Matrimony – An Agbalumo (Star Apple) Fruit Salad From Jamaica

It’s the season of my favourite ‘fruit to explore’ – Agbalumo aka the African star apple. The star apple is found in many Caribbean and South East Asian countries, including Jamaica.


Around the world in star apples

Around the world in star apple names

Why am I so intrigued about this fruit one might wonder? Well, it’s about understanding and possibility. Growing up, I only ate this fruit out of hand. In the last couple of years, I’ve discovered more to it – more dimension, more uses, more information about it and with each discovery, I find more treasure.


I was particularly excited about this recipe for a Jamaican fruit salad called Matrimony which uses star apples and oranges in a ‘sauce’ of condensed milk. 

Matrimony got its name from the marriage of the thick, sticky sweetness of the condensed milk and the tartness of the grapefruit and orange juices — its perfect counterpoint. I guess it’s from that combination of flavors that the dessert got its name Source – Inside Journeys

Last season, I tested Agbalumo and discovered that Agbalumo curdled fresh milk so when I came across Matrimony, I was like – yeahhhhh, I couldn’t wait to try it.


Discoveries with agbalumo

What I also find interesting is how agbalumo and oranges are in season at the same time. I have a tendency to construct dishes around combinations of fruits and vegetables in season at the same time. In my head, the fact that they are in season, at the same time is reason enough to test them together. 

Thus this combo – agbalumo, orange supremes and condensed milk.


How to supreme an orange

Milk (yogurt, soft cheeses and even mayonnaise) and fruits have a long history of being combined to make salads. Growing up, my mum would serve evaporate milk alongside her tropical fruit salad of pineapple, pawpaw, watermelon and oranges. Then a few years ago, I discovered a gorgeous Filipino salad with cream cheese and condensed milk thus Matrimony was neither strange nor reviled.


The star apple has a sweet but tart tropical flavour with hints of sour cherry, persimmon, soursop, lychees and even mangoes. For flavour pairings, it works well with oranges, carrots, cardamom and cinnamon, bananas and a host of other things. 

Flavour Pairings with agbalumo

Matrimony, A Jamaican Fruit Salad
A delightful blend of citrus and star apple, sweetened and made creamy with condensed milk. The topping of freshly grated nutmeg rounds off the entire dish. Really delicious. The original recipe uses oranges and grapefruit - I've opted for oranges and tangelos.
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Prep Time
15 min
Prep Time
15 min
1036 calories
219 g
23 g
9 g
13 g
4 g
1468 g
105 g
169 g
0 g
3 g
Nutrition Facts
Serving Size
Amount Per Serving
Calories 1036
Calories from Fat 76
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 9g
Saturated Fat 4g
Trans Fat 0g
Polyunsaturated Fat 1g
Monounsaturated Fat 2g
Cholesterol 23mg
Sodium 105mg
Total Carbohydrates 219g
Dietary Fiber 30g
Sugars 169g
Protein 13g
Vitamin A
Vitamin C
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your Daily Values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.
  1. Flesh of 4 star apples
  2. 2 oranges
  3. 2 tangelos
  4. 2 -3 tablespoons of condensed Milk, or to taste
  5. A pinch of nutmeg, freshly grated
  1. Sherry or fruit liqueur, to taste
  2. Flaked almonds
  3. Orange wedges
  1. Get the flesh out of the starfruit by cutting in half lengthways from stalk to bottom. Scoop out the flesh and seeds with a teaspoon, then set seeds aside - you can freeze/ use to make a drink
  2. Cut up the star apple into fine dice
  3. Supreme the oranges and tangerines
  4. In a glass/ porcelain/ ceramic bowl, combine the star apple, citrus bits condensed milk and a pinch of nutmeg. If you like, add the sherry or fruit liqueur of your choice. Gently stir/ fold to combine. Adjust accordingly or to taste - more condensed milk, or fruits of your choice.
  5. Cover and chill for at least an hour before serving.
  6. There are a number of ideas to serve
  7. - have it on its own
  8. - add to a parfait - my daughter loves it with yogurt, flaked almonds and strawberries
  9. - make a verrine/ mini parfait - the son had a bit and said 'This would be lovely with almonds, for the crunch' and so it was.
  10. I finish with a fine grating of nutmeg just before serving - the flavours and textures are delicious.
  1. See the body of the post for tips and techniques.
Adapted from Cook Like A Jamaican
Kitchen Butterfly
 My daughter had a dollop with her yogurt bowl;


The son enjoyed his with flaked almonds which he said would add some crunch. I also grated a bit of fresh nutmeg just before serving – the flavour and aroma work so well!


All in all, a beautiful, easy dessert that’s going on my seasonal menus with a few tweaks and additions! I CANNOT WAIT to serve up this goodness.

What do you think? Have you tried it? Will you? 

Let me know xxx


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