tamarillo_fruitTamarillo (Solanum betaceum)

Tamarillos used to be known as Tree Tomatoes. They are beautiful to look at, especially when hanging on the tree. They come in colours from deep purplish red through scarlet to orange and bright yellow, and they taste wonderful.

The tamarillo is native to the Andes of Peru, Chile, Ecuador, Colombia and Bolivia. Today, it is still cultivated in gardens and small orchards for local production, and it is one of the most popular fruits in these regions.  Other regions of cultivation are the subtropical areas throughout the world, such as  the United States, Australia, and New Zealand.

Flesh color varies accordingly from orange-red or orange to yellow or cream-yellow. The pulp surrounding the seed is soft, juicy, and sweet/tart. The yellow types are usually a little sweeter. The pulp is black in dark purple and red fruits, and yellow in yellow and orange fruits. The edible seeds are thin, nearly flat, circular, larger and harder than those of the true tomato. Eat them fresh, stewed with sugar and ice-cream, or in baked goods. Highly recommended!

Tamarillo tarte tatin with honey yoghurt 2243_l

Australian Good Taste – June 2005 , Page 69. Recipe by Ross Dobson

8 (about 700g) tamarillos
20g butter
2 tablespoons white sugar

200g (11/3 cups) plain flour
150g chilled butter, cubed
30g (1/4 cup) almond meal
45g (1/4 cup) icing sugar mixture
1 egg yolk
1 tablespoon cold water
Plain flour, to dust

Honey yoghurt
130g (1/2 cup) Greek-style
natural yoghurt
2 tablespoons honey

Step 1
To make pastry, place the flour, butter, almond meal and icing sugar in the bowl of a food processor and process until mixture resembles fine breadcrumbs. Add the egg yolk and water, and process until mixture just comes together. Turn dough onto a lightly floured surface and knead until smooth. Shape into a disc and cover with plastic wrap. Place in the fridge for 30 minutes to rest.

Step 2
Meanwhile, preheat oven to 200°C. Use a knife to make a shallow cross in base of each tamarillo. Place tamarillos in a heatproof bowl and cover with boiling water. Set aside for 2-3 minutes. Use a slotted spoon to transfer the tamarillos to a bowl of iced water. Set aside for 1 minute. Carefully peel off the skin. Cut crossways into 5mm-thick slices.

Step 3
Melt butter in a 20cm-diameter (base measurement) heavy-based cast-iron frying pan with ovenproof handle over medium heat until foaming. Sprinkle with sugar. Arrange tamarillo over base of frying pan. Cook for 3-4 minutes or until sugar dissolves. Remove from heat.

Step 4
Use a floured rolling pin to roll out the pastry into a 1cm-thick disc. Place pastry over tamarillos in the pan, allowing it to overhang the sides. Press pastry into the edge of the pan. Bake in preheated oven for 25 minutes or until pastry is golden brown. Set aside for 5 minutes.

Step 5
To make the yoghurt, place yoghurt in a serving bowl and drizzle with honey.

Step 6
Turn tarte tatin onto a serving platter. Cut into wedges and serve immediately with the honey yoghurt.