this edition of "name that fruit!" should rightfully be called "name those fruits" as you can see there are actually two here. durrrr. however, both have been referred to as "star fruit" or "star apples" to me as both have star patterns of sorts when cut through. i grew up not really knowing what was called what in english, and still never get it straight. of course, this confusion is easily sorted by just referring to them by their latin names, but who really does that, ever. "johnny, i'd like you to meet my favourite passionfruit, just call him ricardo."
let's start with the simpler one, that being the oblong, angular yellowish fruit, from the Averrhoa carambola tree. in english it is named the carambola, but colloquially known as starfruit because when sliced through, the star shape is more than evident. i rather do prefer 'carambola', as it's more like an epithet than a name (¡ay, carambola!), but perhaps its constitution doesn't really deserve that. it is crunchy, cellulosy, sweet, and juicy, with a taste and texture reminiscent of an asian pear, but somewhat more delicately so, yet with a more astringent bite (in fact, it is related to the distinctly sour camias). another name for it is the coromandel gooseberry, which is a mouthful, but perhaps matches its ornamental beauty and oddity best.
the round, greeny fruit with the white flesh is Chrysophyllum cainito, and interestingly, the only english names i could find for it were both confusing. it is either known as a star apple--as is the carambola--or custard apple, which annona, cherimoya, and sweetsop are called as well. wtf? surely these fruits, while similar, are different enough to come up with more than one name for them; after all, a raspberry is a raspberry and a blackberry is not (although, come to think of it, sometimes a blackberry is a mulberry, a marionberry, or a crutch of a device for internet addicts the world over....). the star pattern is vaguely detectable in the seed pattern (frankly, i think "star fruit" as a description is pushing it a little).it is fleshy, exceptionally sweet, milky, and sort of unsettlingly creamy; in fact, when i was younger my mother used to refer to this as ice-cream fruit. not that it ever fooled me.
but it did stick with me. armed with this notion, and a few galletas-- an arrowroot-based (? i have no idea.) sweet wafer from the philippines--and a lot of time on my hands, i decided to try to make star apple ice cream. i didn't want to overwhelm the delicate flavour of the fruit, so i just add full-fat milk and some sugar syrup to the de-seeded pulp, and froze the lot. after running it through the blender a few times (of course you can use an ice cream machine), i had a credible sherbet on my hands. the only problem is that the star apple really tastes most like sweet milk anyway; i couldn't tell if i just overwhelmed the flavour altogether, or if it was a successful run. the texture was not quite of ice cream, however; the pulp made it icier, and ever-so- slightly gummy. no matter. it was quite lovely, sandwiched between two galletas, and served with slices of starfruit for contrast.