Gorgeous orange fruit peeled and ready to cut

In 2008 a friend with a farm gave me an enormous basket of red tamarillos (tree tomatoes) and some tamarillo cuttings. I made red tamarillo chutney with most of the tamarillos and  plonked the cuttings in the garden. Ever since then the children have been asking when we can have tamarillo chutney again.

Fortunately, one of the cuttings struck. The orange one, which isn’t as tart as the red ones.  I’m pleased that it was the orange one that decided to put down roots and make its new home in our garden. They are delicious.

For trees to survive down our steep bank they need to be  independent and thrive on a fair amount of neglect. This little tamarillo tree is staunchly independent and has truly earned its place on the bank.  It  took about 2 years to fruit and probably as a result of the ‘careful attention’ I give it the leaves look a little worse for wear but this year it has been laden down with beautiful, smooth and deliciously tasty orange fruit with barely a mark on them.

With so much fruit that we decided it was the right time to return to chutney making. Zara was my keen helper.

First we picked the fruit

We had to trim the tops off the fruit, blanch them in boiling water and then peel them

we mixed all the ingredients and let them simmer for about 2 hours

Then we assembled all our mismatched jars and filled them with rich, and gently spiced orange tamarillo relish. (Lids not properly sealed yet).


  • 2.5 kg tamarillos (red or orange)
  • 3 onions chopped
  • 3 apples peeled and chopped (we used granny smith)
  • 3 cloves garlic crushed
  • 2 tblspns grated ginger
  • 1 tblspn cloves
  • 1 tspn peppercorns
  • 1 tspn chilli powder (I used chopped chillies from the garden)
  • 1 tspn salt
  • 4 cups white sugar
  • 3 cups white vinegar

What to Do

  1. Discard the stems and place tamarillos in a bowl, cover with boiling water and stand for a couple of minutes until the skins split. We had to do this in batches. Drain and cover in cold water. Peel off the skins and slice into a large saucepan or preserving pan. Add the onions, apples, garlic and ginger.
  2. Add the cloves and peppercorns (you could tie these in muslin – we didn’t, couldn’t be bothered!), stir in the chilli, salt, sugar and vinegar.
  3. Bring to the boil, stirring until the sugar has dissolved. Reduce the heat and simmer for between 1.5 to 2 hours, until thick like jam. I found that the mixture was a little too runny so I just drained off some of the liquid and stored it in jars in the fridge. It tastes the same but is obviously not as chunky. I drizzled some over savoury scones the other day. It was nice).
  4. Sterilize the washed jars and lids in an oven with the door open, at about 100C for about 10 minutes or so. Face the mouth of the jars towards the back of the oven so that when you take them out you don’t touch the rim. Use tongs to take the lids out and place upside down on a clean teatowel until cool enough to handle. They’re hot!!
  5. We used a measuring cup to pour the chutney into the jars. Seal them tightly when cold. We made about 10 cups in total but some of it got drained off so I suppose we don’t count that!
  6. Serve with crackers, bread, meats, cheese, fruit………….

Kayi’s verdict -“YUM, I love this stuff!”