I’m taking a three week break as we’re going on a short holiday. So it is going to be mid-November before I post again. Before I go, I must tell you that I came across Tamarillos or Tree Tomatoes of this season. This is the season for them and perhaps all I’m going to see of them this time. They seem to have a rather short season here. I rarely see them for more than three weeks and they’re gone. Last year I made some Tamarillo and Pear Jam. This year I decided to make some Tamarillo Apple Chutney with them.
The Tamarillo is originally from South America and belongs to the same family as tomatoes. There they are known as tomate de árbol (tree tomato). Tamarillos came to New Zealand sometime in the sixties. They were then renamed Tamarillo to avoid confusion with tomatoes.
This year, I had plans to bake with the Tamarillos. Unfortunately, I couldn’t find the time and now my oven seems to be hinting at permanent retirement. So the Tamarillos sat on my kitchen counter getting ripe and nice deep red. They needed to to be used up before they got spoiled.
Tamarillos have a high amount of pectin and are perfect to make jams, relishes and chutneys. They are a bit tart with a hint of sweetness once they ripen. I had a couple of apples on hand so a Tamarillo Apple Chutney seemed the way to go.
The tamarillos have to be peeled first as the skin is very bitter. Also make sure your fruit is very ripe. Ripe tamarillos should give when pressed slightly. Unripe tamarillos can be very tart and astringent.
This is a really easy recipe and takes very little time. Drop all the ingredients in a pot and slow cook them together till the mixture thickens to a chutney. This shouldn’t take more than 30 minutes. The slight tartness of the tamarillos gives this Tamarilllo Apple Chutney a mild tang. Serve it on crackers or toast. This recipe is for a batch of 2 small jam jars worth of chutney. You can make larger batches.
Tamarillo Apple Chutney
- 10 to 12 ripe tamarillos
- 1 large apple
- 1 large red onion
- 1/2 cup brown sugar more if required
- 1/4 cup white vinegar
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp red chilli powder
- 1/4 cup golden raisins
- 3/4 tsp all spice
- Make a small shallow cross, with a sharp knife, at the pointed end of each Tamarillo. Drop them in a pot of boiling water and turn the heat off. Cover the pot and let them sit in the water for 5 minutes. Take them out and let them cool. You will be able to easily peel the Tamarillos. Peel and roughly chop them and put them into a thick bottomed pot.
- Peel, core and dice the apple and add to the tamarillo in the pot. Grate the onion and add this to the pot as well.
- Now also add the brown sugar, vinegar, salt, red chilli powder, raisins and the allspice. Mix and bring to a boil. Turn down the heat and allow the mixture to cook. Stir occasionally to make sure the chutney doesn’t catch at the bottom of the pot. Let it thicken to desired consistency.
- Take it off the heat and let it cool completely. Transfer to sterilized and airtight glass jars. The flavor will improve if left for a couple of days before using. I would suggest refrigerating the chutney once you open the jars.