Feijoas are native to the east coast of South America, but grow incredibly well in the temperate climes of Auckland. I am fortunate to live on a property with 2 feijoa trees in the garden. Everyone in Auckland knows that autumn is feijoa season, because people with feijoa trees suddenly are your friends and try to foist bags of green fruit on you.
Feijoas fall when ripe; unfortunately they have a very short shelf life, and have to be eaten within a few days. I collect about half a bucket of feijoas from the ground everyday, but I’m not particularly partial to feijoas. Luckily, I have family, friends and colleagues who love the fruit, so I haven’t had to put too many in the compost bin.
Feijoas are high in antioxidants, minerals and fibre, a great source of vitamin C and are low in calories. They also have an amazing unique fragrance, and which goes into making some really unique liquors (check out 42 Below feijoa vodka) and various drinks and cordials.
Feijoa Almond Cake (Astar’s recipe from a NZ morning show’s website)
80g softened butter
1/4 cup runny honey
3 large eggs
1 tsp vanilla essence
1 cup feijoa puree – scoop out the pulp and whiz through the food processor
1 cup plain flour
1 cup wholemeal flour
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 cup trim milk
150g toasted slivered almonds + 1/2 cup brown sugar mixed together – for cake topping
Preheat oven to 180°C. Cream butter and honey until pale, add eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition. Add vanilla essence.
Sieve flour and wholemeal flour along with salt, baking powder and soda – add the wholemeal flour’s bran back. Fold in fruit pulp followed by flour. Fold in milk.
Spoon cake mix into tin and bake 15 minutes.
Remove from oven and sprinkle sugar and almond mix over cake.
Bake a further 20 minutes or until a skewer inserted into middle of cake comes out clean. You can serve the cake with thick Greek yoghurt mixed through with freshly pulped feijoas though it is delicious served on its own.