Monday, December 20, 2010
At one time apples were synonymous with Christmas in Trinidad. As a child I eagerly anticipated the crate of apples which my father ordered from Ibrahims and Co. on Charlotte street. It was a yearly Christmas tradition.
Nowadays I think it's a pity that our fascination with all things foreign has been to the detriment of the fruits grown locally. Apple pies and turnovers are abundant in bakeries and supermarkets all over the island but not many people know that apples aren't needed to make this truly delectable golden-apple pie.
The Golden apple (Spondias dulcis or Ambarella)is not related to the apple of temperate zone fame. In Trinidad this fruit is known as pomsitay which is derived from french, pomme de cythère. Unripe pomme de cythères are sour tasting but can be used in salads as I did here. They can be pickled, or cooked in curries and they make fabulous chutney.
When the fruit ripens, its skin and flesh turns golden-yellow. The fruit has the somewhat unusual characteristic of being both sweet yet bitingly tart at the same time. My favourite way to enjoy this fruit is at its ripest with a sprinkle of salt. I am aware that seems a bit odd but trust me it cuts the tartness and bumps up the fruit's juicy sweetness. It's this incongruous sweet and sour quality that makes the pomme de cythère so adaptable to both sweet or savoury dishes. Even more unusual is that this fruit which tastes nothing like an apple ends up tasting exactly like apples when baked in this pie.
I must confess that I made this as an experiment with the intention of making it again if it turned out well. As a result I did not measure anything. I do plan on making these tarts for Christmas dessert so a recipe (with precise measurements is in the works). Until then I want to take this opportunity to send you all a little holiday greeting.
Posted by Wizzy John at 10:25 AM