What to do with Balimbing
North of our house just some 15 meters away is a balimbing (carambola) tree that seem to fruit all year round. To make the harvesting of fruits easier, we decided to prune the tree. We picked the fruits from the fallen branches and collected a basket of fruits.
The fruits of this tree are not very sweet when ripe and neither are they sour when unripe. Nevertheless, the ripe fruits are very juicy and have a beautiful scent.
I decided to make balimbing jam one evening. I collected the ripe fruits, cleaned them and cut them crosswise about 1-2mm thick and removed the seeds in the process. Then I placed them in a sauce pan together with some grated ginger, kinugay (muscovado sugar) and a dash of cinnamon powder. I boiled this concoction, them simmered gently for several minutes until thick. The result is a jam that goes very well with bread as well as with oatmeal.
Balimbing Tarts and Cakes
The balimbing jam can also be used as filling for tarts. Penny and I experimented with a modified pie crust recipe. We used the balimbing jam as filling and topped the tarts with chopped cashew nuts. The result was absolutely delicious! Of course, we just had to try making cake with the balimbing too!
I used the balimbing jam and made the cake following a modified apple-cinnamon cake recipe. The balimbing cake came out very good, resembling the taste of raisin cake. Next time, I will add some cashew nuts or peanuts to the cake which will definitely make it taste much better and improve the texture.
Next time, I’ll try experimenting with the fruits of the Chesa (tisa) tree just beside our house. Like the balimbing, this tree seems to fruit all year round and since no one is interested in eating the chesa fruit, it’s such a pity seeing the fruits fall from the tree and rot away, however, it is quite nice seeing all the huge butterflies gather to eat the fruits.