Life’s a Feast: Poached tamarillo with creme patisserie tart





The tamarillo, a native South American egg-shaped fruit, was once known in New Zealand as the tree tomato, due to its similarity to our beloved garden tomato. But in 1967, there was a name change, due to the confusion of many overseas cooks, who were trying to use the fruit as a raw vegetable!

So the name was changed to tamarillo, to increase its exotic appeal, and help increase its sales overseas. This fruit enters our lives just as other fruits become scarce, so enjoy this nourishing morsel – packed full of Vit A, B6, C and E. Just be careful of the flesh right next to the skin as it can be bitter in taste so good to avoid. Enjoy!


Creme patisserie

4 egg yolks

60g caster sugar

2 tablespoons plain flour

1 tablespoon cornflour

320ml milk

Poached tamarillo

4 tamarillos

1 vanilla pod (or 1 teaspoon vanilla essence)

1/2 cup caster sugar

1 cup water

2 tablespoons honey


1 sheet of frozen butter puff pastry (take out

10 mins before using, to thaw)

23-26cm tart tin with removable base


Creme patisserie

1.Beat the egg yolks and sugar for a few minutes until pale and slightly thickened.

2.Whisk in the flours.

3.Heat the milk in a saucepan until starting to boil.

4.Whisk the milk into the egg mix.

5.Put the whole lot back into the pan, stirring all the time until thick and boiling. Note: do not leave this sitting at any stage or it will go lumpy.

6.Take the pan off the heat – cover with cling-film to prevent a skin from forming.


1.Pre-heat oven to 200degC.

2.Grease a tart tin, then lay in your puff pastry. You may need to use a little bit extra to go around the edges. Use a fork to poke holes in the puff pastry dough. This will prevent the inner pastry from rising, or use baking balls to tip on the base.

3.Cook the tart base for 12-15 minutes until gold brown. When you take it out, ensure you press down the base of the tart if it has risen a little. Set aside and let cool.

Poached tamarillo

1.Cut a cross in each tamarillo. Blanch in boiling water for 30 secs then put straight into cold water. Peel the skins and slice into 1cm rounds.

2.Halve vanilla pod and scrape seeds into a saucepan (or use the essence). Add pod, sugar, water and honey. Stir over low heat, without boiling, until sugar has dissolved. Increase heat and simmer uncovered for 2 minutes. Add tamarillo slices and simmer for 2 minutes. Allow to cool in syrup.

The final step – bringing it all together

1.Drain your tamarillo in a sieve. I then tipped it out on to paper towels, so it didn’t bleed across the creme patisserie.

2.Pour the creme patisserie into the cooked pastry and smooth over. Gently place your tamarillo in any desired pattern over top of the tart.

3.Gently remove the tart from the tin and place on a serving platter. Gently sieve over some icing sugar and serve immediately.