Sure, they are good poached, they make a great crumble filling and a tangy chutney but that’s not all you can do with tamarillos. Just as the variety of produce in supermarkets is starting to narrow for the winter, the tamarillo is making an entrance. And they will be available in even bigger quantities as the season peaks in July and August.
Aficionados love them sliced on toast, maybe with a careful sprinkling of cayenne pepper, some thinly sliced raw garlic (just rub it over the toast if you plan on social contact) and then a slice of cheese before the open sandwich is grilled.
According to bite.co.nz contributor Jan Bilton, who has just released her totally updated Tamarillo Cookbook, they make great salsas (especially with Vietnamese mint) for venison, chicken or pork. Tamarillos are also good in casseroles, left whole but peeled. That makes sense: the tamarillo is a relative of the potato, the tomato and the capsicum.
Tamarillos are low in fat and carbohydrates but are high in potassium. They are a source of vitamins A, B6 and C and also contain vitamin E and thiamine, copper and magnesium.
Store them in the fridge for up to two weeks or in a fruit bowl for a week. Tamarillos can easily be frozen, skinned and left whole, or pureed for some of those winter puddings we will be serving any day soon. Here’s a great tamarillo breakfast recipe from Jan Bilton, ideal to serve for a special breakfast or brunch.
Fancy French toast
1¼ cups cream
1 French stick
2 Tbsp honey
½ cup orange juice
6 large tamarillos, peeled
6 rashers bacon
- Whisk the cream and eggs well. Slice the bread into 2.5cm rounds and arrange in a single layer in a wide, shallow casserole. Pour the egg mixture over to cover evenly. Refrigerate overnight or for several hours.
- Heat the orange juice and honey until warm. Halve the tamarillos lengthwise. Add to the juice mixture and place on low heat to warm through.
- Pan-fry the bacon, until crisp. Remove to a warm platter. Fry the rounds of bread until golden on both sides. Add a little butter if the bread begins to stick.
- Divide the bread and bacon between six serving plates and add the tamarillos and sauce. Serve immediately for breakfast or brunch.