Not many Australians would list the tamarillo in their top five favourite fruits so perhaps sporadic supply and expense has hampered a groundswell of awareness of it. But once discovered, there is no going back. The tamarillo, like the feijoa, is a much-loved fruit in New Zealand, where both are grown for export as well as local consumption. They are generally available (although spasmodically) between March and December.
Tamarillos go with: Pepper, chillies, star anise, cinnamon, vanilla, salt, sugar, duck, quail, venison, pork, kangaroo, lamb, walnuts, almonds, cream, yoghurt, whisky, brandy, orange-flavoured liqueur, lemon.
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Recipes & styling Kay Francis,
Photography Ken Brass
4 50g loaf brioche (from bakeries, supermarkets or fruit markets)
125g butter, melted
2 tablespoons pure maple syrup
2 tablespoons soft brown sugar
2 tablespoons almond meal
2 tablespoons brioche crumbs
3 tablespoons brandy
Whipped cream, to serve
A lmond praline, for decoration (see note)
To peel tamarillos, cut a shallow ‹X› on base of each and cut off stalks. Put tamarillos in a large pot, pour in boiling water to cover and place over heat until just simmering. Drain tamarillos in a colander. When cool enough to handle peel off skins. Roughly chop fruit and place in a bowl. Preheat oven to 160°C.
Brush the insides of 8 x 1-cup baking moulds with some of the melted butter. Place a square of baking paper in the base of each. Cut brioche loaf into thin slices. Using one of the moulds as a guide, cut 8 circles of brioche to fit the top and 8 circles to fit the base. Reserve brioche trims, including crust. Cut remaining brioche into strips the depth of the moulds.
To make brioche crumbs from the trims process until fine in a food processor or in small batches in a blender. Excess crumbs can be frozen in a snap-lock bag for future use.
Brush cut brioche with combined melted butter and maple syrup. Line moulds with the base first and then the sides. Reserve top pieces. Add almond meal, sugar, brioche crumbs and brandy and stir to combine. Spoon mixture into prepared moulds and top with base piece of brioche. Place moulds on a baking tray and then into the oven. Bake for 60 minutes, remove from oven and stand 10 minutes before turning out. (The puddings can be made in advance and kept refrigerated in the moulds. Reheat to serve.) Serve with whipped cream and almond praline.
Note: To make almond praline, roast 50g flaked almonds until dark golden. Heat ½ cup caster sugar with ¼ cup water and 1 teaspoon butter in a saucepan, stirring until sugar is dissolved. Boil, without stirring, until toffee reaches hard-crack stage (150°C) (or is dark golden). Add all the almonds and briefly stir to just combine. (Too much stirring will make the toffee sugary.) Tip mixture onto an oven tray and with a metal spatula quickly spread. Cool and when set remove from tray and break into pieces. These can be stored in an airtight container or snap lock bag for future use. Crush desired amount to smaller chunks and sprinkle on puddings to serve.
1 cup soft brown sugar
1 vanilla bean
1 cinnamon stick
1 lemon, sliced thickly
5 egg yolks
¼ cup raw sugar
⅓ cup whisky
2 leaves gelatine, soaked in
¾ cup pouring cream
To peel tamarillos, cut a shallow on base of each. Put tamarillos in a large bowl, pour in boiling water to cover and stand 3-4 minutes. Put 1 litre water into a deep pan. Add sugar, the vanilla bean, split in half lengthways and the seeds scraped into the water, the cinnamon stick and sliced lemon. Heat until sugar dissolves. Drain tamarillos and carefully peel skin from the base, trimming around stalk with small scissors if necessary. Put each peeled tamarillo immediately into the poaching liquid. Return pan to a low heat, cover and bring to a gentle simmer. Poach, semi-covered for 15 minutes. Turn off heat.
To make whisky creams, place yolks, sugar and whiskey in the top of a double boiler or in a bowl positioned over a pan of water. Whisk over a medium heat, taking care the water does not touch the upper pot or bowl. The mixture will become smooth, pale and thick after about 8-10 minutes. If it at any stage it appears to curdle, remove immediately from heat and whisk until smooth.
Squeeze gelatine to extract extra water, then stir into egg mixture to dissolve. Stir in cream. Pour mixture into 8 x ¼-cup moulds (I used silicone moulds which make extraction easy) and refrigerate until set. Remove tamarillos from poaching syrup and place 2 on each serving plate. Boil syrup rapidly until it reduces and is thick and sticky. Unmould a whisky cream onto plate and spoon syrup over fruit.
Makes about 2 litres
To peel tamarillos, cut a shallow X on base of each and cut off stalks. Put tamarillos in a large pot, pour in boiling water to cover and place over heat until simmering. Drain tamarillos in a colander. When cool enough to handle peel off skins. Chop fruit roughly and place in a bowl.
Heat the sesame oil in the large pot, add onion and garlic and cook for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add tamarillos and remaining ingredients. Stir until sugar has dissolved, bring to the boil then reduce heat to medium/low and simmer uncovered for 60 minutes, until thick. Spoon into sterilised jars and seal. Serve with roasted or grilled meat or poultry, such as grilled kangaroo fillet (pictured) with a mixture of boiled potato and celeriac.