Apple Raisin Tomatillo (Tree Tomato) Crumble

by Bella
(Santa Cruz de la Sierra, Bolivia)

Peel and slice your tree tomatoes (tomatillo)

Peel and slice your tree tomatoes (tomatillo)

Peel and slice your tree tomatoes (tomatillo)
Cook the tomatillo and raisins.
Dry mixture sprinkled over fruit prior to baking.
Your delicious final result :)

I find it hard to get motivated to bake in Santa Cruz, Bolivia in the spring and summer (August to April) because of the extreme heat and humidity. So when a surazo* thunders in and drops the temps from 105ºF to 75ºF overnight, I take advantage of the "cool" weather brought by the thunderstorm to bake up a storm!

Today's recipe for apple raisin tomatillo (tree tomato) crumble is the result of experimentally throwing together a few things I had on hand. I had just finished baking blueberry crumble and had quite a lot of the "crumble" part left, enough to make another crumble. However, I didn't have a large amount of any one fruit available and as today is "Day of the Dead" and a national holiday, I'm hiding out at home with no desire to put on "decent" clothes and go to the grocery store (if they're even open, I'm not sure).

So I foraged in the fridge a bit and came up with an unlikely assortment: 4 tomatillos (tree tomatoes), one green apple, one red apple, and a handful of black raisins. An hour later I'm sitting here with a big mug of hot tea and an amazing!!! (excuse the lack of humility) piece of apple raisin tomatillo crumble and I thought I'd share it with you while I wait for my cream cheese pumpkin bread to finish baking.

1.5 cups of flour
1/2 cup of butter, softened to room temperature
1/2 cup of white sugar
1/2 cup of brown sugar
1/2 tsp cinnamon

4 tree tomatoes
1 green apple
1 red apple
1/2 cup black raisins (that's my handful)
1/2 cup brown sugar
2 cups of water


Mix your dry ingredients with a form until the mixture is crumbly. It will not form a dough like a pie dough. Instead, pour about 1 cup of the dry crumble onto an ungreased round pie pan and flatten it with your hand.

1. Peel the tree tomatoes and apples and cut into slices.
2. Cook the tree tomatoes and raisins in a pot with brown sugar and 2 cups of water until it forms a thick syrup.
3. Add the apple slices and cook 5 minutes more.
4. Pour the fruit mixture into the prepared pie pan.
5. Crumble remaining dry mixture on top of your fruit.
Don't cover it entirely. Allow some of the fruit to peek out for aestheric purposes (that means it'll look awesome after baking) :)
6. Bake at 300ºF (not too hot) for 30-40 minutes or until the dough is nicely browned and the fruit is sticky.
7. Remove from oven and cool on a wire rack.
8. Remove from pan and serve.

*Surazo: strong winds that blow from South to North (usually from as far South as Patagonia, Argentina), often accompanied by very heavy rains and tropical thunderstorms. Due to their strength, they can cause temperatures to drop up between 20 and 40ºF very suddenly (literally overnight). Yesterday we were stifling form the heat. Today we're loving the chill.

Comments for Apple Raisin Tomatillo (Tree Tomato) Crumble

Average Rating starstarstarstarstar

Click here to add your own comments

Nov 16, 2012
Try it and let me know!

I'm not sure TJ. I don't know if the peach water would reduce like the sugar water does, but I am guessing that it would. However, I would probably not add extra water. Why don't you try it with 1.5 cups of peach juice first and then see if you think it needs more. Because canned peaches are already soft with a "cooked" texture while the tree tomatoes were not.

Nov 13, 2012
I´ve got canned peaches.
by: TJ

I would love to try this recipe using canned peaches.
Any suggestions?
Can I use the syrup from the canned peaches rather than the water and brown sugar for the fruit part?
I may need to add some additional water the the canned peach syrup to make it 2 cups of liquid.
What do you think?

Nov 03, 2012
Love your Creativity!
by: Chef Noly

Bella, I love your creativity in using what you have on hand to produce something unique and delicious.

Chicago is cold right now and moving into what looks like it might be an unpleasantly cold winter. The squirrels are hoarding food like crazy. Perfect weather for baking something warm and tasty like your crumble.

Thanks for sharing.
Chef Noly

Nov 03, 2012
tree tomatoes - tomatillo
by: Anonymous

A tree tomato is the fruit pictured in the first photo above. It's rather tangy and tart, almost sour. It isn't great to eat on it's own most of the time (some are sweeter and can be) but it's awesome in chutney, jams, juice and baked goods. They have a very short growing season. I found them at the Hipermaxi on Banzer and the 3rd ring a few days ago in the fruit section. Bs. 6 or so, for 4 tree tomatoes, but they are probably available in most grocery stores right now. And usually they are only available for 2-3 weeks until the next harvest takes place, which could be months from now, so hurry :)

Nov 03, 2012
Sounds great, but what´s a tree tomato?
by: TJ

And where do you buy them? Price?
Looking forward to trying your recipe!

Click here to add your own comments

Join in and write your own page! It's easy to do. How? Simply click here to return to Bolivian Food Forum.