When we moved into our house, the two trees at the back of the garden looked suspiciously like feijoas, confirmed with our harvest of about five that season.
In the years since, we’ve had slightly higher yields but nothing to get excited about. And those we did get were almost all skin – you’d be lucky to get a teaspoon full of fruit from the big ones. A bit of a waste of time and most went straight to compost.
Over those years, the tree pruner in the family and I had constant debate about the trees. I took the side of ‘experts’ who recommended heavy pruning, while he took the side of the other ‘experts’ who said to leave the trees alone. Me suspects it was something to do with the work required!
Last winter was crunch point – either we pruned or got rid of the trees. There is little point in having them there if they don’t produce. So, after a bit of encouragement, a very heavy pruning took place. Surprise, surprise, the tree was covered in red flowers during the summer and we have had a prolific harvest. Due to the tropical weather we enjoy here in Wellington, the tree is still laden. Interestingly, this year, the skin doesn’t seem quite so hard – I wonder if that’s something to do with the pruning, better irrigation and some compost? Whatever we did, worked.
What to do with so much fruit? I figure you can’t go past that old favourite – crumble. And do I have the crumble recipe to end all recipes. My friend Kath included it in a cook book she once made for me. I use Kath’s basic ingredients, and have adapted the recipe slightly. This makes enough topping for two crumbles (or one large). I put the extra in a zip lock bag into the freezer – handy for those last-minute desserts for pop in guests.
What you’ll need
600-700g fruit, peeled and chopped (I used 3/4 fijoas and 1/4 apple – all weighed post peeling) See image for the quickest way to get the fruit from the feijoas.
120g (3/4C) wholemeal flour
75g (1/2C) brown sugar
120g (1C) rolled oats
50g (2/3C) threat\d coconut
1 tsp ground cardamom
1 tsp ground ginger
120g (3/4C) raw cashew nuts, roughly chopped (I’ve used almonds in the past)
100g butter, melted
To make it
Stew the fruit. I put mine into a saucepan and cooked it down for about 15 minutes. Set aside cool a little.
Turn oven to 170C.
Place all ingredients, except the cashews and butter, into a bowl. Mix with a spoon. Mix through the melted butter, then add in the cashews.
Put the fruit into an oven proof dish – mine is an oblong dish about 25x17cm. Spread the crumble mixture over the top.
Bake for 20-30 minutes in the pre-heated oven.
Remove from the oven and sit on the bench for five minutes before serving. Delicious with running cream or icecream.
I often make this in individual ramekins – perfect for a mid-winter dinner party. And, of course, you can use almost any fruit you have at hand.
On the subject of things perfect, I’m excited to be giving away some apples with this post. Not any old apples – gorgeous felt fruit by the very talented Rebecca at Two Magpies. Their lovely products make great gifts for kids and are a welcome change from all the plastic out there. To be in to win, just like my facebook page and share the link. The draw will take place on Sunday night (18 May).