In our home city of Adelaide, South Australia, the Lilly Pilly tree is common, and it is surprising that such a tasty and useful fruit appears to be so undervalued, mainly left to rot on the ground. They are what Australians like to call ‘bush tucker’, meaning they are an Australian native plant.
If you have never picked them before, they need to be a nice dark maroon and the trick is to hold a bowl under the clusters because the moment you pick one, when they are ripe the rest of the cluster heaves itself onto the ground.
Whilst I have never eaten a fresh Ribery, I am told they are very similar. They are good raw or cooked an also make excellent jams and chutneys. A favourite is in a meat or poultry-based glaze, flavour enhanced with a little ginger and served with roast pork belly or duck respectively.
They have a small central stone which is very easily removed and raw, have a crunchy slightly sour apple/nashi pear taste. Raw and naked they are nothing much, but, add them to a Thai salad they will embrace the dressing and add a terrific textural crunch.
As a jam they appear to have plenty of pectin and Stella Stocks wonderful jam recipe works well.
Adding some Granny Smith apple [or similar old-style tart cooking apple] is good and you can also use them to make an excellent chutney using the Green Tomato Chutney Version 3 recipe.
Because they are so abundant and generally free one can afford to use them extravagantly. We haven’t tried freezing them and think that preserving is generally a much nicer way of extending a season.