Tamarillo is a small, tangy fruit that grows in the Bolivian highlands, although it can also be grown in the tropical lowlands. The tamarillo is known in English as the tree tomato, although it isn't a tomato at all. This egg-shaped fruit varies in color from yellow, orange, or red to deep purple. It has a paper-thin outer peeling, an interior soft lining, and a pulp with numerous small seeds. It is very fragrant and its smell has been compared to that of a mango. Normally only the inside pulp is eaten. The lighter the fruit, the sweeter the pulp. After tasting tamarillo juice and tamarillo marmalade, I thought tamarillo might be nice on chicken or meat, so I did some experimenting in the kitchen and found out that tamarillo also tastes delicious as a chutney (I enjoyed mine with pork ribs).
5-6 whole tamarillos
1/3 cup dried cranberries (I used Craisins)
1/4 small white onion, grated
3/4 cup white sugar
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon ground yellow aji pepper
4-5 cups of waterInstructions
Tamarillos have a very very thin peeling that must be removed. You could peel them with a knife, but you'll most likely lose some of the fruit in doing so. Therefore, in a pot, bring your water to a boil. Wash the tamarillos, break off the stems, and place them (whole) into the water for about 1 minute. Remove. With a knife, cut the tips from each tamarillo. It should now be easy to simply peel the skin off each one with your hands (sort of like peeling a banana).
Turn your stove down to a lower temperature and bring your water to a simmer. Chop or dice your now skinless tamarillos into very small pieces and add them to the water. Add the cranberries as well.
Wash your lemon and cut it into eighths lengthwise. Remove the seeds and white membrane from one eighth of the lemon. Without removing the lemon peel, cut your lemon piece into very thin slices. Add to the water.
Grate the onion, add it to the water along with all sugar, cloves, ginger, and ground yellow aji pepper. (If you can't get that, ground cayenne pepper should work).
Cook on very low heat, stirring continuously, especially when the water begins to evaporate to ensure it doesn't stick to the bottom of your pot and burn. Cook until the tamarillos, cranberries and lemon chunks are soft and fully cooked. You can use the back of your spoon to "mash" the mixture a little against the sides of the pot to ensure larger chunks cook all the way through. Add a bit of extra water one tablespoon at a time if necessary (if the water evaporates before all your ingredients are completely soft). On my stove this took about 35 minutes. Your chutney will be ready when it resembles marmalade. Serve hot over chicken, beef or ribs. (I'm planning to try this over turkey when Thanksgiving comes around). Makes about 1 cup of tamarillo cranberry chutney.