4 large tamarillos
1⁄2 cup packed brown sugar
Vanilla bean yoghurt
1 vanilla bean or 1⁄2 teaspoon vanilla extract or paste
3 tablespoons caster sugar
400 grams labne (we used Canaan brand)
1⁄4 cup cream, softly whipped
4 shortbread or other sweet, crisp biscuit
icing sugar for dusting
Bring a small pot of water to the boil. Cut a small slit in the tip of each tamarillo and drop into the boiling water for about 20 seconds. If left in the boiling water too long the flesh will go mushy when peeled. Remove with a slotted spoon to a bowl of cold water. Peel off the skin, leaving the stalk attached.
Starting 1 cm down from the stalk, make 4 slices downwards through the flesh so it is still attached to the stem. Sprinkle half the sugar over the base of a shallow dish, just large enough to just hold the tamarillos in one layer. Add the fruit, gently splaying the slices apart.
Sprinkle over the remaining sugar. Cover and refrigerate for 24 hours or up to 3 days. A thick syrup will form from the sugar and the tamarillo juices that will be released. Baste the fruit occasionally with the syrup.
Yoghurt Cream: Cut the vanilla bean in half and use the tip of a knife to scrape out the seeds. Stir the seeds and sugar into the labne then fold in the cream. Cover and refrigerate.
To serve: Divide the yoghurt between serving dishes. Top with a tamarillo and serve the syrup in small shot glasses. Crumble over the shortbread and dust with icing sugar. Garnish with a mint sprig if desired.
Menu: Serve this with Prawns with Lime and Mango Dipping Sauce to start, and Salmon on Roasted Fennel and Carrots with Basil Butter for main.
The tamarillos can be prepared 3 days ahead and kept refrigerated. They are also delicious served for breakfast with porridge or cereal. The yoghurt cream can also be prepared 3 days ahead. Keep covered in the refrigerator
Labne: thick, strained yoghurt. It can be formed into small balls and rolled in herbs, spices or nuts or drizzled with honey and served with fruit as a dessert. It is available from good supermarkets and specialty food stores.