Wednesday, April 30, 2014

For the love of Feijoa's

There are few things I really like about Autumn and Winter.  I hate the cold, I'm not a fan of root vegetables and I can never find a good jacket but I do love feijoa's!  At this time of year there is nothing more delicious than sitting beside a luscious feijoa tree, heavy with these tart green fruit on a sunny Autumn morning.  One after the next you collect them from the ground, split them in half with your fingers, slurp out their content and throw the peels over your shoulder.  Yes at some point you'll get up groaning as you clutch your belly and curse the huge pile of skins that have amounted up behind you, but in the moment it's all well worth it!
So while we still have an abundance of feijoa's, Saba has been giving them a little French twist...

 Feijoa Tarte Fine
Tarte fine is a simple, delicious French tart, made from puff pastry, thinly sliced fruit, butter and sugar. That's it!  We like to use store bought pastry, to keep it ultra simple!  Sadly today we only had non-butter based puff pastry in the freezer, but I highly recommend making this with a butter puffy pastry, it's 100% more delicious (in New Zealand, Paneton make a great ready to use butter puff pastry, you can find it in Nosh, Farro Fresh and selected New World supermarkets).

What you'll need:
1 sheet of puff pastry
30g unsalted butter, melted
6 large feijoas, peeled and sliced
Sugar for sprinkling

What you do:
Pre-heat your oven to 180 degrees Celsius,
Cut four 10cm discs from your pastry (I used the base from one of my mini tart tins to trace around)
Place pastry discs on a buttered baking tray, and brush with melted butter.
Arrange feijoas on the pastry, overlapping slightly, leaving a small border around the edges.
Brush the tops with melted butter and sprinkle with sugar (how much really depends on how ripe your fruit is, and how sweet you like things!)
Bake for 20-30mins until the pastry is golden and crisp.
Let cool for 5-10mins, sprinkle the edges with icing sugar, and serve!   Of course no dessert is complete in this family without adding a little whipped cream, but this tart is just as delicious without it.
 Recipe from Cuisine
Serves 4
Don't have feijoas?  Tarte fine is traditionally made with apples, but so many other fruits work really well too such as plums, apricots, peaches, pineapple... The options are endless.

Feijoa cake
What you'll need:
2 large eggs
100g sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
100g butter
150g milk
170g all purpose flour (this cake works well with spelt flour too!)
5g corn flour
3 tsp baking powder
Enough feijoas to cover the top of the cake.

What you do:
Pre-heat oven to 180 degrees Celsius, and grease a 28cm baking tin.
Peel and slice your feijoas (not too thinly).
Beat the eggs, sugar and vanilla until pale, thick and creamy (this is the most important step, so make sure you don't under beat this).
in a saucepan, heat the butter and milk until it just comes to the boil.
Sift the flour, corn flour and baking powder together, and fold into the egg mixture.
Lastly add the hot milk in 2 batches, mixing until just combined.
The mixture will be creamy and quite runny, and may even have a few small lumps, that's ok!
Pour it into your greased baking tin, arrange the feijoa slices on the top (you want to squeeze in as many as possible!)
And bake for around 20-25mins. Try not to over bake this one, or it will be a tad dry.
Notes: I made this cake yesterday as a simple lemon cake, to do so, just add the zest of 3 large lemons to your sugar, and omit the feijoas. I then slathered it in a not too sweet lemon cream cheese icing, yum!
Ayana is obsessed with feijoa's!  There are some days when I feel like I can't get the girl to eat much else, but at the moment if it distracts her from her teething misery then I'm happy :).

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