Ripe tamarillo fruit look like beautiful plums hanging from the tree. Originating in South America, tamarillos were once called tree tomatoes in New Zealand where they are very popular. They have been grown and sold in Australia over the past twenty years, and are now readily available at good grocers and markets when in season.
The season usually begins in June–July and finishes in early spring; although, this year, the tamarillos are already ripening. Our neighbours have a tree that provides them with ample golden fruit every season. If you know someone with a tree laden with fruit, try this easy poaching recipe. The sharp tang of the fruit is sweetened by the poaching process, and pairs perfectly with the tart, creamy labne.
Spelt waffles, poached tamarillos and vanilla labne
wheat free | dairy-free option
250 g plain yoghurt (cow, sheep or goat)
½ teaspoon vanilla paste or powder
1 heaped teaspoon raw honey (optional)
8 orange tamarillos
200 ml water
Juice of 1 orange
2 strips of skin peeled from an orange
1 tablespoon quality orange marmalade
1 star anise
1 cinnamon quill
250 g organic wholemeal spelt flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon sea salt
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 tablespoon maple syrup or rapadura sugar
60 g organic coconut oil or butter, melted
300 ml milk (cow, soy, nut)
extra virgin olive oil spray
To make the labne, line a fine sieve with a layer of muslin. Place the sieve over a bowl. Pour the yoghurt into the sieve and fold the muslin over the top. Refrigerate overnight. Transfer the labne to a mixing bowl and add the vanilla and honey, and whisk vigorously until creamy and smooth.
To poach the tamarillos, cut the tamarillos in quarters lengthwise, leaving the stem intact. Place remaining ingredients in a heavy-based saucepan and sit the tamarillos snugly in the pan. Bring the pan to a simmer on a medium heat, cover with the lid and poach for 10 minutes or until the fruit is soft. Remove the fruit and set aside. Strain the liquid through a fine sieve and reduce on a low heat for 10 minutes to form a syrup.
To make the waffles, place the flour, baking powder, salt and spice in a large mixing bowl. Mix the eggs, syrup, butter, pumpkin, milk, zest and juice in another mixing bowl. Pour the wet mixture into the dry mix, and mix thoroughly to form a batter. Brush or spray the preheated waffle iron with oil and spoon batter into the iron. Cook on each side for 4 minutes or until golden brown. Repeat with remaining batter. Serve waffles with poached tamarillos, orange syrup and vanilla labne.