Recipe: Tamarillo Cheesecake

tamarillo cheesecake

The rosy blush of tree tomato lifts this delectable dessert to luscious new heights.

Recipe and photos: Kristina Jensen

I am crazy about cheesecake so it’s a good thing we don’t live close to the shops (Clova Bay, our current care-taking position, is three hours’ drive from Blenheim) or I would make lots more of them.

My mum made the most glorious frozen lemon cheesecake and it’s one of my greatest regrets that I never got the recipe from her before she passed away. I have tried using other people’s ‘tried and true’s’ but it’s just somehow not the same.

However, I’m now sold on this softly blushing beauty of a cheesecake. Tamarillos have always played havoc with the skin on the inside of my mouth, creating little irritating bumps, so I avoid them even though I love their taste. Lo and behold, this particular recipe does nothing to my mouth; so, hooray — I can eat cheesecake and tamarillos.

I’ve even put away a bunch of pottles of whizzed up tamarillo ‘goo’ in the freezer to use when there are none to be had.

tamarillo cheesecake

Tamarillo Cheesecake

Read the entire recipe before you start, as it has a few things to do over time.

Get all the ingredients sorted and set out in zones on the benchtop – dates for soaking, tamarillos for blanching, the rest of the items for the base alongside the food processor, and the wet stuff for the filling, including the gelatine, which is the very last thing you will do.

Makes 1 x 20cm cake


½ cup dates, chopped
250g cream cheese
8-9 tamarillos
30g coconut oil
2 tablespoons liquid honey
½ cup ground almond flour
1 cup rolled oats
½ cup coconut
¾ cup thick Greek yoghurt
juice of an orange
3 tablespoons coconut sugar or maple syrup
1 tablespoon and 2 teaspoons gelatine
2 tablespoons boiling water
shredded coconut (optional)

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Soak the dates in boiling water for 30 minutes and set the cream cheese out on the bench to soften.

Meanwhile, blanch the tamarillos: make a small cut in the bottom end of each then drop them into a pot of boiling water for two minutes. Drain and place immediately in cold water. The skin will peel away easily.

Place the tamarillos into a food processor and whiz to a liquid pulp. Scrape into a bowl with a spatula and set aside.

To make the base, melt the coconut oil and honey together over a gentle heat until liquid. Place into the food processor with the almond flour, rolled oats, coconut and drained dates, keeping the liquid from the dates in case you need a bit of extra moisture for mixing the base. Pulse together until the mixture forms a smooth ball.

Remove from the mixer and press into the base of a lightly greased 20cm springform tin (use a little coconut oil for this). If you don’t have a springform tin, line a dish with clingfilm or a clean recycled plastic bag. Place the base in the fridge while you make the filling.

To make the filling, place the tamarillo pulp, cream cheese, yoghurt, orange juice and coconut sugar or maple syrup into the food processor. Quickly mix all the gelatine into the boiling water until the crystals have dissolved, add to the food processor and mix until there are no lumps.

Pour the filling onto the base, smooth it out using a spatula and freeze for 5 hours. Store in the fridge and serve with Tamarillo Topping.

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Tamarillo Topping


3 tamarillos, blanched and peeled as above
2 tablespoons coconut sugar or maple syrup
2 tablespoons brandy


Whiz all ingredients together in a food processor until pulpy and without any big chunks. Spread over the cheesecake. Sprinkle with shredded coconut if using.

tamarillo cheesecake

Easy peel blanched tamarillo.


Tips for getting 20kg of tamarillos per tree

Recipe: Dairy-free Tamarillo Pillow Cake

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