Skip to primary navigation Skip to content Skip to footer
Back to Discover Nassau Foodie Blog

3 Bahamian Fruit Desserts Sure to Satisfy your Sweet Tooth

a close up of a coconut tart

As a tropical destination with 365 days of sunshine each year, The Bahamas is home to a wide array of exotic and juicy fruit varieties. Whether it be: mangos, watermelon, sugar apples, mulberries, passion fruit or papayas, these gems of mother nature are all near to perfect in their “natural” form. However here in the islands, it’s customary for us to transform our vibrant native fruit into sweet and delicious desserts (much to our delight). And with so much succulent fruit in abundant supply year round, the possibilities for preparing sinfully scrumptious baked goodies are endless!

If you’re an experimental home baker, check out a few of our island-inspired dessert fruit favourites sure to satisfy your cravings and those of your loved ones.

Sapodilla “Dilly” Crumble

The famous Bahamian “dilly” fruit has found its fame in local songs and many popular Bahamian expressions. Historians say it is believed to have originated in Southeast Asia and then made its way to Central America, across the Caribbean. Soft and sweet, a dilly’s taste resembles a pear with brown sugar added and this reddish-brown fruit of the sapodilla tree can only be found in the warm and sunny regions of the world like The Bahamian Islands.

To Prepare the crumble:

 Ingredients needed:

  • 4 lbs. sapodillas

  • ½ cup white sugar

  • ½ tsp. nutmeg

  • ½ tsp. lemon juice

  • ¾  cup brown sugar

  • ½  cup butter

  • 1 cup sifted flour

  • 1/2 tsp. grated lemon rind

To make this delightful crumble: peel and slice your sapodillas thinly, and then fill your standard pie plate generously with your raw, sliced fruit. Squeeze lemon juice for added zest into the filling, and sprinkle a mixture of white sugar, nutmeg, cinnamon, and rind into your soon-to-be “dilly” crumble. Next, cream the remaining butter and brown sugar together, and beat with flour until the mixture appears granular. Finally, spread your creamy mixture over the sapodillas and bake until lightly browned and toasted (usually 350 degrees for 1 hour). Let it cool, cut into wedges, and enjoy!

Coconut Crèmes

The plethora of coconut palm trees on our islands has allowed us to become very creative with using the world famous coconut in many local dishes and beverages: think “gin and coconut water” for instances. Almost all parts of the coconut are useable: the fleshy white meat (often grated and dried) often used in baking (see below), the coconut water and milk- a common component in soups, curries, and refreshing drinks and even the outer husk of the shell can be used to make local furniture and artisan crafts.

To Prepare Coconut Crèmes–

Ingredients needed:

  • 2 cups grated coconut

  • 3 cups granulated white sugar

  • ½ cup water

  • 1 tbsp. vanilla (optional)

  • Pink or red food colouring

With just a handful of simple ingredients, you can create these delectable pink and white beauties- pleasing to both eye and palate alike. First, lightly grease a baking pan. Then, cook your grated coconut and sugar in a thick bottomed saucepan over medium heat. Keep it cooking until the water evaporates and your mixture is sticky.  Next, remove from heat and mix with a wooden spoon until your concoction slightly hardens, or can hold together for a few minutes. Add mixture to your prepared pan, pressing lightly with the back of a wooden spoon. Repeat process to make a second batch, this time adding a couple of drops of red food coloring. Spread on top of the original batch. Once set, cut into bite-size squares (the traditional Bahamian way) or fun shapes like hearts or diamonds.

Pineapple Tarts

This magical yellow fruit was donned the “pineapple” back in the late 1400s, when the first European settlers to the Caribbean region thought it looked all too similar to their familiar pinecones! Although pineapples can be grown on every Bahamian island, the island of Eleuthera has been this nation’s most ardent harvester of this illustrious fruit.

To prepare the tarts:

Ingredients needed:

  • 4 cups of crushed pineapple (fresh or canned*)
    *If canned, the crushed pineapple can be set in syrup or water

  • approx. 1 cup of water

  • 1 ½ cups sugar

  • ½ lb. margarine

  • 6 tsp. baking powder

  • 6 cups flour

  • 1 egg

  • 1 cup of cream

Crush fresh pineapple and place it into a tall pot. Add ½ cup of sugar and water, and let it simmer on the stove for about 15 minutes. Meanwhile, mix and knead your favorite pastry dough using flour, baking powder, and the remaining 1 cup of sugar. Make a hole in the middle, adding egg, margarine, cream, and mix well. Gather dough together with your fingers, and press it into a ball. (One helpful tip: lightly flour your dough to prevent sticky fingers!) Divide your dough in half, roll out a portion, then fill and spread your yummy pineapple mixture on top. With the remaining dough, roll and cut into strips. Lay them across to form a criss-cross lattice pattern. Bake for approximately 1 ½ hours at 350 degrees or until golden brown. Then enjoy!