Star Fruit Chips

My Aunt Bernie had a carambola tree by her front door and it was always loaded with fruit. She’d slice up the pretty stars on a glass plate for all of us kids. I loved how they looked, but I’d only eat a slice or two. I didn’t mind the texture, which is crunchy and juicy like a grape with a thin, waxy skin. But the taste is so unusual, like a green apple with strange grassy notes. I’ve grown to like them more, maybe because they take me back to Aunt Bernie’s house.carambolaCarambola, or star fruit, is a popular tree in Florida yards. They’re easy to grow and they’ll give you a boatload of fruit. It’s overwhelming, especially for a fruit that’s better in small doses. Case in point: toomanystarfruitMany go to waste, but sometimes you’ll find bins of free fruit at the end of a driveway. starfruit chipsI really should get a basket for the front of my bike, but I make do.starfruit chipsI hate to see good fruit go to waste. I’ve had friends ask me for more recipes, and I know I can always find fruit, so I started experimenting.
starfruit chipsGenerally I think fruit is better raw, so I was pretty surprised after I tried these cooked. They’re delicious! I felt like I unlocked the secret of star fruit. Not only do they taste better, but cooking helps use up even more of them.starfruit chipsstarfruit chipsThese chips are a great place to start. I call them chips, but they lie somewhere in a gray area between dehydrated fruit and candy. They’ve got crispy edges and slightly chewy centers and the flavor is sweet-tart and spiked with a little hint of ginger. They’re perfect for snacking. You can make batch after batch, and I promise they’ll disappear. As an added bonus, you end up with starfruit syrup, which makes amazing cocktails and lemonade.starfruit chips My friend Paula came over with a huge wheel of brie after I’d just pulled a batch out of the oven. We put them together and it was magic. I’ve been scattering them on cheese boards ever since.  

If you’re looking for more ways to use up star fruit, try this cinnamon starfruit tart, or mix a batch of star fruit palomas!

Star Fruit Chips
Print
Ingredients
  1. 2 medium to large star fruit
  2. 2 cups water
  3. 1 1/2 cups sugar
  4. 1-inch piece of ginger, sliced (optional)
  5. cinnamon sugar or sea salt, for sprinkling
Instructions
  1. Heat the oven to 200 F.
  2. Line a baking sheet with a silicone baking mat or parchment.
  3. Slice the star fruit into thin, even slices, about 1/4" thick or less.
  4. In a saucepan over medium-high, dissolve the sugar in water and add the ginger, if using. Bring it to a boil. Reduce the heat, add the star fruit, and simmer for a few minutes, then remove it from the heat and allow it to sit for 20 minutes.
  5. Using tongs, transfer each slice to the lined baking sheet, allowing the excess syrup to drip off.*
  6. Bake the slices for at least an hour, or until they're dry and crisp.
  7. Sprinkle with a bit of cinnamon sugar or a pinch of sea salt if you like.
  8. Store in an airtight container. They're best used within a few days.
Notes
  1. *Reserve the leftover starfruit-ginger syrup for cocktails or lemonade.
Suwannee Rose https://www.suwanneerose.com/
starfruit chipsI should probably call them star fruit candy. 😉

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28 Comments Star Fruit Chips

  1. COLEY December 2, 2016 at 12:51 pm

    Wow! Are they chewy? I’m so curious what the texture is like. Sidebar – that cheese plate??? Drooling!

    A few years ago we were in Miami and my friend had a starfruit tree in his yard with so much fruit on it. He had no interest in it, but I did, so I picked about 10 and took them back to our apartment… and after cutting one up and eating it.. the rest went to waste. It’s definitely a fruit that looks better than it tastes. But now I’m so curious what it’s like cooked!

    Reply
    1. suwanneerose December 2, 2016 at 5:05 pm

      So funny! How could they be that bad, right? Ha! Toby and I watched a video of hiking in Kauai recently and it showed someone grabbing one off the tree and biting right into it. No one does that!
      These chips are slightly chewy, but with crispy edges. It definitely transforms that strange flavor. I also made a tart that was amazing. I’ll post it after I make it again.

      Reply
      1. COLEY December 5, 2016 at 11:32 am

        Nice! I wonder if they’d make decent jam? Have you tried juicing them?

        Hiking in Kuai, eh?? My friends just came back from doing that and said it was the most amazing time ever. It’s high up on my list, for sure.

        Reply
        1. Kent L Nelson September 16, 2018 at 1:11 pm

          Yes. Makes an excellent jam. Also, I’ve found most apple recipes can be used with starfruit as substitute. Apple pie is especially good. My preference is to use one apple mixed in with the starfruit.

          Reply
          1. suwanneerose September 17, 2018 at 10:48 am

            Such a good point. I love apples, and they really do function the same as starfruit in recipes.

        2. Kirk December 21, 2018 at 8:04 pm

          I’ve made starfruit preserves and it’s a big hit with friends and family. I’m getting ready to harvest my tree for the first time. I can’t wait to make some fresh preserves.

          Reply
          1. suwanneerose December 22, 2018 at 4:38 pm

            I’d love to make starfruit preserves when I get my hands on more fruit. Let me know if you’ve got any tips!

  2. Susan Presley January 16, 2017 at 8:06 pm

    I can’t figure out what I did wrong….I baked them at 200 and it took 3 hours and they still were not crisp and dry.
    Thank you!

    Reply
    1. suwanneerose January 17, 2017 at 9:57 am

      I’m sorry you weren’t able to get them crispy, Susan! It sounds like you’ve got some very juicy starfruit. I would try slicing them thinner, and patting them with paper towels before they go in the oven. I hope that helps! Please update me if you try again!

      Reply
    2. Molly Schweers August 19, 2019 at 5:46 am

      It works better if you flip them during cooking. Mine also took three hours but after the first hour I flipped them and then every thirty minutes after that. Crispy, chewy and delicious.

      Reply
  3. Susan January 17, 2017 at 12:12 pm

    I left these in the oven for almost 3 hours at 200 degrees and I couldn’t get them to dry and crisp up. They tested good chewy but just wondered what we did wrong. Thanks

    Reply
    1. suwanneerose January 17, 2017 at 12:37 pm

      Some of ours were a little chewy, especially the thicker ones. I actually preferred them that way! But if you want them all really crispy, go for super thin slices. Maybe even use a mandoline.

      Reply
  4. Jan February 15, 2018 at 6:27 pm

    I found that if you bake them until the top starts to dry out and then flip them over, they got totally dried out. Faster and more uniform than just leaving to bake on one side. PS, I DID use a silpat so I don’t know if parchment would have the same results. FABULOUS TREAT and they get gobbled up faster than I can make them.

    Reply
    1. suwanneerose February 15, 2018 at 7:11 pm

      Oh, that’s fantastic, Jan! They’re ripening up around my neighborhood so I’ll be doing the same thing soon. I’ll test it out for time and update the recipe. Thank you!

      Reply
  5. Karla June 24, 2018 at 9:30 pm

    Thanks for this lovely recipe. My friend has a tree and gave us a whole basket of start fruits. I am cooking them right now. Looking forward to try them. Just one question, is the temp 200F not degrees right? The idea is to dry them out I guess. My oven is in Degrees Celsius and 200C is like 400 F 🙂

    Reply
    1. suwanneerose June 25, 2018 at 9:00 am

      Yes, 200F, very low heat to dry them out slowly. I hope it works out for you, Karla!

      Reply
  6. Pam July 31, 2018 at 10:42 am

    I also had trouble drying out the stars so I decided to turn the recipe into a dessert. Here’s whar I did. I cut off the stiff edges of the stars, cut them into 1/4 inch slices. Then, followed the rest of the directions. Baked for 1 hour 45 minutes. Let cool. Then, put some on a plate, sprinkled with fine sugar and cinnamon, sprinkled that with crushed walnuts andcoated with a tower of whipped cream. It’s been a huge hit with my family!

    My next plan is to freeze some of it, then, make Star Fruit Margaritas out of it. Can’t wait!

    Reply
    1. suwanneerose August 5, 2018 at 7:06 pm

      Pam that sounds amazing! I’m so glad for more tips because it seems some starfruit just won’t dry out thoroughly. If I run into that myself I will definitely go with the whipped cream tower. Also I’m intrigued by taking off those edges… Thank you!

      Reply
      1. Brenda Couture July 7, 2019 at 5:26 pm

        Suwanneerose, I bought this fruit for the first time today, can you tell me where I can buy a tree, I made chips, and I’ve made a drink bitter, Grand kids love it, they would love to watch it grow. Thank you Brenda Couture. Brendalee1956@yahoo.com

        Reply
        1. suwanneerose July 19, 2019 at 7:56 am

          Glad you’re enjoying the starfruit! I bet your local garden center can get you a tree.

          Reply
  7. Lori September 17, 2019 at 10:31 am

    Is the sugar necessary? Trying to cut back

    Reply
    1. suwanneerose September 21, 2019 at 10:24 am

      I think you could do without, keeping in mind you’ll get more of a regular dried fruit effect and they’ll be tart. I’ll test it myself some time.

      Reply
      1. Bob October 2, 2019 at 3:11 pm

        To remove the funky flavor that turns some people off, just trim the sharp edges off each one before slicing them. I love the refreshing flavor on a hot day. I keep a few in the fridge and some slices in the freezer for my grandkids. I can’t wait to try the dried slices.. mmm!

        Reply
        1. suwanneerose October 11, 2019 at 2:30 pm

          Thanks, Bob! I’m trimming off the edges next time for sure.

          Reply
  8. Alex O October 6, 2019 at 6:52 pm

    We have two trees in the backyard and holy cow do we get a lot of starfruit. We just went through another picking cycle. We’ve got six large baskets filled heaping. It would be nice to make jam, preserves and other goodies. I like throwing some seasoned salt on them after slicing them up and placing them filled on a dinner plate. Though I’m worried about overdoing it with my salt intake. Technically I don’t sprinkle salt on anything else I eat other than maybe a dash on hard boiled eggs. It would be nice if there was a really awesome recipe for starfruit. that we haven’t tried anything other than the basic slicing and eating. they do taste pretty good when they are that orangie color. though they can ripen very quickly start to go bad.

    Reply
    1. suwanneerose October 11, 2019 at 2:41 pm

      Thank you, Alex! I’ll try a little salt next time. They make great juice and cocktails as well. Starfruit Palomas. And this tart doesn’t use up nearly enough, but it’s a tasty treat: Cinnamon Starfruit Tart

      Reply
  9. Eric Crawley October 11, 2019 at 3:04 pm

    Wondering why my post a few years back wasn’t shared? Was just letting people know about the risk of eating too many star fruit for people with kidney disease. I’m a physician in Hawaii who loves and grows stay fruit but wanted to share this factual and well referenced info.

    Reply

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