Lilikoi Butter Revisited


I am fascinated by the fact that my website statistics show “lilikoi butter” as tops in the list of the search words that bring people to my site. It’s been a year since I wrote about making lilikoi butter and I still get requests for more information.

After my first post on that topic, I received an offer from Alexis and Chris of Coastview Aquaponics to come get the last of their wild lilikoi. I wrote about that visit here. I juiced it all up and froze it to save for a later date.

This past week, I finally got around to thawing it out and making lilikoi butter again. I doubled the recipe shown here and ended up with 15 half-pint jars of lilikoi butter. In reading over the original recipe I posted, I realized that I left out the final process. I’ve added it below.


Lilikoi Butter

4 eggs
4 cups sugar (I used a little less and mixed it with Splenda)
1 pound unsalted butter
1 ¾ cup lilikoi juice

Mix juice, sugar, butter in a large pan. Heat until butter is melted. Beat the eggs together in a separate bowl and temper by drizzling a little of the hot liquid into the beaten eggs so they don’t scramble on you. Keep stirring and when the egg mixture is about the same temperature as the hot liquid, pour it into the pan with the juice, butter and sugar.

Bring to a rolling boil, then down to a slow rolling simmer for about half an hour. This will thicken as it cooks. (See picture above.)

Using a large-mouthed funnel, pour into sterilized jars, covering with sterilized lids and rings. I turn the jars upside down to let them cool until I hear the top pop, indicating a good seal.

NOTE: I have often complained that something keeps eating my scraggly lilikoi vines, until I read about (and tried) sprinkling crushed egg shells around the edge of the plant. Whatever it is that was eating them doesn’t like to crawl over the egg shells. I suddenly have new growth on my vines that nothing is eating away! Maybe I’ll get a few of my own lilikoi next summer. Hooray!

A hui hou!

Feral Fables, my newly published e-book, will be available for a special promotional price of $2.99 until August 1, 2010. Go here to to buy or sample Feral Fables. Use the promotional code “SL25S” (not case sensitive) at checkout.
Mahalo! (Thank you!)

37 thoughts on “Lilikoi Butter Revisited”

    1. Fortunately, I have plenty of egg shells to crush with all my chickens! I had heard about this before, but never had a need to use them. Whatever these black caterpillars are that were eating my plants, they don’t like it, either! Nice to hear from you!

  1. You make it sound so easy to make the liliko’i butter! I have now tried a couple of times and it doesn’t come out like others I have tasted… I don’t know if I just should give up and buy the stuff…….. 😉

    1. Everyone I know seems to have trouble with it, too. I think I’ve just been lucky! 🙂 But maybe I should start selling the stuff! I absolutely adore it!

  2. I would buy it if you sell it… 😉 and just use my liliko’i juice to make syrup and vinaigrette…. LOL

    BTW, the tenant who lives in the house below us, cut down the liliko’i vine that was growing by the shared driveway!!!! I could have screamed at them! this vine has been there since way before we moved here (8 years ago) and had a base ‘trunk’ of about 4 inches in diameter!!!

    People who moved here last year from mainland and didn’t have a clue….said they didn’t like the fruit falling on the drive and getting squished by the car tires!

    I was speechless

    1. Oh my! I hardly know what to say!! I didn’t think renters could do anything to property that isn’t theirs! Makes me want to cry, especially when I struggle to get my little plants to grow! Did anyone say something to them about it??

  3. These people are not the norm….they feel ‘entitled’ and have been a pita since they moved in a year ago last August. Thank foodness we don’t manage the property any longer…. the owners will be here next week (they live/work overseas) and I will tell them then….

    1. Hope it works out for you! My lilikoi butter has generated more discussion among those who know about lilikoi than any other topic I’ve written about! You must be in Hawaii to know lilikoi 🙂

  4. Aloha! I got a jar of Lilikoi butter for my birthday this year and ate the whole thing! I thought, what a lovely gift idea and was gungho to make my own to give to others. However I was surprised to see that its made with eggs. It won’t spoil or create any bad bacteria? Obviously it didn’t with the jar I received but I still feel uncomfortable giving it to others now. I’m sure if I leave out the eggs it just won’t taste the same.

    1. Lilikoi butter is extra special, I agree. Nancy, the eggs are cooked, so you don’t run the risk you think. The eggs I use come from my own hens, but the cooking preserves the eggs and the butter. Just make sure you sterilize everything well and you shouldn’t have any problem. I’ve eaten some I made 2 years ago with no ill effects, even though I was surprised I even had any left! 🙂

  5. Aloha Lucy, I recently got your recipe from a friend, along with some Lilikoi butter she’d made…it was amazing, and I was excited to try my own. Just made it last night and everything seemed fine, until, during the rolling simmer, the butter separated on top, and wouldn’t combine again…I thought maybe that was normal and took it off and poured it into containers to see if it would settle together as it cooled, but unfortunately the butter stayed on top, and underneath, the rest of the mix, with much less butter in it, stayed more soft and liquid-y….it still tastes fabulous, but has butter grains throughout, and isn’t very aesthetic for gift giving. Do you have any suggestions? The only variation I did was use turbinado sugar, and only about 2 and 1/4 cups of it. Also, I realized after the fact, that I’d only simmered it for about 15 minutes. I’m afraid to try another batch with my remaining juice, for fear of the same thing happening. I was also wondering, as I’ve never canned anything before, if I’m just giving these for immediate consumption, or maybe 1-2 months in the fridge, do I have to make sure things are sterilized? or is dishwasher clean, clean enough? ( we also have laying hens, so was nice to use their eggs in the butter:) Mahalo! Jen in Kauai

    1. I’m afraid I’m not an expert, so I can’t really advise you on what went wrong. I haven’t had any trouble using the recipe just the way I printed it, but there could be other factors. When I put it in the jars, the butter did settle on top, but I just shake it up really well before I use it – and suggested the same to anyone I gave it to. I sterilize everything, even for a few days, but I make it easy on myself. I just set my jars on a cookie sheet in a 270 degree oven while I’m making the butter, and I simmer the lids. I also have laying hens, so I use their eggs.
      It’s interesting how far my recipe gets around! 🙂 Thanks for your comments!

  6. We’ve got those caterpillars eating our lilikoi. We were wondering what they are. If anyone ever tells you, please let us know. Mahalo.

    1. I recently heard they were the Monarch butterfly that relied on the lilikoi leaves. I’m not so certain about that, but it’s fairly obvious they are some sort of butterfly. I lose my vines, then I get new growth again, but it never seems to get beyond 2-3 feet tall. Even the crushed egg shells aren’t keeping them off right now. Thanks for the information – I’ll look that up!

    1. This is good information! I’ll look up the Gulf Frittillary butterflies and see what I can do to discourage them! I hate to kill them, but I’d love to grow lilikoi! 🙂

    1. Yes, please feel free to post my recipes and link on your website. Lilikoi butter is delicious over ice cream, on hot biscuits or toast, and recently, I put it on some cheesecake I’d made! Be sure to try it!

  7. Just about to head back to Mainland after a week on Maui. I tasted the most fabulous Liliko’i Butter on Banana Bread from a local market. I do a lot of canning at home, and had planned to buy this delicious fruit and take it home to make the butter. No such luck in its leaving the State of Hawaii. I phoned an Asian grocery in Seattle, and they have the purple-skinned fruit. Does anyone know how that compares with the yellow?

    1. I don’t know why you couldn’t grow it there, but you might try some of the purple lilikoi. I don’t think there’s much difference. You’re right – we don’t let fresh produce go outside the state, but occasionally there are plants you can buy that are commercially certified for sale beyond the state. Have you checked with any of the online nurseries? Good luck!

  8. I love this recipe! My first and second batches came out pretty thick each batch makes seven 8oz jars but for those of you who want it thicker here are the ingredients off a jar I saw at the store.
    Maybe you could try some cornstarch.
    When pouring into the jars how much head space should I leave?

  9. Love The Butter.
    What a fun morning I had making this butter. It is a act of love to those that get to enjoy tasting it.
    A couple of tips: 1) Put the seeds in a blender on lowest spend to get the justice, and it woks miracles.
    2) When you melt the butter be sure you Do Not allow it to separate or it will never incorporate properly. Melt it on a lower temp. and as soon as its just melted and still milking looking, and the sugar and juice. Whip it with your wire whip until well blended. Mahalo to the Auntie that shared that little trick to the trade with me..

    1. Mahalo, Joan! If you read down through all the comments, you’ll find all sorts of tricks. We each have our own trick and we learn from others. I’m happy you had good luck with your lilikoi butter. I love it!!

  10. I just ran across your blog while looking for a recipe for lilikoi butter jam. We just returned from Maui where we made our regular trek to our favorite banana bread stand. At the stand, we always purchase the lilikoi butter jam which is kept in plastic tubs NOT refrigerated. It is delicious and is perfect on her banana bread. I have tried to make something similar using passion fruit puree but it ends up more like a curd, delicious but not like exactly like what I’ve purchased in Maui. I would love to find a recipe for this and chunk coconut candy and the best banana bread that I get at Julia’s stand.

  11. Hi I don’t know if this question has been asked yet yet but how’s the shelf life of the butter in terms of leaving it out room temperature versus being refridgerated? I can’t wait to make this recipe! Thank u in advance:)

  12. Aloha,

    Thank you for sharing your recipe, it came out really good! My family LOVES it.

    When you said you froze it and saved it for another day… how long did you leave it in the freezer? I’m trying to get as much juice as I can this summer but I want to give the lilikoi butter as Christmas gifts, is that too long to hold it in the freezer? What kind of container do you usually use when you are freezing it? Or is it better if I just make the butter and save it in jars?

    Thanks for your help!!

    1. Glad you enjoyed it! 🙂 I’m always happy to hear that someone had good luck with this recipe. I do love lilikoi! I froze my juice for half a year or more, and it was fine. You won’t have any problem freezing it until just before Christmas. It is probably better left frozen than making it up now and taking a chance on it going rancid in the jars, although that takes a while, too. You could probably freeze the juice in anything you have. I’m a little cautious with cheap plastic, but the juice seemed to freeze well.

      1. Thank you so much for the recipe I had it years ago and lost it. Soon as I saw measured ingredients I recognized it. Just finished making another batch brought some to family on mainland. They love it. From Hawaii Island

  13. I have 9 vines on the Big Island. The butterflies lay their eggs on the leaf, preferring new growth. Inspect the leaves twice a day and remove or kill the catapillars.Soon your vines will develop mature tuff leaves and outgrow the catapillars.

  14. Aloha Lucy,
    Lilikoi butter seating on my counter to cool. Love your recipe.
    I put the butter in sterilized jars & sealed them in the water bathe. Can the butter be stored out of the refrig? How long can it keep in the pantry?
    Mahalo for sharing your recipe. It’s a keeper!

    1. Sorry I didn’t get back to you sooner. I’ve been without Internet for a couple weeks! Ugh! I have kept mine out of the fridge for a few months, but used it up or gave as gifts before it had a chance to get bad. I’m a bit hesitant to say it could keep longer. Glad you like the recipe!! I don’t get lilikoi often, so I haven’t made any lilikoi butter in ages!

  15. Hi Lucy! Quick question when putting the butter in the jars do you ever get a froth that forms at the top of the butter?

    1. I haven’t noticed it, but if it tastes the way it should, I wouldn’t worry. Some things will froth because of air and that may be it. Stir it around a bit and see if that settles it.

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