This tart fruit is very popular in New Zealand, and my family always grew the dark red variety and enjoyed them fresh, and incorporated into fancy desserts!
Often called "tree Tomatoes" since they are in the nightshade family (as are tomatoes, and eggplants, peppers and potatoes) and the look reminds people of a tomato. However I refuse to call them that, as I find the name confuses people and gives a false impression of the best ways to enjoy this fruit!
You can cut them in half and scoop out the inner flesh and seeds and eat like a tangy lillikoi. Or you can bak the inner flesh into a sweet loaf, cook down with sugar or honey and use as a tart-sweet glaze for a cheesecake, or cook them down with spices and vinegar and make a chutney! You can also glaze meats/fish/tofu with the glossy fruit. Recipes for all of these options are easy to find online, so go ahead and search away!
For an easy to make, but quite a special looking treat that is adaptable to many dietary preferences, I like the recipe below.
Baked Tamarillo with Ricotta and Honey
(makes 4 servings)
1 tsp vanilla
1/2 cup heavy cream or coconut cream
4 tsp organic butter or coconut oil
4 Tablespoons of ricotta, or cashew cream*!
Boil a pot of water and place your whole tamarillo fruits into the water. Let them sit a few minutes until the skins easily peel off.
Cut each peeled fruit in half lengthwise, and place in a baking dish. Drizzle on honey, and vanilla, and add 1/2 tsp of butter/coconut oil to each half.
Cover and bake at 300F for 30 minutes.
Uncover and drizzle cream/coconut cream over the fruit and let the cream and juices combine for 5 to 10 mins.
In each bowl, place a Tablespoon of ricotta, or Cashew cream, add two halves of the tamarillo, and drizzle the sauce all over...
Serve warm or room temperature!
*Cashew Cream recipe
soak equal parts cashews and filtered/spring water overnight, with 1 date (remove the seed!!!) per cup of cashews (you can also use mac nuts, but I haven't found any other nut to be creamy enough for this recipe to work). Add a tiny pinch of salt per cup as well. If you love cardamom (I do!) you can add a few seeds to soak in there as well.
After soaking 12-48 hours (refrigerate if soaking more than 12 hours, as its the saddest thing to find your cashew soak starting to ferment!) blend up in a high powered blender.
That's it! Cashew cream is made! it will keep for up to a week if refrigerated.