apple, feijoa & maple pie

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Chelsea Winter's Apple, Feijoa & Maple Pie, Woman's Day NZ

Chelsea Winter’s Apple, Feijoa & Maple Pie, Woman’s Day NZ

Chelsea Winter is a popular food columnist in New Zealand’s Woman’s Day magazine. She recently appeared on TV1’s Good Morning show with this spiced maple-sweetened pie that has winter comfort written all over it.

If you missed the mag, the recipe features on the Good Morning website. Search for feijoa to discover other wonderful recipes.

CHELSEA WINTER’S APPLE, FEIJOA & MAPLE PIE

Serves 6
Preparation 15 minutes
Cooking 35 minutes

Ingredients

  • 75g butter
  • 1½ teaspoons cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • ¼ teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1.5kg feijoas, flesh scooped out and chopped
  • 4 Granny Smith apples, peeled, cored and chopped
  • ½ cup pure maple syrup
  • ¼ cup cornflour
  • 2 x 400g puff pastry blocks*
  • 1 egg, beaten with 1 tablespoon milk
  • ice cream and cream to serve

Method

  1. Preheat oven to 180°C fan bake.
  2. In a large saucepan, melt butter and all the spices over medium heat. Cook for a few minutes to warm the spices.
  3. Add feijoas, apples, maple syrup and cornflour. Stir gently with a wooden spoon until everything is combined. Simmer for 5-10 minutes or until slightly thickened. Leave mixture to cool to room temperature if possible.
  4. Roll out each pastry block to about 3mm thick to fit your pie dish. Line dish with one piece of pastry so it goes over the edges. Add the filling, brushing the outer pastry edge with some egg wash, then cover with the other piece of pastry as the lid. Press the pastry in snugly around the sides of the dish, then press the two layers together firmly to seal. Trim away excess pastry. Brush the top of the pie with leftover egg wash.
  5. Bake in the lower half of the oven for 35 minutes or until the pastry is dark golden brown. Serve with ice cream and cream.

*Or, if you’re like me, you can go with those pre-rolled puff pastry sheets.

feijoa, for a good cause

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My sister-in-law and I have been giggling over this, so I have to share it: a Conjoined Feijoa (affectionately known as Farr-joa) up for auction on New Zealand’s buy and sell site, Trade Me.

conjoined heart-shaped feijoa

As I write, bidding is currently at $30 and the reserve has been met. I don’t have a name for the seller but this inspiring individual has been running a very successful feijoa re-homing program from their work desk. (I really miss the aroha that makes New Zealand so special.)

He/she estimates the rarity of a heart shaped feijoa at rarer than 1/305 ;)

“…as such I have decided to auction this little beauty of to raise funds and awareness for an organization called Canterbury@Heart and promote and support my Dad (aged 58), who on the 1st of June is running 56 km to raise money for the charity.”

It’s all done in good humour but if you can support this cause, then I hope you will jump in. The seller is based in Wellington and the auction closes at 8:18 pm this Friday, 30 May.

And if you think that is kind of crazy, then it’s worth mentioning that feijoas seem to appear fairly regularly on Trade Me… the most successful feijoa auction I am aware of was for a feijoa in the shape of a kiwi (New Zealand’s national bird) and it went for a whopping $1000. These pages aren’t complete without an entry for it, so I’ll put that up soon.

feijoa, ginger & coconut loaf

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New Zealand feijoas are in the shops here in Queensland but the price is simply too high for me to be cooking… they remain luscious and slightly guilty treats, because of the designer price tags. But I know a lot of you in New Zealand have what I dream of… which is bucket loads of feijoas.

Here is a variation on a banana loaf, featured on a blog called baking = love, created by Wellington based foodie Nessie. She has some lovely stories about gathering feijoas all across the country and credits her inspiration to a recipe by Susan Fleischl in A Treasury of New Zealand Baking.

If you want a bigger feijoa flavour, swap out the bananas for more feijoa flesh and adjust the ginger depending on whether you’re a ginger lover or not so much.

FEIJOA, GINGER & COCONUT LOAF

Ingredients

  • 1 cup mashed feijoa flesh (~ 20 small feijoas)
  • ½ cup mashed banana (~ 2 big bananas. Use really ripe bananas if possible)
  • 2 tsp lemon juice
  • 325ml canola oil
  • 125g plain unsweetened yoghurt
  • 420 g caster sugar
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 cup shredded coconut
  • 460g (1 lb) flour
  • pinch salt
  • 1-2 Tbsp ground ginger (adjust to your taste)
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp baking soda

Method 

  1. Preheat oven to 170°C.  Line two loaf tins.  Mix together the mashed feijoa and bananas with lemon juice and set aside.
  2. Sift together, flour, ground ginger, salt, baking powder and baking soda.
  3. In a separate bowl, beat eggs, sugar, oil and yoghurt until smooth.
  4. Fold in sifted flour mixture to the egg mixture. Then fold in the shredded coconut and mashed feijoa, banana lemon mixture.
  5. Bake for 60–80 minutes or until a skewer comes out clean. Cool in the tin for 10 minutes before turning out on to a wire rack.

Serve cut into thick slices; cold, warm or toasted on a griddle pan.

 

feijoa shortcake

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These cool crisp autumn afternoons just beg for something fresh from the oven… I’ve pinned this recipe to the fridge as the first to make as soon as I can secure 10 large ripe feijoas (we have fresh feijoa monsters in this house).

The recipe is credited to celebrated Kiwi chef Hester Guy and found in the archives of Radio New Zealand online. She says the base comes from an old Jewish cookbook and and can be adapted to any fruit depending on the season.

FEIJOA SHORTCAKE

Ingredients

  • 8–10 feijoas
  • rind and juice 1-2 lemons or 1 orange
  • 2 Tbsp sugar
  • 180g butter, softened
  • 1 cup caster sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • vanilla essence
  • 250g flour, sifted with 1 tsp baking powder
  • 2–3 Tbsp flaked almonds (sliced almonds)

Method

  1. Line the base of a 23–25cm spring-form cake tin with non-stick baking paper. Pre-heat oven 180ºC.
  2. Peel feijoas and slice into 10mm rounds, sprinkle with rind and juice of lemons and mix in sugar, leave while mixing base.
  3. Cream butter and sugar, and add egg and vanilla essence and then flour and baking powder.
  4. Press about ¾ of the cake mix into lined cake tin, spoon over feijoas, lemon and sugar mixture.  Break remaining dough into small pieces and dot casually over top of feijoas.  Lastly sprinkle with flaked almonds.
  5. Bake in a preheated oven 180ºC for 45 – 60 minutes.  Reduce temperature if cake is browning too much.
  6. Serve warm with lightly whipped cream.

Note: the original recipe on the Radio New Zealand website doesn’t specify the quantity of vanilla essence… based on similar recipes, I would use 1 teaspoon.

first taste

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natsukashaii

Feijoa season is never quite real until I have the fruit in one hand and a teaspoon in the other. That taste. There’s nothing like it. And the texture. And the memories.

Twitter told me back in March that the feijoas had arrived early this year and I’ve been noting disgruntled friends in other cities commiserating about the price of them in the supermarkets etc. But I have not seen any myself, until I stumbled across six trees in my neighbourhood, neglected, fruit unwanted.

The first ones I grabbed were ruined by fruit fly. Ugggh. The horror and the disappointment. But, unable to help myself, I went back and discovered good sized feijoas that were untouched.

Simultaneously, Word Porn (on Facebook) delivered up this unknown gem: Natsukashii. I have a suspicion that this translation from the Japanese may not be entirely accurate – but it is the most perfect description of what it is like to taste a feijoa again after half a lifetime (or even just 10 months), to be overcome with “euphoric nostalgia” for all those good times, just sitting and laughing and scooping. Absolutely among the best memories.

A special thanks to all you wonderful people who have signed up to follow this blog and are wondering (ahem) if anything actually happens around here. According to my WordPress statistics, YOU are all happening around here!

Recipes to follow.

world’s first feijoa maze, Tingha, NSW

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Something very exciting is happening in Tingha, a small town inland from Coffs Harbour in New South Wales.

Tingha feijoa maze

Around 2000 feijoa trees have been planted to form a hedge maze. First one, anywhere.

They’re only two years old at the moment and have a way to grow. But, doesn’t it look good?

The maze is expected to be open to the public in 2015. And there are hopes for a cafe and a Big Feijoa*.

I’m thinking Tingha is set to become the feijoa capital of Australia and I’ve got my road trip pencilled in.

Tingha feijoa maze

Feijoas at Tingha

You can find out more about the ground breaking work of the Tingha Regeneration Project, and follow their progress via the Tingha Regeneration Inc website.

Many thanks to Christine Neville for the lovely photographs.

*If you aren’t familiar with Australia’s Big Things, they’re usually monster fibreglass sculptures or architectural structures that capture the iconic nature of a place. Mandatory for a photo opp on a road trip.

feijoa champagne

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If you  have feijoa juice left over from other recipes, you can make your own home made “champagne”. The recipe comes from the lovely team at Millstream Gardens Blog, which contains a wealth of gardening, herbal, health and food information.

This reminds me of the home made ginger beer my mother would make and keep in the hot water cupboard… and which would occasionally burst and fizz everywhere. My guess is that likewise, keep an eye on your feijoa fizzy and don’t forget about it.

FEIJOA CHAMPAGNE

Into a 2 litre plastic bottle put:

1 ½–2 cups cooled feijoa juice

1 cup sugar

Water to fill within 5cm of top of bottle

Pinch of wine or cider yeast

Put in a warm place for 3 days or until bottle is tight, then store in fridge.

Festival de la Feijoa, Tibasosa, Colombia

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Every year in June, a small town in the mountains of Colombia celebrates the humble feijoa. Except the feijoa is not so humble in these parts. It is revered.

The feijoa reigns in Tibasosa where the pueblo’s economy is based upon the funky little feijoa. There’s even an annual Feijoa festival held every June. Las Margaritas, a specialty shop produces and sells over 15 unique products made from the feijoa including Sabana a liquor, candy, pastries, ice cream, jam, cake, cookies, milk shakes and lots more.

From what I can gather* Tibasosa is about three hours from the capital Bogota, situated in a picturesque and beautiful part of the Sogamoso Valley. The region boasts a rich volcanic soil that “grows everything from 302 varieties of potatoes to tomato fruit trees, papaya, chimoya, and [our favourite] exotic feijoas”.

I’m still hoping to uncover a traveller’s blog that gives a personal take on the festival experience, but no luck so far. In the meantime I can share this page which contains a wonderful series of photographs from this year’s festival… there are no words to accompany so I am desperately wanting to know more, especially about all those fabulous VWs on parade… but mostly I want to taste some of those feijoa delicacies.

Have you been? Can you tell us more?

And because they’re so lovely, here are some of the posters from this and previous years. Just love the artwork combining the distinctive town architecture with the feijoa flowers.

Festival de la Feijoa 24

tibasosa feijoa

Festival de la Feijoa 24

Anyone wanting to get together an antipodean delegation??

* This post was written with the help of Google translate :) I apologise for any errors that may undoubtedly exist. Lo siento pero yo no hablo espanol.

Read More:

meanwhile, in feijoa land

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It’s funny, I feel a bit shy popping my head back in here after all this time… but there we have it. I’m back on my feet and intending to breathe life back into this blog.

Life went a little pear shaped for us back in May on a couple of fronts but the upshot is that we are now settled into our own little postwar cottage in North Brisbane, and loving the Queensland lifestyle. There is quite a lot of murraya hedging around this property, some of which I feel could be replaced with the gorgeous silver-grey foliage of sellowiana. It’s on the future projects list.

What’s been curious is that the feijoas keep finding me, here in the ‘burbs.

A couple of streets away – on a jaunt to the local supermarket – I have discovered a house with three feijoa trees in the front yard. It was so surprising, that I stopped and looked and looked again. Unmistakable. It’s a bit of a gardener’s delight, that property, with many unusual and exotic fruits and I would love to have a chat to the green thumb who lives there.

As well, we’ve discovered the best little IGA in the whole of Australia*, a few suburbs away. Aisles and aisles of kiwi fare: rice risotto, instant pudding, chow-chow, spam… (oh, the memories, good and bad)… and all those things that are not good for the hips and teeth: eskimos, jet planes, jaffas, pineapple lumps, milk bottles (the real ones), K-bars, Whittakers, etc.

Of course, it wouldn’t be a real Kiwi delicatessen without… feijoas.

IGA feijoas

Real feijoas (this was back in May), very nicely placed next to the Wicked Chocolate Dip… so tempting except for that price tag. That’s EA. $1.99 each. Ouch.

feijoa drop lollies

And feijoa lollies. Sad to say I didn’t try these either, only because the label says artificial flavour and colour, and I have become a little bit wary of how far food science is taking us away from good food, especially when my child is demanding some. But they’re there if you’re local and need a fix.

More soon, feijoa lovers.

* IGA Boondall, 2138 Sandgate Road

Kindred Feijoas (Tasmania)

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If you’re down on The Apple Isle, near Kindred, and craving feijoas, please check out these lovely people. I’m figuring the feijoas are running later in the season because of the climate… this is making for a really great feijoa tour as you follow those feijoas south!!

Kindred Feijoas has a small orchard of 96 feijoa trees which have just started producing near-ripe fruit. Fruit is expected to be available until about mid August.

They are open for Farm Gate sales BY APPOINTMENT ONLY… Telephone 03 6429 3238 or Christine on 0412 070 622.

The address is 24 Swamp Rd, Kindred, Tasmania 7310.

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