3 Tamarillo Recipes

Recipe ideas to use up all those tamarillos

Almond and tamarillo cake. Tea towels, tray, plates, wooden board, ceramic dish from Father Rabbit. Jars and cutlery stylist’s own. Picture / Guy Coombes.

Tamarillos are guaranteed to tantalise your taste buds while adding delicious colour to every recipe. I love to simply peel and eat them fresh with a fine sprinkle of sugar, or they can be grilled, baked, poached or made into a delicious dessert sauce.

With a reasonably short season, it is important to strike when you see them. If you get on to a good source I suggest you freeze some for later in the year. The red fruits are a little vinegary, the yellow and orange less so.

The trees will grow to a maximum of 5m so are perfect for the back garden and a beautiful sight when covered with the bright, egg-shaped fruit. If you don’t have a tree, hunt tamarillos out at the markets, or you might find seconds, which are perfect for chutneys and sauces.

The best way to peel a tamarillo is to make a small cross at the base, then plunge the fruit boiling water for two or three minutes. The skin will peel away with ease.

Who can resist a moist cake? You can team this almond cake with any fruit in season, especially in summer with apricots or plums. Macerate the tamarillos first as this helps withdraw the juices, which add to the cake’s delicious texture. Always popular, this cake provides sweet-tartness and crunch all in one bite. Serve it with icecream or yoghurt and everyone will be lining up for seconds.

Macaroon and pecan-topped tamarillos make a quick dessert which combines the tartness from the fruit with the sweetness of the coconut and sugar.

A friend of mine has the biggest pecan tree I have ever seen. It is laden with nuts, so I have added these to the mix. Fresh pecans are sweet and delicious if you can get hold of any. Otherwise, bought nuts of any kind will provide the crunch — macadamias are a favourite of mine.

Our family has been making this tamarillo chutney recipe for three generations. It is so popular that Mum triples the recipe and then hides the extra jars as she knows the chutney will be devoured all too easily with cheese and crackers, or in a cold roast beef sandwich.

I have it written on a scrap of paper that was inserted into my first recipe book. It is hot property, so I have decided it is time to share it around. I really recommend you give this a try. It is best left for a couple of weeks before eating.

Almond and Tamarillo Cake

• Macaroon and Pecan Topped

• Tamarillo Chutney

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