The small plum-sized Amarula fruit is well known for its boozy properties; just ask your nearest elephant! Humans and elephants (the ones that live in the wilds of Africa) both agree that this tasty deciduous fruit is the culprit of many a sore head the next day. For those who think our comments about elephants are rather strange, the tree this fruit grows on has the nickname ‘elephant tree’ due to its popularity amongst these gentle giants. So, while we pop to the pub or bar for a pint or beer (depending on which hemisphere you live in), an elephant’s local ‘watering hole’ is the nearest Amarula tree and for good reason! Left to ferment in the sun, the Amarula fruit leaves the average elephant feeling rather festive!
Amarula the fruit exposed
Aside from being used to make the most delicious sun-downer (Amarula cream), the Amarula fruit is just as tasty eaten fresh. Packed with vitamins and minerals, the fruit’s skin is supercharged with an enormous amount of vitamin C, putting oranges to shame with nearly eight times their vitamin C content! Vitamin C is excellent for boosting immunity but did you know it also soothes muscle inflammation and pain after exercise? According to South African history scrolls, the fruit is indigenous to South Africa but travelled to Madagascar and West Africa with migrating tribes who recognised its super nutritious properties. This fruit truly is the original padkos!
Amarula fruit uses
Many cultural groups across Africa have incorporated the Amarula fruit into their daily lives because of its many health benefits. The fruit, leaves and bark are often used for medicinal purposes such as heartburn relief and other remedies. However, it’s the fermented fruit that is the most versatile. Check out some of the ways Amarula fruit has helped support communities in South Africa.
- Traditional Beer Brewing – rural communities brew beer to generate an income for their families.
- Fruit harvest & delivery – locals harvest the fruit from communal land and deliver it to processing plants for further processing, thus generating income.
No part of the Amarula fruit goes to waste as every bit is useful in creating a myriad of products. When further processed, the fruit pulp, kernel, kernel oil, and pip are extracted from the fruit and not only used to make alcoholic drinks but also cosmetics! Now that’s what you call a truly South African ‘glass and a half’ of goodness!
The fabulous sweet and sour taste of the Amarula fruit is one of the primary reasons it’s so well-loved and considered a staple in Ouma’s recipe book. Furthermore, its popularity has meant that many products, including the infamous alcoholic drink Amarula Cream, are readily available in many countries. So, you won’t have to trek to South Africa to get your ‘trunk’ on a bottle of this nectar from the gods to use in our gorgeous Amarula peppermint tart recipe!
Peppermint crisp tart
What you need
- Square baking tray
- Electric beater
- 1.5 cups cold cream
- 80 ml Amarula cream liqueur
- 1 tin caramel
- 2 slabs peppermint/mint chocolate
- 200 g coconut biscuits
What to do
- Place the peppermint chocolate slabs in a zip lock bag, and using a rolling pin, beat or crush the chocolate into chunky bits. Make sure you place the zip lock bag onto a wooden cutting board to avoid damaging the counter surface.
- Pour the cold cream into a large mixing bowl and add the Amarula cream liqueur.
- Use an electric mixer to beat the cream and liqueur until slightly stiff. When lifting the beater out of the cream and liqueur mixture, it should form little peaks.
- Place the caramel into a separate mixing bowl and beat for a short period until it has a smooth runny consistency.
- Next, use a spatula to gently add the whipped cream and liqueur to the mixing bowl containing the caramel.
- Then, add approximately one and a half slabs worth of crushed peppermint chocolate to the mixture. Using your spatula, mix thoroughly but don’t over mix as you don’t want the mixture to become too runny.
- Line the base of the greased square baking tray with coconut biscuits. Use a large ladle to spoon frothy dollops of creamy, boozy chocolate mix onto the biscuits. This is the first layer. Next, add another layer of coconut biscuits on top of the mixture; this is the second layer. Finally, spoon the rest of the mixture on top.
- Smooth the top layer using your trusty spatula, and then sprinkle the remaining crushed chocolate on top of it to create a decadent crisp and minty topping.
- Finally, cover the baking tray with cling film and refrigerate for 3-4 hours. Remember to keep a weather eye on the fridge for any would-be peppermint tart thieves; it’s that tasty!
Dip your cutting knife into hot water and wipe dry before using it to slice the tart. This will make slicing easier and prevents the tart from falling apart when serving. Alternatively, place the mixture into small glasses rather than the baking tray to create the ultimate mini dessert. Serve with fresh mint sprigs for that extra posh feeling or simply grab a spoon and dig in!
Amarula peppermint crisp tart has enough wow factor to impress even the pickiest of dinner guests, plus it’s so super easy to make, it would be a waste if you didn’t!
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