It's mid-summer and that means it's Tamarillo time. This jam is an ideal Tree to Table Preserve you can make in less than one hour, not including the time it takes to climb the ladder and pick the tamarillos.
Ingredients - 1.5kg tamarillos ❤ 1.5kg sugar ❤ juice & rind of 2 freshly picked lemons ❤ 1 x 440gram tin of crushed pineapple, drained
Makes about 7 x 300ml jars
Method + Tips - Place saucer in the freezer. Butter the bottom of your preserving pan.
Slit tamarillos top & bottom with a cross to assist peeling them. Boil the jug & pour boiling water over the tamarillos to remove skins. Do this twice if necessary or top up with more boiling water if skins aren't coming off easily enough. Skins can be quite thick, especially on underripe fruit.
Once skin-free, slice the flesh and place in a large preserving pan with ½ a cup of water and cook fruit until soft - about 10-12 minutes. You will need to stir occassionally to ensure fruit doesn't catch on the bottom of pan.
Reduce heat, add the sugar and stir really well until sugar fully dissolved. Increase heat, add lemon juice & cook for another 13-15 minutes - or until jam jells and setting point is reached. Stir as required to stop catching or burning. Use the wrinkle freezer test (see marmalade mornings posting for more details). Take off the heat and stir through crushed pineapple. Bottle jam and seal while hot.
Store in a cool, dark place. Keeps for 12-18 months.
Tamarillos are also known as tree tomatoes or tomato de arbol. They are exotic, versatile fruits native to the Andes of Peru, Chile, Ecuador, Colombia and Bolivia. Also grown in a few other sub-tropical areas around the world, including our orchard at Weka Weka. Very tropical at this time of year.
You can see the rejects in the last pic. Don't ever use rotten, 2nds or damaged fruit for preserves. The same rule applies here as with all cooking - quality ingredients in, quality product out.
I can't bear to watch the birds attack these beautiful egg shaped fruits. Any fruit that satisfies my sweet tooth e.g great jam/cheesecake/smoothie as well as my savoury one e.g terrific chutney and salsa, is a real winner with me. Get your hands on some. Try them raw too. The yellow and orange ones are sweeter. Don't eat the skin and perhaps sprinkle a little sugar on the flesh when you've cut them in half. Gotta run. Must pick & preserve mine now - before those pesty birds beat me to it.