My favourite thing to do with Tamarillos is jam and I have to share this wonderful recipe that was given to YaYa by her friend Connie. This is now the jam I will make tons of when I next have fruit on my tree.
Waiting on the last of the Yellow Tamarillos to ripen
I decided to add two apples to my eight small Tamarillos because I desperately wanted to make more of this very promising recipe. For the same reason, and because I despise waste, I did not remove the seeds of the Tamarillos, just the skins and the little hard white bit at the top of the fruit and the tiny hard bit on the pointy end of a few. I normally leave the skins on apples when cooking, but decided this jam would benefit from peeled apples.
Peeled Tamarillo with hard spot at top removed
What a glorious smell while this was cooking! Absolutely glorious jam. I only got 2 small jars, but they will be savoured.
Tamarillo, Vanilla and Rosewater Jam
Yield approx 1 1/4 cups (1 3/4 cup if apple added)
6-8 tamarillos, peeled and finely cubed (remove seeds if preferred)
2 apples, cored, peeled and finely cubed (optional)
1 vanilla pod split in half
2 lemons juiced and then strained
1-2 teaspoons of rosewater or orange flower water
approx 2 cups of caster sugar (see below)
- Sterilise 3 small jars (I always sterlise more than I need, you might only use two).
- Put a small plate in the fridge to cool down. You will use this later, when testing whether the jam has reached a set.
Tamarillos cut for jam
- Peel the Tamarillos and cut fairly small. I had small Tamarillos so merely sliced and then quartered the slices. If you don’t want seeds in the jam, scoop them out with a spoon before dicing the Tamarillos.
- If using apples, core, peel and dice, a similar size to the Tamarillos. Your fruit will mostly not break down while cooking, and will be visible in the pretty finished product, so a little care here will make a difference later
Apple cut in fine cube – I used Bonza apples
- Put the chopped fruit into a heavy saucepan, scrape the seeds of the vanilla pod into the pan and add the pods themselves.
- Add water until it just covers the fruit and cook for about 10-15 minutes until the fruit is tender.
- Cool slightly. Measure the mixture.
Measure the fruit to calculate sugar needed
- Return to the saucepan and, for every 1 cup of cooked fruit, add 3/4 of a cup of sugar and the juice of one lemon.
- Bring to a medium boil and cook, stirring occasionally, until the mixture thickens and it sets when tested.
- When the jam is ready, take it off the heat and cool for a few minutes before stirring in the rosewater or orange flower water.
- Bottle in warm, sterilised jars and seal.
To test, spoon a little jam onto the cold plate and allow it to cool. If you push the cooled jam and it has formed a skin which wrinkles, it is ready. If not keep testing every few minutes. As it is getting closer, you might like to take the saucepan off the heat while testing, so you don’t overcook it while carrying out the test.
Ya Ya mentioned in the original recipe, “The jam may look a little too liquid but will further thicken when it cools in the jar.” Even though it looked runny and didn’t seem to be setting on the cold plate test, I bottled as the jam was starting to darken. The set is maybe even a little too much. So, if you are second guessing yourself, worry not; all will be ok.
You can put the vanilla pods in the jars with the jam, if you like the look. I suggest you cut the pod into several smaller pieces at the beginning to make this easier. I think because I added the apple or because I cooked the jam a little longer, I couldn’t really see the pod in my jar, only where it touched the glass.
Tamarillo, Apple, Vanilla and Rosewater Jam
I would love to put this jam into those tiny jars you get in gourmet gift baskets and give some to everyone I know.