Easter is always a bit of a topsy turvy time for me in the U.K. I get that Christmas is mid-winter here and I prefer it that way, but Easter always feels like it should be Autumn. It’s just a temporary seasonal holiday thing that has stuck with me. I consider a hot-cross bun to be an Autumn food, so when I eat them, it feels like Autumn.
At Maltby Stree Market I found a fruit unquestionably Autumnal (it had been flown up from the Southern Hemisphere), the Tamarillo, such a rare treat to find I bought a few to take home and make a pudding with.
This is my mum’s all time favourite and when I sent her a picture of what I had made quick as a flash she responded, “Absolutely my favourite dessert when done properly with plenty of sugar. Hiding in the kitchen crouched on the floor so no-one sees you licking the bowl stuff.”
When I read that I was taken back to our family kitchen, thinking about all the times as a kid I’d snuck open the fridge while everyone else was in the lounge watching TV, I would be ramming syrupy spoonfuls this ambrosia down my throat. It seems I wasn’t the only one! There was always plenty left over because Mum believed it tasted better the next day.
The recipe could not be easier. Take however many Tamarillos you have to hand, blanch to peel the skins off, slice widthways and spread out on a platter, cover in sugar, more than you think is morally acceptable and leave for as long as possible. The sugar works drawing out the juices of the fruit to create a deep, rich syrup. Sweet at the same time tart. Serve with Vanilla Ice cream. The easiest most sophisticated dessert I know.
Having only had three Tamarillos to work with (they were £1 each eek!) and we didn’t get the chance to see how it tasted the next day as my rather enthusiastic dinner companion helped himself to four servings and I had three.