Monday, December 20, 2010

Golden Apple Tarts - pomme de cythère

highrespie2
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.

pommecythère

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.

tart de pomme de cythère






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27 comments:

  1. The tarts look lovely! I've never had them in a dessert before, only in chutney and kuchela.

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  2. Wow, that looks so very yummy.

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  3. Yum!! How do you work around all the spines? The pic you have they look so harmless! LOL. Lovely picture tho - Merry Christmas to you too!

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  4. Dee,
    I didn't cut all the way down to the spiny seed and the course thread like membranes weren't difficult to remove. Will include those instructions in the recipe.

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  5. Merry Christmas Wizzy and it's been such a delight reading your blog! I hope you have a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year! :D

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  6. i could sit down beside a tray of these and eat 'em like candy. lovely work, and happy holidays!

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  7. I love the look of the apples and the tart sounds delicious. Have a great season and lots o flove, Oz

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  8. @KB Thanks for the wishes hon. BTW these aren't apples. They only taste like apples when baked in a pie

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  9. Hi Wizzy..this tart looks yum.Its really strange how differemt things in different countries are known by different name.For example the green apples..the granny smiths in US..are know as golden apple in india..and here u have another fruit..which is a apple taste like but not apple..wow..I love blog world for learning new things!..this tart looks totally gooey and tasty..
    Take care and merry christmas!

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  10. With salt 'n' peppa!!!

    Yesterday, I trimmed our golden apple tree and picked a basinful of fruit.

    In Jamaica, the golden apple, when ripe, is juicy and sweeeeet.

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  11. Wow these are just beautiful. Lovely job.

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  12. Merry Christmas Wizzy... I love this tart, and am endlessly intrigued by the fruit. The tarts are stunning!

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  13. Love that Xmas tree making that statement for the festive season :)

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  14. This is the first time I've heard of golden apples/pommed de cythere! How I'd love a taste of both fruit and finished tart - I look forward to reading the finished recipe. 8-) Hope you had a lovely holiday and wishing you a Happy New Year!

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  15. Looks lovely! Happy holidays to you and yours.

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  16. What a treat! Love the pastry Christmas tree!

    I can't believe that you got to cut the golden apple so perfectly!

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  17. What a gift you have bestowed on us with this delicious looking tart. Wishing you and yours a wonderful blessed holiday season.

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  18. Hope you and your family had a wonderful Christmas! Love this tart. So pretty. And with local fruit. Even better!

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  19. These look so flaky and golden, I wouldn't be able to resist if you place one in front of me. Hope you have a Happy New Year!

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  20. This looks amazing and I've never heard of these "apples" that aren't really apples. It is a bit sad that people don't really know the true tradition but I think it's wonderful that you are keeping it up!

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  21. I've never heard of this golden apple before, but it sounds like quite a treat- Especially baked into those adorable little tarts!

    Sending you best wishes and happy baking for the new year!

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  22. We have 'golden apples' - but they are apples that are merely golden-skinned. Not the pomme de cythère, which look very interesting. I wish I could get my hands on one.
    And your tart looks amazing!

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  23. How beautiful with the Xmas trees.
    Hope you had a super Christmas, Happy New Year to you!

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  24. wizz i made a pie year before and a crumble with ripe golden apples but the hurricane blew down the tree outside my house and ruined my plans for these...
    i am so glad u put up this post showing off golden apples...in the caribbean many of us do not appreciate our unique food.

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  25. @ Deeba and Tanvi, I'm sure this fruit exists in India I just know what it is called in your country:-(

    @caribbeanvegan-so true about us not appreciating what we have right here.

    @IndieTea and aisian market perhaps?

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  26. Does golden apples taste similar to quince? I've never tasted it before

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  27. I have many miniature trees growing in my yard, we like them also picked right from the tree, for me a little over ripe they are they juiciest, but green are also eatable.

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