Sunday, October 23, 2011

Tamarillo Jam

Awaiting Harvest
When I researched Tamarillo, or Tree Tomato (Cyphomandra betacea) for this post, and later, to put a fact sheet together for the plant sale, when I started about 16 plants from seed, I came across this simple recipe for Tamarillo jam, and made a mental note to try it the next time I had enough fruit to harvest.

Ready to Pick

Washed and Ready to be Peeled
The recipe calls for 3/4 cup sugar, and 1 teaspoon lemon juice, for every cup of peeled and chopped fruit. Peeling was easy enough, using the same process as is used to peel the skins of tomatoes or peaches - drop them in boiling water for a minute or so, move to an ice bath, then peel off the skin.

Pulp Strained with Sugar Added
I then cooked them down with an apple to add some natural pectins, strained it through a foley mill, added the sugar and cooked for 50 minutes or so, until it gelled.

Six 1/2 Pints for the Pantry^
Pretty good results.  I plan to offer it, along with the black raspberry and strawberry jams I made when I serve breakfast for guests at the B&B. I expect it to be a conversation starter, as well.

We Need Homes
I have 5 left from the ones that didn't sell at the plant sale and garden tour.

Enjoying the Leftovers
The birds enjoyed the seeds and stuff that I emptied from the foley mill.


  1. Hi. Could I ask how you're growing that? I can't tell from the pictures, but it looks like it's growing in the ground, which would be surprising to say the least. Do you keep it in a large pot then bury the pot after the last frost date or something like that?

    I have one of those too (among a few other less than common potted tropical fruit), though mine isn't not nearly as big, and mine came from the seed of the yellow kind. Not a fan of whatever's on the leaves that makes your fingers smell when you touch them. I brought mine in a long time ago (I live in Blair, so I guess my climate is pretty similar to Franklin county). Do you really leave your's out until the end of October or is that an older picture?


  2. Hi, GH. It's growing in a large (21 inch diameter) pot that I treat as a houseplant, like my citrus trees, ficus, and avocado. Indoors during the winter (unheated, sunny entrance foyer that stays in the 45-55 degree range under normal circumstances) and outdoors from memorial day until just before first frost. We had an extended frost free fall here in Franklin, right up to the big snowstorm. It came in on Friday, the day before the storm.

    I got it as a 4 inch seedling from an ad in Parade Magazine circa 1996, succumbing to the come-on as having "tomato-like" fruit (I'm a kinda tomato nutcase) and I've been impressed with its resilience in coming back from various stresses, including my typical negligence, and a 48 Hour lack of heat during a power outage in January a few years back. Lost all leaves, 1/2 its branches, and it's leader. I pruned it severely the following spring, with very low expectations of recovery. Instead it flourished and now has that attractive umbrella appearance you see in the picture, although it's growing at an angle, which is probably why the pot is not visible in the picture. I believe I took the picture the weekend before the blog post, waiting another week to see if more fruit would ripen.

    Cheers, and thanks for visiting and commenting.