Pop all the tamarinds you can get your hands on out of their shells and rinse in a colander.
Transfer the fruit to a saucepan with about half a cup of water. (Use a whole cup if you have an abundance of wild tamarinds and a very large saucepan).
Simmer the fruit with the lid on, stirring roughly with a metal spoon from time to time. After about 10 or 15 minutes, the fruit will mostly have separated from the large inner stone.
Place a sieve above a clean bowl. Ladle tamarind in and push through all the juice and pulp you reasonably can. Scrape the underside of the sieve frequently and add this to the puree.
Return the remaining pulpy fruit and kernels to the saucepan, add a splash more water and stir vigorously with the metal spoon.
Use a slotted spoon to pick all the stones out of the fruit and pop them aside in a bowl. Rinse the kernels with by jiggling them about with a splash of water, then pour any remaining fruit and liquid back into the saucepan.
Give the kernels a final rinse in a colander and save them for kids to play bush marbles with.
Add any remaining pulp to the pan (with a splash more water if it seems a bit dry) and cook for another couple of minutes with the lid on, to get every last bit of flavour from your harvest.
Sieve the last of your fruit into the bowl of tamarind puree and give it a good stir. Your Tamarind Puree is ready for anything!
Make your Tamarind Curd
Melt the butter gently in a clean saucepan, add half a cup of sugar and stir until the sugar is almost dissolved. Add the other half cup of sugar and stir until completely dissolved. Remove the saucepan from heat.
Add about 1 and 1/2 cups of tamarind puree and whisk it through the butter and sugar. At this point taste for your preferred sweet/sour balance and decide if it needs any more sugar. Wild Tamarinds are delightfully sour.
Crack each egg into a cup, one at a time, whisk lightly with a fork, then whisk into the tamarind mixture, adding each one individually and ensuring the egg-whites are thoroughly whisked through.
Place the pan on medium heat and NEVER STOP WHISKING for about 5 – 7 minutes, until the mixture thickens. You’ll know when you can see “ribbons” trailing behind the whisk and slow bubbles forming. If you leave it unstirred for even half a minute there’s a good chance your curd will curdle. (Apologies, I was too busy whisking to take a photo.)
Remove from heat. Whisk occasionally as the Wild Tamarind Curd cools down.
Assembling your Wild Tamarind Tartlets
Butter your tart pans and preheat the oven to 200°. Roll out your preferred short-crust pastry on a floured bench until it’s very thin; 1 – 2 mm.
I find it helps to roll outwards from the middle and cut the discs from the edges. If the centre of the pastry is a bit thick, roll it a little more before cutting the next lot of pastry discs. I used my Sweet Shortcrust Pastry http://sandyink.com.au/sandys-kitchen/sweet-shortcrust-pastry/ and added lots of almond and hazelnut meal for this batch of tartlets.
Place the disks into your baking pans and press and stretch the pastry gently into shape.
Pop dollops of Tamarind Curd into the pastry cases.
Bake in a hot oven until the pastry is crisp, the bottoms are browned, and the curd is bubbling joyfully.
Remove the sizzling tartlets from oven, and allow them to cool in their pans for 5 minutes, before moving to a cooling rack.
Sprinkle with Macadamia Crunch and leave to cool.
While your tartlets are baking, chop the macadamias into tiny chunks, morsels and shreds.
Fry lightly in a pan with a little butter. Stir constantly so they don’t burn.
When the nuts are somewhat browned, add a tablespoon of raw sugar and stir for about 2 minutes, until the nuts are brown and caramelised and just threatening to burn.
Immediately tip the nut mixture onto a wooden board and spread to cool.
Chop your macadamia crunch into even smaller pieces. (This will keep fine in a jar for a few weeks and is yumbo on icecream!)
Bask in the smiles of appreciate appetites, knowing once you’ve had Wild Tamarind Tartlets, lemon curd tart will never be quite as good again.