IT’S the season of flowering trees and shrubs, drier days, breezy moments, sapodillas and caimates.
These fruits, although local, tend to be relatively pricey unless someone gifts you with a bagful, freshly picked from their backyard tree. I haven’t been that lucky, as yet.
Caimate is a fleshy fruit, with pulp having a texture similar to coconut jelly, and reveals shiny black seeds upon cutting. It is also known as star-apple, owing to the star shape that is apparent upon cutting. Then they reveal flesh tinted beautiful hues of pinky-white (that’s the white or green caimate) to deep pinky-purple hues of the dark purple variety.
It’s a tricky fruit, because unless it is perfectly ripened the texture and mouth feel can be a bit sticky. A well-ripened caimate will have a shiny tight flesh and a smooth and sweet texture and taste.
I love them in their raw state, but they could easily be enjoyed in a tropical fruit salad as well.
Sapodillas, also called naseberries, are one of the most exquisite of tropical fruits, and a great favourite of mine. A perfectly ripened sapodilla is not mushy to the touch but just gives to your hands.
Cut it open and the flesh, a rich pinky-brown is smooth, with a slightly lighter colour around the glistening black seeds. Bite into it and the fruit is tender, smooth and sweet, with rich flavours similar to that of a ripened pear with hints of maple syrup, a taste so sensational it can make you weak at the knees.
There are different types of sapodillas: some are elongated, and some are round. Some are large and some are smaller. Don’t expect the smaller variety to grow larger fruit, they are meant to be that way. The sweetest and smoothest sapodillas I know are the slightly elongated versions that are not too large. These delightful fruit only come around once a year, and now is the time.
Although wonderful to eat as they are, try them in the following recipes and you’ll be hooked forever.
For the Crust:
5 oz digestive cookies
2 ozs butter
For the filling:
4 sapodillas, peeled, seeded and pureed
1 tin condensed milk (14 oz)
4 oz butter
1 cup whipping cream
1/4 cup fresh lime juice
1 tsp vanilla extract
Preheat oven to 350. Finely crush cookies in a food processor, add melted butter and combine. Press mixture into the bottom of a 9-inch pie plate. Bake briefly for 5 minutes, remove and refrigerate.
In a small saucepan, melt butter and add condensed milk, cook gently until mixture becomes slightly golden. Remove and combine with sapodilla puree and lime juice.
Cool mixture. With an electric mixer, beat cream until fluffy. Fold whipped cream into sapodilla mixture, pour into piecrust and refrigerate or freeze until ready for use.
4 to 6 hours or overnight.
2 cups sapodilla puree
2 cups water
1 cup sugar
1/4 tsp crushed cardamom pods
1/4 cup fresh lime juice
Boil water and sugar until sugar is dissolved. Cool and stir in lime juice, cardamom and sapodilla pulp. Pour into an ice cream freezer and process according to manufacturers directions.
Makes about 3 cups
Don’t forget to check out my 30-Minute meals cooking class on April 28. E-mail email@example.com or call 357-0927.