Home' Advocate Communications : Fiordland Advocate 14 July 2011 Contents WHAT’S COOKING
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Tamarillos are an acquired taste
that can become addictive. We
recently had friends to dinner who
swore they didn’t enjoy the distinctive tang of tamarillos. For dessert I
served my easy rolled pavlova, and – unbeknown to them – filled it with
whipped cream and tamarillo purée. They devoured the pav returning
for ‘seconds’. Cream softens the flavour of tamarillos whether in
desserts or as a sauce for meats.
Tamarillos are still relatively unknown overseas. Recently, a food writer
friend from San Francisco picked up a tamarillo and bit into it. She
swore she would never look at one again. The skin is very bitter and
should never be eaten. And for most first-time tasters a little sugar on
the fruit helps the enjoyment.
Native to South America, this egg-shaped fruit was once known in New
Zealand as the tree tomato. This was due to the similarity of the inner
seed and flesh structure. It was a misleading name as it led many
overseas cooks to use the fruit as a raw vegetable in a similar way to
the traditional tomato. Hence the name was changed to tamarillo –
which has certainly helped overseas.
Choose firm fruit that’s heavy for its size. When ripe, tamarillos should
be fragrant, yield slightly to finger pressure and the stems should be
black not green. They can be ripened at room temperature. Once ripe,
they should be refrigerated, wrapped in a plastic bag, for up to 10 days.
They can be frozen – unpeeled – for up to three months or sliced and
sprinkled with sugar and frozen in an airtight container for up to a year.
The easiest method of removing the skins is to make a cross at the
pointed end of the fruit, place the tamarillos in a bowl, cover with boiling
water, stand for 2-3 minutes then drain. Then refresh them in cold water
and, when cool enough to handle, peel. Red, amber and gold tamarillos
are unique taste sensations, although the gold is usually considered to
have a milder flavour.
QUICK IDEAS WITH TAMARILLOS
• Halve, scoop out the flesh, sprinkle with brown sugar and enjoy on
• Thickly slice and fry with bacon.
• For lunch, slice and place between buttered rye bread with slices of
salami or smoked beef.
• For nibbles, place slices on small croutons and top with pate and
• Or cut into wedges and spear on a cocktail stick together with blue
• Serve sweetened slices on hot scones topped with whipped cream.
• Add slices to pork and beef casseroles in place of tomatoes.
• Purée, sweeten and drizzle over ice cream.
6 large red, gold or amber
tamarillos, stems on
1 cup red wine
2 tablespoons Manuka honey
2 star anise
With the point of a sharp knife,
make a small cross in the skin at
the pointed end of each tamarillo.
Place in a bowl and cover with
boiling water. Stand for 2-3
minutes, drain and refresh in cold
Preheat the oven to 160°C.
Cut each tamarillo in quarters
from the pointed end almost to the
stem end. Roll back the skin from
the point to the stem end.
Place in a baking dish.
Combine the red wine, honey and
star anise and simmer until the
honey is dissolved. Pour over the
tamarillos. Cover loosely. Bake
for about 15 minutes, remove
the cover, baste the tamarillos
and continue baking until tender,
about 10 minutes. Cool.
Great served with whipped cream
or ice cream. Serves 4-6.
Baked tamarillos with honey and
100g peeled root ginger,
10 cloves garlic, chopped
11⁄4 cups cider vinegar
1⁄2 cup canola oil
1 onion, diced
1 tablespoon each: ground
turmeric, chilli powder
2 tablespoons ground cumin
1 teaspoon each: salt,
700g red tamarillos, peeled
2 apples, peeled and diced
11⁄2 cups lightly packed brown
1⁄2 cup chopped pitted dates
Place the ginger, garlic and
a 1⁄2 cup of the cider vinegar
into a food processor or blender
and mix, until smooth.
Heat the oil in a large saucepan.
Add the onion, turmeric, chilli
powder and ground cumin and
fry, until fragrant. Add the ginger
and garlic paste, the remaining
vinegar, tamarillos, sugar, salt,
mustard and dates. Cook over low
heat, stirring occasionally, until
thickened, about 35 minutes.
Pour into sterilised jars, filling to
the top. Wipe the rims. Seal when
cold. A thin layer of oil can be
poured on top to help keep the
contents airtight prior to sealing.
Makes 5 cups.
8 mid-loin chops
salt and freshly ground black pepper
4 red or golden tamarillos
4 tablespoons red currant jelly
sprigs common or Vietnamese mint
Snip around the outside edge of
the chops. Season. Fold the ends
around to form a compact shape.
Place under a hot grill and cook
for 5-6 minutes each side. Top
each chop with peeled and
sliced tamarillos and brush with
warmed jelly. Place under the grill
for a further minute to heat the
tamarillos. Garnish with mint.
Topping: 2 tablespoons brown sugar
1⁄2 teaspoon ground cinnamon extra
1 large tamarillo
Muffins: 2 cups self-raising flour
1⁄2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1⁄2 cup caster sugar
100g butter, melted
1 egg, lightly beaten
1 cup milk
2-3 tamarillos, peeled and sliced
1⁄2 cup thick, prepared custard
Preheat the oven to 190°C.
Lightly grease an 8-hole muffin
Combine the brown sugar and
cinnamon and place aside. Peel
and slice the tamarillo.
Combine the dry ingredients
in a bowl. Combine the liquid
ingredients and mix into the dry
ingredients, until just moistened.
Half fill the muffin holes with the
mixture. Smooth the top with a
teaspoon moistened in warm
water. Make a dent in the middle
of each. Drop in a good teaspoon
of custard and a half slice of
tamarillo. Top with the remaining
Top each muffin with a half slice
of tamarillo and sprinkle with the
brown sugar/cinnamon mix.
Bake for about 25 minutes. Cool
on a wire rack. Makes 8.
Tamarillo and custard muffins
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