Fresh September Newsletter



Recipe: Tamarillo Chutney

Cooking Techniques: Tamarillo

Medium Tips: Soups

Q&A: Pumpkin Soup with Thyme?

Q&A: Sticky Lemon Slice?

Blog: Summertime in the Northern Hemisphere: Tomatoes!


Wintery days are numbered, I'm sure, because by the time this letter pops into your mailbox we'll have turned another page on the calendar and have welcomed in September. The sun will be shining, new-born lambs bleating, and all around a feeling of relief, that finally we have got through the wettest winter since records were kept, will have dropped like a mantle around our shoulders.

Spring always promises so much new beginnings, new growth, longer warmer days, more time spent outdoors and a return to lighter healthier food. More than any other season, spring heralds its arrival with produce, notably asparagus. The spears simply wont pop up their heads until things are just right. The day is a-coming!

The plant's a perennial, a member of the lily family, and consists of a crown which sends up shoots each spring. At the end of spring spears are left to grow into ferns which then undergo photosynthesis. The root system is recharged with carbohydrates and these are stored in fat storage roots. In autumn the plants die off, and they remain dormant in winter, waiting for the ideal conditions of cool nights and mild daytime temperatures to start the process again.

I'll talk more about asparagus in my next newsletter because by then the asparagus season will be in full flow (it peaks around Labour weekend, the last weekend in October).

But right now I want to remind you to snap up the last of the autumn-winter season tamarillos before they're gone for another year. My family, including me, has become addicted to Tamarillo Chutney. It partners all meats, is great in a bacony-type roll, or with avocado, gives a chicken pie a bit of oomph and generally goes with most things. Its an easy chutney to make, too one of those recipes where you simply throw everything in the pot, bring it to the boil then cook it down until thick - and it keeps well. I generally store mine in the fridge because I couldn't stand any of it to spoil, but I'm sure if you had a cool pantry it would be fine in there for a few months...that's if you could leave it alone that long!

Apart from chutney, the easiest and I think most delicious way to deal to tamarillos is to peel them (easily done by plunging them into a saucepan of gently boiling water, just like a tomato, for about 20 seconds, then into a bowl of cold water, then peeling off the skin), then slice them thickly, put them into a container and sprinkle liberally with brown sugar. Within a matter of minutes a gorgeous crimson juice will start to flow out of the tamarillos. If you put them in the refrigerator and leave them overnight you'll end up with a beautiful compote to serve for breakfast. Done this way, they also partner homemade almond sponge cake pretty nicely, and creamy desserts.

If you're enjoying these newsletters how about sending me a quick email and forwarding details of the website to a friend. It's early days yet for this site and if there is anything youd like covered, let me know.

Have a great start to spring, and for my American readers, I'll be back with the best-ever Thanksgiving menu very soon.


Recipe Stash 

Tamarillo Chutney

Cooking Tips

Tamarillos are oval or egg-shaped, like a plum tomato, with either a rounded or pointed tip. In home gardens it's possible to find trees bearing red, purple and golden skinned fruit. NZ was the first country to grow tamarillos commercially, the red being the most common. The gold is the sweetest.
Read the fill bit


Croutons nicely complement creamy soups, as their crispness offsets the smooth, creamy texture (they add extra calories, however!). If you are serving a soup in a tureen, don't sprinkle over the croutons until the tureen is on the table, and your guests or family are ready to at, as the croutons quickly loose their crunch. Some people say seasoning a soup to perfection [...]
More Medium Tips

Q & A

Q: Hi Julie. You had a recipe in Woman's Day back in 2007 for Pumpkin Soup with Thyme. We made this many times but I seem to have misplaced this sheet and wondered if you could oblige by sending me a copy.
Many thanks,
Annette Bishop

A: Hi, Annette.

Adding fresh thyme to pumpkin soup gives it a new dimension. When fresh tarragon is available, try it in place of thyme. Happy Cooking!
Pumpkin Soup with Thyme.

More Q & A

Q: Hi, Julie.
Some years ago I printed off your recipe for Sticky Lemon Slice that was on Kerre's ZB show. It is one of our fav's and always gets rave reviews. However the other day it got wet and is now illegible - oh the dilemma!! I can't find it on your website, could you possibly resend it to me or point me in the right direction to find it. Much appreciated
-Sticky Lemon Slice Fan, Lisa Nola

A: Hi, Lisa.

I've added the recipe to my website. This super-delectable, sweet-but-tart 'slice' is quickly made in a food processor. If you dont have a food processor, cream the butter and icing sugar and work in the flour. For the topping, whip the sugar and eggs together with a rotary beater. Enjoy!
Sticky Lemon Slice.

More Q & A


Best Barbecue Book - Gourmand Awards

"Julie Biuso already won a Best in the World Award for culinary food writing in 2001, in Sorges, Capital of the Truffles of Perigord. Sizzle is already a best seller thanks to her deep understanding of the cookbook reader needs and hopes".

- Edouard Cointreau