Tuesday, October 6, 2015

red wine poached tamarillos

Have you ever heard of a tree tomato?
Probably not.
Native to Ecuador, the tree tomato, or tamarillo as it's now called (to prevent confusion), is a tropical plant of the nightshade family that bears edible egg-shaped red fruits of the same name.  It can be used in savory recipes, like hot sauce or salsas, or in sweet, like I've prepared it below.
I first tasted a tree tomato at our lovely b&b, on my first trip to Ecuador.  
And this past time, when I saw them in the fresh market, I had to get a couple for Mike to try!
The skin is rather tough so you need to quick-blanch them and carefully peel the skin away and then poach gently in sweet wine.
I'm not sure where you'll be able to find them in the US but they are so delicious, it's worth a shot!

Red Wine Poached Tamarillos
Serves 2.
2 ripe tree tomatoes, when ripe, tamarillos give slightly when pressed and dark orange-red
1/2 cup red wine, of choice
1/2 cup water
1/4 - 1/3 cup brown sugar
1 cinnamon stick
2 star anise pods
a couple whole cloves
a pinch of salt

Begin by boiling a saucepan of water.  Slowly lower the tamarillos into the water and let blanch for 3 minutes.  Remove carefully and gently remove skin, leaving stem intact.  Set aside.
In the same saucepan, combine the rest of the ingredients and bring to a gently simmer.  Add tamarillos back into pan and poach gently for 15 minutes, turning if not fully submerged.
Remove to individual bowls and reduce wine sauce for another 5 minutes until thick and syrupy. Spoon over fruit and enjoy!  It's optional to add ice cream or freshly whipped cream but alas, we couldn't find any down there.  Still delicious!

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