Saturday, July 23, 2011


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.


WendyinKK said...

The colour of your tarts look so pretty against the bluish planks :)
I think dragonfruit might have some pectin in it. There was once I left my dragonfruit pulp sitting on the counter for 1 hour and it gelled up.

terri@adailyobsession said...

wo, tt's a new thing, dragonfruit not a lover of this fruit but love the color n exotic looks.

Jo said...

Love the brilliant colour and what a fantastic idea to make jam out of this. The fruit tartlets look gorgeous as well.

Anonymous said...

tart, jam, and wonderful photos

Shirley @ Kokken69 said...

I have to admit, Zurin, that I have never been a great fan of the Dragon Fruit - quite tasteless.. but you've really made it work with this jam. The colour is amazing!

Tes said...

I could never in the million years think of dragon fruit jam. You've opened my eyes. The color is wonderful, fresh and lovely. It is so inspiring and I would definitely try it.

Heidi said...

What beautiful jam! The color is gorgeous. And your tarts are so cute! They look great!

Unknown said...

I've only ever been able try white dragonfruit, but now I really want to try your jam! It looks stunning

I did tell you

Unknown said...

The jam looks great.

Passionate About Baking said...

So pretty! The colour is so attractive!

Through My Kitchen Window said...

One of your prettiest posts ever Zurin! But alas - I'm not a fan of the dragonfruit. Philomena is always trying to flog some of them onto us - she grows them in her garden. Personally I think they are better suited to an artistic fruit bowl or a vase. Still, I hear they are quite healthy so that's a good thing. Hat's off to you for having a go at creating some goodies with them. Your tarts look stunning - and I love how you improvise and use the baking utensil you already have - everyone should do this. We'd have a more sustainable world if people did.

Gina said...

I found this post while searching for something to o with the dragon fruit I bought at market yesterday. Mine was white inside and I'm afraid my jam won't be so pretty, but I love your idea of putting it in tarts. Think I'll try this. Thanks.


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