychee puree that you have stored in the freezer within 6 months for the best results.
You can even freeze the puree into ice cubes for super long storage. And next time, use it to replace 2 or 3 ice cubes.
All you need to make lychee puree is peeled lychee fruit, nothing else.
I recommend using a muddler to smash the lychee. You can also use a blender. However, if a blender is used, you will need a cloth on top of the strainer to strain the impurities off.
How to make lychee puree at home
- 400 g peeled and pitted fresh lychee fruit
- Put the lychee fruit in a large bowl and mash it (you can use a potato masher or cocktail muddler) until it is finely pureed.
- Pour the mashed lychee through a strainer (fine-mesh) over a bowl to remove the solids from the liquid, pressing the fruit pulp to ensure you have extracted all of the fluid.
- Place the lychee fruit puree into a jar or other glass container that has a lid and refrigerate until ready to use. Don’t keep the lychee puree for any longer than 1 to 2 weeks.
- Or you can freeze the puree with small portions or in forms of ice cubes. What about the pulp left: eat them.
How to Use Lychee Puree
Lychee puree is wonderful in many different dishes. Here are some ideas to show you how to use it.
- Blend up a fun little lychee martini with puree, vodka, vermouth, and ice for some freshness.
- Infuse the lychee into a batter for lovely, fluffy cupcakes.
- Add the lychee puree to homemade ice cream. The linked recipe uses canned lychee, but you can easily replace it with the equivalent amount of lychee puree.
- Or you can use it to make a creamy, lovely lychee boba also known as lychee milk tea.
- Consider blending it up in a smoothie with banana, berries, and frozen fruit or ice, or drizzle it on top of a bowl of hearty oatmeal in the morning.
How to Peel Lychee
While many people across the world may be familiar with dealing with fresh lychee, several likely don’t know too much about it. Luckily, it is extremely easy to peel lychee fruit, and the fruit should be eaten fresh to preserve its flavor, which has floral notes, rather than cooking it.
To peel lychee fruits, you can use a knife to pierce the skin, which will allow you to easily peel the skin off the gleaming white flesh in the middle. Lychee fruit has an internal seed that should be removed as well, which you can remove by slicing into the white flesh to create a pocket before grabbing the seed to remove them. Then, you will have fresh fruit ready to make your puree.
Or there is also a hand-peeling method:
- Watch your lychee from top to bottom, then you will find a small sunken strip in the middle. Sometimes the color can be different on the sides. We will work on this strip to separate it.
- Then hold the fruit in the left hand, keeping the bottom downside. Use both thumbs to press on the two sides of the strips, in two different directions. You can easily break a small opening in the middle. Then both hands separate the shell from opposite sides.
- You can remove the shell quickly in this way. Then remember to remove the seeds after getting the white flesh.
Lychee is a juicy sweet fruit with creamy flesh. Once turned into a puree, it can be stored for 6 months. So you can enjoy the lychee flavor all year round.