I am in love with the design of this header from a WordPress cooking blog called Mrs Sam’s. The site is all about “dinner, preserves and, of course, baking” but the wallpaper and header feature these gorgeous illustrations of feijoas and their flowers. Just head over there feijoa chutney, feijoa jelly and feijoa coconut loaf recipes and many other delicious sounding things…
Well, how about this? I have blossoms on both of my trees. I also have some kind of disease on one of them, but blossoms! Aren’t they just beautiful? I am now looking for other trees to effect cross-pollination and we’re off to find some horse manure as I’ve read that really gives the plants a boost in terms of fruiting.
I am so thrilled. We’ve had them one year and there you have it. My very first feijoa flower!
Another great sounding recipe from the New Zealand Women’s Weekly – this time combining honey, nutmeg, coconut and buttermilk with the deliciousness of feijoa.
FEIJOA & HONEY MUFFINS
- 125g butter, softened
- ½ cup honey
- 2 eggs
- 1 teaspoon vanilla essence
- 1 cup buttermilk
- 1½ cups self-raising flour, sifted
- ½ cup desiccated coconut
- ½ tsp grated nutmeg
- 8 medium feijoas, peeled and diced
- Heat oven to 180°C fan bake. Grease 12-hole standard muffin tin or line with paper cases. In a bowl, beat butter and honey together until creamy. Beat in eggs and vanilla.
- Stir in buttermilk then stir in flour, coconut and nutmeg until just combined. Lastly stir in diced feijoas.
- Spoon muffin mixture into prepared tins and bake for 20 to 25 minutes or until muffins are puffed and golden brown.
This slice sounds oh so simple to make – just the thing to whip up for afternoon tea on a cool autumn afternoon when the feijoas are falling from the tree. Or any time of the year, if you’re lucky enough to have some fruit suspended in syrup or lingering in the deep freeze.
Just thinking about this has made me realise that while it is so easy to grab a lot of produce all year round (and the flavour suffers so much), the feijoa remains truly seasonal. And how satisfying it is to bite into the first feijoa of the year after such a long period thinking and craving and dreaming…
This recipe comes from the New Zealand Women’s Weekly website.
FEIJOA & ALMOND SLICE
- ½ cup caster sugar
- 125g butter, melted
- 1 teaspoon vanilla essence
- 2 large eggs
- 2 cups self-raising flour, sifted
- 8 medium feijoas, peeled and thickly sliced
- ½ cup flaked almonds
- icing sugar, to dust
- Heat oven to 170°C fan bake. Grease a 17 x 27cm slice tin and line with nonstick baking paper, leaving an overhang on all sides.
- Beat sugar into melted butter until sugar dissolves. Beat in the vanilla and eggs. Stir in flour and then stir in feijoas.
- Spread mixture into prepared tin and scatter with almonds. Bake for 45 minutes then transfer to a wire rack to cool. Dust with icing sugar and cut into squares.
Created by chef Simon Bryant in the ABC television show The Cook and the Chef, these muffins combine apple and ginger with the sweet flavour of feijoa. The companion recipe from Maggie Beer (Episode 23) was the Feijoa Tart with Sour Cream Pastry.
Makes 12 small muffins.
- 375g self raising flour
- 90g soft butter
- 220g sugar
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1 teaspoon ground ginger
- pinch ground clove
- 2 tablespoons flaked almonds (optional)
- 300ml milk
- 1 egg
- 1 cup feijoa, peeled and chopped (about 3 – 4 feijoas)
- 1 small grated apple
- zest of 1 lime
- Heat oven to 180ºC.
- Sift the flour, then rub the softened butter into the flour. Add sugar and baking powder, spices and almonds. Fold feijoa, apple, and zest into the flour mix. Mix milk and eggs together, and add to the flour mix. Do not overmix. It’s a good idea not to add all the liquid at once so that you can gauge the amount of liquid needed for a sloppy mix. Spoon into muffin tray, filling well, and bake 180ºC for 15 – 20 minutes until skewer comes out clean.
- Serve warm with feijoa jelly, and olive oil.
This recipe comes from the Australian television show The Cook and The Chef, which featured Maggie Beer (legendary Australian culinary icon hailing from the Barossa) and Simon Bryant (formerly Executive Chef at the Adelaide Hilton) challenging each other in a friendly gustatory duel. I missed this particular episode but was delighted to see that feijoa had caught the attention of these esteemed foodies. Would love to have heard their comments on the flavour and texture of feijoa and how to get the best out of this remarkable fruit. This tart was made by Maggie, while Simon created these feijoa & apple muffins.
Makes 3-4 tarts (small spring form tins) depending on the size of the feijoa.
- 1 quantity sour cream pastry (see below)
- 4 medium sized feijoas
- 1 cup sugar
- 4 cups water
- a piece of lemon zest removed using a peeler
- 1/2 cup pear schnapps, (or juice of pear with a little alcohol)
- nut brown butter topping
- 2 eggs
- 125g unsalted butter
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 1 tablespoon plain flour
- 1/2 cup flaked almonds
- Make the sour cream pastry according to directions to the point where the pastry is chilled.
- To make the poaching syrup, dissolve the sugar in the water, add the lemon zest and schnapps, bring to the boil, and then reduce to a simmer. Peel the feijoas and place them in the poaching liquid. Poach until tender (about 10 – 15 minutes). Leave to cool in the poaching liquid.
- Meanwhile make the brown butter topping, by beating the eggs and sugar together until pale, add the flour and mix well to combine. Heat the butter in a saucepan until nut brown, allow to cool and then add to the yolk and sugar mixture. Mix well and set aside until needed.
- Spray small spring form tins and then line with sour cream pastry – leaving at least a 2 cm border of pastry hanging over the top.
- Remove the feijoas from the poaching liquid and cut into large chunks. Divide the feijoa between the tins, pour over the nut brown butter topping, and fold the overhanging pastry back into the tart. Wash with egg wash and sprinkle with flaked almonds.
- Place in the freezer for 10 minutes (or the fridge for an hour) and then bake in an oven previously heated to 200ºC for 40 – 45 minutes until the pastry is golden.
- Remove and leave to cool slightly before removing from the tin.
- 125 g plain flour
- 100 g unsalted and chilled butter
- 60 ml sour cream (approx)*
- Chop all the butter into small cubes. Weigh flour and put into mixer. Blend flour and butter until it resembles a large breadcrumb consistency.
- Add sour cream gradually (see note below).
- Turn onto a floured bench and pull together with your hands into a rectangle shape. Wrap in plastic wrap and chill for at least 20 minutes before rolling out and lining your tin.
- Blind bake at 200ºC for 12 minutes. Remove the foil and weights and bake for a further 5 minutes.
*NOTE: Check consistency before adding all of the sour cream and do not add all if it is not needed. When lining the tin, have the pastry come up high as the pastry will shrink.
I am not really a fan of muesli – I am more of an oats or toast or eggs kind of gal. So I don’t want to spend any amount of time pretending that I have tried any of these and love them (I would probably love them more than I love other muesli because they are feijoa-flavoured, but all that puffed rice, puffed wheat and other flakey kind of stuff just isn’t to my taste first thing in the morning.) And the real truth is Hubbards don’t export to Australia and I haven’t found feijoa cereal at the local grocery store where my Dad lives in New Zealand. But I admit I am kinda curious, because to kickstart the day with feijoa all year round appeals mightily.
So I am really including these here as the first examples I’ve found of box art and packaging featuring the humble feijoa.
I hunted for this chocolate bar from Bennetts of Mangawhai while I was back in New Zealand earlier this year and just couldn’t find it. So it may be the perfect time for a bit of internet mail ordering. It’s about six months or so until the trees start fruiting and it kind of feels like a deep dark winter as far as getting a feijoa fix goes. Especially over here in Australia.
For chocolate aficionados, this bar is made from the finest Belgium couverture and New Zealand feijoas. [For anyone unfamiliar with the term, that’s a high quality chocolate that contains extra cocoa butter (32-39%). The higher percentage of cocoa butter, combined with the processing, gives the chocolate more sheen, firmer “snap” when broken, and a creamy mellow flavour. (Thanks Wikipedia.)]
You can buy it direct from Bennett’s own website for NZ$4.30 a bar – Visa and Mastercard accepted. I am really thinking about economies of scale and how much is enough for personal consumption… and can I keep it hidden from the rest of the family and is that right? Well, no, not really.