I discovered tamarillos earlier this year when the tree in my mum and dad’s back yard started producing the shiny red fruits. Once you slice through the hard skin the flesh is orange and the seeds are encased in a deep red pulp. The taste is like a mix of a tomato and a passionfruit; there’s a definite tartness that makes you pucker your lips at the first bite. I wouldn’t say tamarillos have become one of my favourite fruits, but they’re certainly interesting.
I came down to mum and dad’s house for dinner tonight and found a small bowl of tamarillos sitting on the kitchen table. They were smaller than usual, and the skin was a tiny bit shrivelled. I’m guessing they’re the last ones of the season now that winter is settling in. I made a deal with dad that if he picked up some cream and eggs from the shop, I would make them tamarillo crème brûlées for dessert. It was also the first time I got to use the vanilla beans dad brought back from Dubai. It’s so lovely being able to scrape the seeds from a fresh vanilla bean rather than resorting to paste or extract.
The test wasn’t without hiccups. The mix was too small for the ramekins I was using, I accidentally added too much sugar to the fruit, and on top of the oven not working we couldn’t get the proper blow torch for caramelising the sugar on top. Despite this the custard was smooth and creamy and went well with the tamarillo pulp sitting at the bottom. If you’ve got spare tamarillos you can find my recipe for tamarillo crème brûlée on RecipeYum.
Have you ever had tamarillos before? Did you buy them or grow them?