Dragon fruits are flamboyant with their shocking pink skins and their even more shocking purple-pink insides. However they are, in flavour, not such the drama queen that they appear to be (its more elegant twin is white inside).
It is not an overwhelming fruit. It is mildly sweet, soft and quite refreshing and the seeds somewhat nutty in texture. It is native to South America and today it is cultivated widely in Vietnam for commerce.
I stared at it sitting in my fridge in all its pink and purple glory. I had bought it skinned and sliced. I thought it would make an outrageous looking jam. I had originally bought it because I had wanted to make a natural food colouring. But I realised after checking at Tes's lovely blog that it is not the flesh that is used to make a pink/red food colour but the inside of the skin. Experiment abandoned.
So I made jam ~
It turned out looking beautifully purple pink. And because it does not have an overwhelming flavour I quite liked it. Neither sour nor tart. Just midly sweet.
Then I made tarts ~
Because I did not have a shallow tart tin I used Sarah-Jane's Easter egg silicone moulds that I used for easter egg madeleines. So I had egg shaped tarts filled with dragon fruit jam.
The recipe ~
Dragon fruit jam
280 gm dragon fruit flesh (purple kind), cut up into chunks
140 gm sugar
1/4 lemon, juice extracted
1/4 tsp gelatine soaked in 1 T water, left to soften (optional)
Place everything, except gelatine and water into a pan. Place over medium heat and bring ot a boil and them lower to simmer and simmer until it becomes a thick jammy syrup. Add the gelatine/water mixture and stir to mix in. Simmer until jammy and to a consistency that you like.
Dragon fruit jam tarts ~
Sweet short crust pastry
250 gm all purpose flour
60 gm castor sugar
125 gm cold butter, cut into small cubes
1/4 ts salt
1 egg yplk
2-3m T cold water
Place all ingredients into a large bowl. Using a pastry cutter or your fingers rub in the butter into the dry ingredients until it resembles a coarse meal.
Gently using both hands press the mixture together until it all comes together into a ball. The heat from your hands will soften the butter and this in turn will make the dry ingredients, butter and wet ingredients adhere and come together to form a dough.
You can also use a food processor if you find the process a little messy to do by hand. The food processor basically does the same thing of softening the butter by the warmth from the motor and after a few seconds the mixture will come together. As soon as it comes together into a dough stop the machine at once and remove the dough from the bowl immediately.
Do not knead the dough with your palms as this will activate the gluten in the flour and make a tough pastry.
Roll out the pastry to 1/4 inch thick and cut into rounds that will fit whatever tart pan that you use. I made 12, 2 inch long oval jam tarts with this. Had a bit left over that I kept in the freezer.
Place the cut out pastry into the tart moulds and fill with jam till almost full. Bake in a 180 C oven for 10- 15 minutes.