Okay - so you have eaten them fresh with spoonfuls of sugar, you have mushed them up with brown sugar and poured them over cornflakes for breakfast, you have had them on a pav, in a sponge, and … there are still a couple of buckets of tamarillo staring at you from the kitchen floor. What to do?
Once, every tamarillo season, I invite special friends to an exquisite meal of Wild Pork and Tamarillo - it’s an annual tradition and, in the absence of a very cross pig this year, I used venison instead. No problems. It was just as delicious with the fruit flavourings in the casserole teasing the palate between mouthfuls of a superbly rich and aged cab/shiraz. One year I had to use beef to maintain the traditional celebration of the tamarillo harvest. With a little less fruit it was fine, and the addition of port during the cooking masked any disappointment in the choice of meat.
Several years ago I attempted to make tamarillo wine and, eighteen months later, ended up with a flavourless aviation fuel! As an addition (in small amounts) to summer punch, it was fine, but I have never bothered again.
But, two very successful ways of emptying the buckets are Tamarillo Chutney and Tamarillo Sauce. The Chutney is excellent any time of the year - with crackers and cheese, in a meat sandwich, as a side dish with a curry, or spooned over Perohee (a North Canadian recipe for small pastry parcels of cheese and mashed potato). Tamarillo Sauce is, likewise, versatile addition to the homemaker’s pantry. Use it instead of tomato sauce, add it into mince dishes or spread some on a hunk of bread under a slice of cheese and grill it for a quick snack.
And, if all else fails, take the last of the offending fruit, mix it with brown sugar to your own taste requirements and freeze it uncooked in small, one serve, containers. For a pick-me-up during the winter, sensor reheat the container in the microwave and pour the fruit over your porridge and cream!
Wild Pork and Tamarillo (with apologies to the younger folk - you will have to do some conversions).
Fry an onion in 1ounce of butter, add 2 pounds of diced wild pork, and brown.
Put the pork and onion into a crock pot and add 1 chopped apple, 1 sliced banana, 1 cup of stock (beef), 2 teaspoons of brown sugar, 2 handfuls of sultanas, 1 dessertspoon of coconut, 1 teaspoon of salt, and 1 dessertspoon of Curry Powder. Cook on low for at least 6 hours. For the last 3 hours of cooking scoop out 4 to 6 tamarillo and add gently to the casserole. Serve to some good friends with a crisp, fresh salad, heaps of specialty bread, and a Coleraine Cabernet/Merlot. If you so wish, you may substitute half a cup of the stock for half a cup of port. If the sauce produced in the crock pot is too thin, leave the lid off in the last stages of cooking to allow it to reduce and thicken to your liking.
Take about 8 pounds of tamarillo (scooped out), 2 large onions chopped up, 2 pounds of apples chopped up (I do this and add these after the vinegar has been put in to stop them from going brown), 2 pounds of brown sugar, one-quarter of a pound of salt, 2 ounces of black pepper, 1 ounce of allspice, half an ounce of cayenne pepper, 2 quarts of vinegar, and 1 ounce of whole cloves. Boil this mixture in a large preserving pan for about 4 hours.
Strain the mush through a sieve (I like to push everything I can through the sieve using a big wooden spoon), pour into pretty bottles, label, and give some away.
Take about 3 pounds of tamarillo (scooped out), 1 pound of chopped onions, and about one-quarter of a pound of chopped apples, a pint of vinegar, 2 and a half pounds of brown sugar, half a packet of mixed spice, a tablespoon of salt, and a scant half teaspoon of cayenne pepper. This shouldn’t need more than an hour’s boiling and will make 5 to 6 pounds of chutney.
Microwave Tamarillo Chutney (for when time is short and you need to cheat!) 3 to 4 tamarillo, 1 chopped apple, 1 finely chopped onion, three-quarters of a cup of brown sugar, one-quarter of a teaspoon of mixed spice, one-quarter of a teaspoon of salt, one-quarter of a cup of vinegar. Scoop out the tamarillo, put it into a microwave-proof dish, and zap for about 4 minutes on high. Mash the fruit up and add all of the other ingredients. Cover and cook for 10 minutes. Uncover and cook for a further 6 minutes or until it has gone thick (I give it 3 minutes and then 1-minute bursts until I am happy with it). Pour into a medium-sized jar or let it cool and serve to those unexpected guests on the front veranda, under the wisteria!
For a more substantial snack put a spoonful on top of Perohee and garnish the plate with a few sprigs of what-ever-herb-looks-nice-at-the-moment.
When I make Perohee I MAKE PEROHEE! Huge amounts. I put them onto trays and freeze them and, once frozen, they can be bagged up for instant use anytime. You can add them to any meal from breakfast to supper.
Make a huge pot of mashed potato and add heaps of cheese. Tasty is best but any cheese your budget will allow is fine. Add in some Maggie Powdered Chicken Stock (or Bacon or Herb etc) to taste. Don’t throw the spud water away as you will need it for the pastry.
In a big bowl put 9 cups of flour and 1 teaspoon of salt. Measure the cooled spud water - you will need 4 cups but you can make the 4 cups up with tap water if there is not enough water from the spuds. Beat in 2 eggs and 1 tablespoon of oil. Use this mixture to make a pastry-type dough with the flour.
Roll it out, as usual, cut it into suitable-sized squares (not too big) and make a sealed parcel with about 2 teaspoons of the mashed potato in the centre of each one. Mine end up being about the size of a golf ball.
Freeze or use immediately. They can be deep fried or baked in the oven.
If I am in a hurry and have to use them directly from the freezer I give them about 10 seconds (per golf ball) in the microwave before I cook them.
Enjoy! Althea from Middelmost.