Carambola, Averrha carambola, is commonly referred to as star fruit.
The carambola tree is a native of Celon and the Moluccas. Today, it grows in tropical and sub tropical climates.
The tree grows between 20 and 33 feet high. It produces sweet smelling pink, or purplish flowers.
The fruit of the tree is between 2 and 5 inches long, 1 to 2-1/2 inches in diameter, and 3 to 4 oz in weight. It has five prominent ribs, that run the entire length of the fruit. When sliced crosswise, the slices are shaped like a star. The edible skin is waxy, and pale yellow, turning golden when ripe. The edges turn a little brown.
The star fruit has flesh that is crisp and juicy. It contains 2 to 12 flat seeds. The flavor of the star fruit is sweet and slightly acidic, sometimes sour and tart. Once picked, the sugar content will not increase.
The cousin of the carambola is the Bilimbi, A. bilimbe. It is a related species from Malaysia. It has smaller ribs, juicy flesh and 6-7 flat seeds. It is greenish- yellow in color, and is firmer and more acidic than the carambola. The bilimbi is rarely eaten raw.
The carambola is rich in vitamin C, vitamin A, potassium, oxalic, and tartaric and malic acid.
Carambola Upside Down Cake
3-4 carambolas, sliced thick
1/4 cup butter, melted
2/3 cup dark brown sugar
juice of 2 passion fruit
1/2 cup butter, softened
1 cup sugar
2 large eggs
1 1/2 cups cake flour
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
pinch of salt
1/2 cup milk
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 tsp almond extract
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Arrange sliced carambolas in bottom of a greased 9” cake pan as close together as possible. Mix together 1/4 cup butter, sugar, passionfruit juice and pour into pan, turning so mixture covers bottom. Set aside.
Cream together 1/2 cup butter and sugar. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well.
Mix together dry ingredients. Add flour mixture, alternately with milk, to butter mixture. Stir in vanilla and almond extracts. Pour into prepared cake pans.
Bake for approximately 30 minutes or until cake pulls away form sides of pan. Let cool for five minutes before inverting onto serving plate.
© 2011 Chef Jennifer M. Denlinger All rights reserved
Cite me: Denlinger, J. (2011, April 20). Carambola. Retrieved from: FloridaChef.net