Poached Tamarillos …

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Poached tamarillo with vanilla ice-cream

The Tamarillo (tree tomato) is a fast growing attractive shrubby tree originally from South America.  About two years ago, I planted one in my garden and then forgot about it. The next time I looked it was three metres high, and this summer it produced its first crop.  Unfortunately, because I neglected to prune it I now have to stand on my compost bin or drag out a ladder to collect the fruit.  As Tamarillos only last 3-5 years I’ve already planted its replacement – but this time I will be pruning it at one metre!
There appear to be many methods for poaching Tamarillos, but a bit of experimentation resulted in the following simple recipe which works for me.  Next year I am going to try and come up with a recipe for Sweet Chilli & Tamarillo sauce.


375 ml water
200 gm sugar
1 tsp vanilla paste or ½ a vanilla bean split open
1-2 tamarillos per person depending upon size

  • Make a small cross cut in the tip of each tamarillo, put them in a heatproof bowl and pour boiling water over them.  Leave for 2 minutes and then pour off the boiling water.  Once they are cool enough to handle, peel off the skin carefully leaving the stems intact.
  • In a large saucepan, bring the sugar and water slowly to the boil, stirring      regularly.
  • Add the vanilla and the tamarillos and simmer gently for 5 minutes.  If the tamarillos are large, you may have to cook them in batches.
  • Remove the tamarillos and when they are cool enough to handle, make a slit the whole way up the tamarillo to the stem.
  • Put the split tamarillos and the syrup into a bowl and cool for at least 2-3 hours in the fridge. The longer you leave them the pinker the syrup will go.
  • Serve with a good quality vanilla ice-cream or perhaps a pannacotta.

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