You may have seen Carambola (more commonly known as Star Fruit because of it's star-like shape when sliced) in your local grocery store and wondered what to do with it.
Well, I had always wondered as well. Previously I had bought one or two and just sliced them and ate them raw, like I would just about any fruit. They have a rather mild, but slight acidic taste somewhat reminiscent of gooseberries. But, I'm afraid I wasn't that impressed initially.
Friends of ours in Eleuthera, Bahamas have a huge Carambola tree on their property. On one visit they had an over abundance of fruit and offered us quite a large quantity.
My first thought was perhaps to make a jam with them, but then I considered the idea that, perhaps, they would make nice tarts.
I scoured my favourite cook books for a recipe, but there were none specifically for star fruit. So, I decided to create my own recipe and the results were, if I do say so myself, spectacular. Carambola makes lovely tarts.
Now, every time carambola are in season, our friends give us as much fruit as we can handle and we, in turn, thank them with many, many finished tarts.
- Wash Carambola, remove any brown or damaged parts. Slice crosswise (so you get several star-shaped slices). Remove any seeds. Dice.
- Combine sugar, cornstarch and salt in saucepan. Add water and mix well. Add diced fruit and mix well making sure sugar mixture is well distributed through the fruit.
- Bring to a boil over medium heat and boil for 2 minutes.
- Let cool for 10-15 minutes and add 1/2 tablespoon lime juice. Mix well.
- Pour into tart shells.
- Bake in a hot oven - 425 deg. F. - for about 15-20 minutes or until pastry is nicely browned.
This recipe first debuted (along with a few others) in our book "The Elusive Beaches of Eleuthera", a guide to the many beautiful, but hard to find, beaches on the island of Eleuthera in The Bahamas. The book is available from our web site - http://www.elusivebeaches.com or from Amazon.com
Our thanks to John and Kay Duckworth at The Duck Inn http://www.theduckinn.com/ for supplying the Carambola fruit from their extensive gardens so that we could develop this recipe.