Update on Tamarillo Chutney made in March

Update on Tamarillo Chutney made in March

As my entire excuse for procrastination (here, at least) is that I only want to give information that is tried and tested, I thought I better give an update on my Tamarillo Chutney.

I left the chutney for three months to allow the flavours to mellow (as is, apparently, the golden rule of Chutney making).

Tamarillo Chutney

Tamarillo Chutney


The results: we are very happy with the easy to eat, quite sweet, fruity chutney. Today we had a little platter of crackers, homemade rocket pesto, creamed cheese with chives and sundried tomatoes, sliced cornbeef, cucumber and tomato with a small dish of this chutney. Lovely family moment. Oops, forgot to take a pic for you, sorry.

Can’t wait until the Tamarillo Tree fruits again so I can make a bigger batch of chutney (and of that amazing jam)

Getting Canny and Hitting the Bottle

Getting Canny and Hitting the Bottle

I was once the young Mum just trying everything that I could in the cooking field. I got on the jam project (due to my first Tamarillo Tree fruiting) around the same time as the school fete so I went berserk bottling jams and marmalades of all types. I had people donating Seville oranges or lemons or other fruits and I just cooked up whatever I could find recipes interesting for. I even incorporated my other interests at the time and made homemade paper for tags and spray stencilled the school emblem on them (I had been using spray stencilling for decorating children’s cakes). Lots of fun.

I don’t know if I had a computer or the internet, but I know I wants very savvy at the time. I went to the library, got out a good old book and copied out the recipes (guess funds must have been low, too).

However, years and two house moves later, I have no idea where those recipes went. I always like the tried and true recipes, either getting a recipe from someone after tasting their efforts or, at least, knowing they have an idea what they are doing in the kitchen.

So, when my new Tamarillo tree fruited (just as excited as I was the first time), I headed into the many internet sites that I have found I can trust to deliver good recipes. However, not many of them had the recipes I was looking for and my yearning for knowledge on the subject had me wandering here and there across the ether in search of tips and clues about all things bottling (canning, preserving…whatever you want to call it)

Tamarillo, Apple, Vanilla and Rosewater Jam

Tamarillo, Apple, Vanilla and Rosewater Jam


One site I thought you might like is 365 Days of Creative Canning. I haven’t made a lot of the recipes, but they challenged themselves to ‘canning’ something every single day for a year and have recently SUCCESSFULLY finished that challenge. That’s big in the knowing a bit about it stakes. I got a lot of know how and answers to silly questions which helped sort out some recipes that I liked the look of but that didn’t supply the vital basic information.

The blog tab has articles such as Canning 101 – Mastering Marmalades; How to use a Water Bath Canner (I don’t use one of these as I like doing small batches and manage fine without, but just thought you might like to know the sort of info available).

I just think you gotta learn a lot if you do that much preserving and they share oodles of info and lots of recipes to inspire and motivate.

Tantalising Tamarillo Jam

Tantalising Tamarillo Jam

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

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

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

Ingredients:
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)
Method:
  • 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

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

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

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.

Tips:
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

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.