Seedless Tamarillo Jam for Sweet Flavor

This tamarillo jam recipe is an unexpected use for this unusual fruit. You’ll be surprised at the sweet flavor and how delicious it is on your morning toast. 

This mango jam is another favorite, full of tropical flavor.

TAMARILLo jam on english muffins

Really? Tamarillo Jam?

I’m beginning to think that tamarillo fruit is magical. Also known as tree tomato, this fruit is slightly sweet, tangy, and complex. It’s good eaten fresh of course, but in cooking, it can be used in both sweet and savory recipes. 

In fact, I use the fruit to make homemade ketchup and I’ve made it into barbecue sauce as well. 

But what if I told you it makes a lovely fruit spread that’s a surprising stand-in for berry jam

wooden orchard box filled with tamarillo fruit aka tree tomato

Pulping the tamarillo

Tamarillos have somewhat hard seeds inside, and those need to be removed before making this jam recipe. You’ll also need to remove the bitter skins. 

Some people make the jam with seeds and all, and I’ve tried it that way. The occasional tooth breaking hard seeds that grow inside these fruit make that plan a no-go for me.

Cut tamarillo fruit in half and use a spoon to scoop out the flesh, transferring the fruit to a food mill. [More on using a food mill here.] tamarillo fruit, cut in half, on a black cutting board

Set a manual food mill on top of a bowl to capture the strained pulp. When the food mill is full, turn the handle repeatedly until the only thing left in the strainer bowl is a thick paste of seeds.

tree tomato fruit in a food mill

Alternatively, you can use a chinois. To do that, put the tamarillo pulp in a food processor and pulse several times to break it up. Transfer to a chinois and use the wooden tool to press the pulp out into a bowl. 

tree tomato pulp and seeds in a food mill

I’ve done this both ways and feel that I’m able to retrieve more pulp with the food mill. 

Once pulped, you can begin making the jam right away, or refrigerate the pulp overnight.

Safety First!

Canning is an excellent way to preserve food for the pantry, but there are some important safety considerations to keep in mind. 

  • Know the difference between water bath canning and pressure canning. Low acid items must be pressure canned for safety. 
  • Altering ingredients may change the recipe’s pH, posing a safety issue. I highly recommend investing in pH paper to test your products for acidity level when canning. Note: The Hawaii Master Food Preservers suggest a pH of 4.2 or lower in the tropics. In other regions, the recommended pH is 4.6 or lower.
  • Use the proper jars and lids. Never reuse lids, with the exception of the Tattler lids that are intended for such a purpose.
  • For more on canning equipment, please go here
  • The recipes on this site have been made following safe canning procedures by a certified Master Food Preserver.
jars of red jam with tamarillo fruit

Canning jam

This is often the sticking point for people who have never canned before. It’s something “new” and why is it that we think “new” is difficult?? It’s not! You will need special canning jars, lids, and rings (read more about canning equipment here), but it’s not difficult.

Once the jars are properly filled with jam, you’ll process them in a water bath. What this means is you’ll put the filled and sealed jars of strawberry jam into boiling water and heat them for ten minutes. This assures that the jars will seal well.

Remove the jars to a towel-covered countertop and allow to cool fully. As they cool, you’ll hear the little “tink” sound of the jars sealing. Store any unsealed jars in the fridge and use those first. (This is unusual, but it does happen once in awhile.)

Remove the ring from each sealed jar, rinse to remove any jam residue, and store (without the ring) in the pantry.

Here’s a more detailed look at canning jam and jelly.

TAMARILLo jam on english muffins with one bite out
jars of red jam with tamarillo fruit

Seedless Tamarillo Jam

Yield: 3.5 pints
Prep Time: 40 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Process Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 20 minutes

This tamarillo jam recipe taste like a berry fruit spread! Also known as tree tomatoes, you'll be surprised at the sweet flavor & how delicious it is on morning toast. 

Ingredients

  • 7 cups tamarillo pulp (4-5 pounds of fruit)
  • 3 cups sugar
  • 3 tablespoons lemon juice

Instructions

Prep ahead:

  1. Halve the tamarillos and scoop out the seeds and flesh.
  2. Run pulp through a food mill or chinois to remove seeds.
  3. When you're ready to start making the jam, fill a canning pot with water, set the lid in place, and heat on high heat until just boiling while you're cooking the jam.

Make the jam:

  1. Combine tamarillo pulp, sugar, and lemon juice in a large stock pot.
  2. Bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce heat slightly to maintain a steady boil for 30 minutes. Jam will reduce in volume by about half and will become noticeably thicker. (It will thicken more as it cools.)

Canning tamarillo jam

  1. Ladle hot jam into half-pint jars to within a quarter inch of the rim. A canning funnel makes this easy.
  2. Wipe jar rims to remove any jam that may have spilled. A clean rim is essential to a good seal.
  3. Set jar lids in place. Screw bands on finger tight.
  4. Use a jar lifter to gently submerge jars into hot water in canning pot. Water should cover the top of the jars by an inch. The water will cool somewhat in reaction to the addition of the jars. Return the water to a low boil and then set the timer.
  5. Process in a boiling water bath for 10 minutes. Add one minute to the boiling time for every 1,000' above sea level.
  6. Check seals. Lids should feel solid and pulled down tight. (if they flex and pop, the jar didn’t seal; put unsealed jars in the refrigerator and use those first).
  7. Remove rings and wash outsides of jars. Store in a cool, dry place.

Notes

This recipe tests with a pH between 3.0 and 3.5, making it safe for home canning in a water bath.

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About the author: Kris Bordessa founded Attainable Sustainable as a resource for revitalizing vintage skills. Her book, Attainable Sustainable: The Lost Art of Self-Reliant Living (National Geographic) offers a collection of projects and recipes to help readers who are working their way to a more fulfilling DIY lifestyle. She’s a certified Master Food Preserver and longtime gardener who loves to turn the harvest into pantry staples.

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