I mentioned a couple of weeks ago that I had been enjoying the abundance of fresh tamarillos right now, and experimenting in the kitchen with them. My brain is still whirring with all sorts of possibilities to trial, but if I waited until I had exhausted all of those before posting, tamarillo season would be over before you got to try any of them. So here are three recipes I have made, and loved every bite of – a Spicy Tamarillo Sauce with Smoked Duck Breast, a Tamarillo Sorbet, and a White Chocolate, Tamarillo & Rose Water Ice Cream. I hope you will try them and enjoy them too. I would also love to hear your comments if you have a favourite recipe using tamarillos.
For all of these recipes you need to begin by blanching, peeling and chopping the tamarillos. Make a small cut in the skin of each tamarillo, drop into a bowl of hot water for about 1 minute, then remove. The skin should now slide off easily – if not, return to the hot water for a minute more. Once peeled, you are ready to cut the tamarillos into small pieces - I cut each one into quarters, then each quarter into four slices.
Smoked Duck with Spicy Tamarillo Sauce Recipe
Click here for a printable copy of this recipe
2 smoked duck breasts (refer Source Guide)
(adapted from a recipe by Jan Bilton, Fresh & Fancy Fare)
1 cinnamon stick
1 star anise
2 tablespoons sugar
1 tablespoon maple syrup
¾ cup water
Blanch and peel the tamarillos according to the earlier instructions. Slice the tamarillos and place in a small saucepan, along with the spices, sugar, maple syrup, and water. Bring up to the boil, then reduce to a simmer for about 10 minutes or until the fruit is soft. Cover and set aside to cool. Remove the spices, puree using an immersion blender or food processor, and reheat before serving. This can be made several hours or even a couple of days ahead of time.
Heat a skillet over high heat, really no oil required as a fair amount of fat will render out of the duck breast. Score the skin of the duck breasts, and once pan is hot, slide in the duck breasts, skin side down. Cook until the skin is crispy, and then turn over for a couple of minutes more. This will really not take much time at all – since the duck has already been smoked, you are not trying to cook it, simply to crisp up the skin and warm it through.
Serve sliced, with the warmed tamarillo sauce poured over the top.
I also served this with some sautéed brussel sprouts with walnuts, and crispy parmesan parsnips (cut parsnips into wafer thin slices, using a peeler, toss with egg white and parmesan cheese, spread out on a baking sheet, and cook in a hot oven until brown and crisp – about 10-15 minutes).
This sauce also works well with roast duck or venison.
White Chocolate, Tamarillo & Rose Water Ice Cream Recipe
Click here for a printable copy of the complete recipe
Makes about 1.5 litres
This begins with a good vanilla ice cream base, which I adapted from David Lebovitz’s recipe for vanilla ice cream (you can find his original recipe here) - this is simplicity itself to make, and the end result is rich, creamy and fragrant. Of course, like all things simple, the end result is only as good as the quality of ingredients you use – so do use free range eggs, organic milk and cream if you can get it, and good, fresh vanilla beans (look for ones that are still pliable, not stiff and hard). A tamarillo rose water pulp and chunks of white chocolate are then swirled through the churned ice cream.
100g good quality white chocolate, chopped
6 ripe tamarillos (preferably organic)
1½ tablespoons sugar
45ml hot water
1½ teaspoons rose water (refer Source Guide) (optional)
Blanch, peel and chop tamarillos according to earlier instructions. Put all of the chopped fruit into a non-metallic bowl and combine with the remaining ingredients. Cover bowl with cling film and set in the fridge to marinate for at least 24 hours. Don’t be concerned if it seems as though the rose water is very over-powering at this stage. It will completely mellow out by the time it has finished its marinating process, at which stage there will be almost no discernable flavour of the rose water. “Why bother then?” you may wonder. Well, somehow, even though you can’t detect the specific taste of rose water, it seems to really accentuate the floral, slightly perfumed notes of the tamarillos’ flavour.
Vanilla Ice Cream
(adapted from recipe by David Lebovitz)
250ml full-fat milk
pinch of salt
1 vanilla bean (refer Source Guide)
500ml heavy cream
5 large egg yolks
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract (refer Source Guide)
Combine milk, salt, and sugar in a small saucepan and gently heat. Split the vanilla bean lengthwise, scrape out the seeds, and add the seeds and pod to the milk as its heating. Remove pan from the heat, cover, and leave for about one hour to allow the flavour to infuse.
Next strain the cream into a 2 litre bowl, and then stand that bowl in an ice bath.
Lightly whisk the egg yolks in a separate bowl.
Reheat the milk, and then slowly pour the warmed milk into the egg yolks, whisking constantly.
Return the warmed egg yolks and milk to the saucepan. Then cook over a low heat, stirring constantly, until the custard is thick enough to coat the back of a spoon or spatula.
Strain the custard into the cream, which is standing over its water bath, and keep stirring until the custard is cool. Stir in the vanilla extract, and return the vanilla bean (which was strained out earlier) to the custard.
Completely cover the surface of the custard with a layer of cling fling, and then refrigerate for at least 8 hours, or preferably overnight.
Remove the vanilla bean from the chilled custard, and then churn in your ice cream maker according to the manufacturer's instructions.
While the custard is churning – give the cold, marinated tamarillos a quick blitz with an immersion blender or food processor. I gave this really just a couple of seconds as I wanted to keep plenty of texture rather than ending up with a puree.
Once the ice cream has finished churning, remove from machine. Fold in the white chocolate, and then swirl the tamarillo mixture through the ice cream to get a “ripple” effect. Serve immediately or freeze about 4 hours to firm up a bit more.
Tamarillo Sorbet Recipe
Click here for a printable copy of this recipe
Vegetarian, vegan, gluten-free
Makes about 800-900ml
(adapted from this recipe on Celtnet Recipes)
This recipe begins with a tamarillo rose water pulp, just as in the ice cream recipe. The resulting sorbet is deliciously tart and refreshing, and the colour is such a glorious shade of pink it would bring even Nigella to her knees – the photo doesn’t quite do it justice I feel.
For fruit puree:
1 tablespoon sugar
30 ml water
1 teaspoon rosewater (refer Source Guide) (optional)
1 cup water
1 cup caster sugar
Blanch, peel and chop tamarillos according to earlier instructions. Put all of the chopped fruit into a non-metallic bowl and combine with the remaining puree ingredients. Cover bowl with cling film and set in the fridge to marinate for at least 24 hours. Note, earlier comments with regard to rose water.
Once fruit has marinated, puree using a food processor or immersion blender, and then strain to remove the seeds.
For the sorbet, place the water and sugar in a small saucepan over medium heat until sugar has completely dissolved. Combine with the pureed fruit, and then chill for at least 8 hours, preferably overnight.
Pour into ice cream maker and churn according to manufacturers instructions. If you don’t have an ice cream maker, freeze until firm about 4 hours. Remove from freezer and beat using food processor or blender, and then return to freezer. Repeat once more.
You can find more information and suggestions for using tamarillos here.