Feast out on fab­u­lous fei­joas

Kaikoura Star - - GARDENING - RACHEL CLARE

child­hood love af­fair with fei­joas, I’ve gone through the Get Grow­ing archives and searched out the best fei­joa recipes. Do you have a to-diefor fei­joa recipe that will turn my head? I’d love to try it (I think!). Email in­box@get­grow­ing.co.nz I made some ex­cel­lent fei­joa liqueur us­ing the dam­son gin con­cept that I first saw in NZ Gar­dener. I ba­si­cally peeled and halved a bunch of small, ripe fei­joas, stuffed them into a wide mouthed bot­tle, then filled the bot­tle with caster sugar (what­ever would fit down the gaps be­tween the fruit, but the bot­tle was pretty tightly packed with fei­joas) and topped it up with good qual­ity vodka. I sealed the bot­tle and turned it when­ever I re­mem­bered (quite a bit at the be­gin­ning and not much later on!). Af­ter a few months I tasted it – and it was great. Three years later it is fan­tas­tic and I only wish I made more of the ex­per­i­men­tal batch! I’ve made a lit­tle more each year but the older it gets, the bet­ter it seems! It’s a lovely gold colour and a great hit for vis­i­tors.

In­gre­di­ents for base • 250g packet of di­ges­tive bis­cuits • 100g but­ter, melted • 1/2 tea­spoon ground ginger In­gre­di­ents for fill­ing • 12-15 fei­joas (800g) • 1/3 cup caster sugar • 500g cream cheese, soft­ened • 250g sour cream • 1 ta­ble­spoon gelatin dis­solved in 1/4 cup boil­ing wa­ter • 2 ta­ble­spoons ic­ing sugar, sifted • 375g can of caramel sweet­ened con­densed milk In­gre­di­ents for top­ping • 4 fei­joas, peeled and sliced into rounds • juice of 1/2 a lemon

To make the base, grease a 20cm loose-bot­tomed spring­form tin or pie dish and line sides with bak­ing pa­per. Crush the bis­cuits in a plas­tic bag with a rolling pin, or in a food pro­ces­sor. Add melted but­ter and ginger, and com­bine. Turn mix­ture into bak­ing dish and line the bot­tom and sides, press­ing down with the back of a wooden spoon. Chill in the fridge while pre­par­ing the fill­ing.

To make the fill­ing, cook peeled and sliced fei­joas with sugar and 1/3 cup of wa­ter for 3-5 min­utes, un­til ten­der. Drain and re­serve liq­uid. Let the fruit cool.

In a large bowl, beat the cream cheese and sour cream to­gether un­til smooth and creamy. Grad­u­ally add dis­solved gela­tine and ic­ing sugar. Fold in con­densed This col­umn is adapted from the weekly e-zine, get grow­ing, from New Zealand Gar­dener mag­a­zine. For gar­den­ing ad­vice de­liv­ered to your in­box ev­ery Fri­day, sign up for Get Grow­ing at: get­grow­ing.co.nz milk, then add the cooled fruit. Mix un­til just com­bined and pour on to the chilled base. Place in the fridge for at least an hour.

To make the top­ping, dip fei­joa slices into lemon juice as you cut them up. In a small saucepan, heat the re­served liq­uid from the cooked fei­joas. Dip fei­joa slices into this hot sugar liq­uid, then cook quickly, for 20-30 sec­onds. Re­move and drain on bak­ing pa­per. Con­tinue to cook the sugar liq­uid down un­til re­duced by half. Ar­range fruit slices on top and driz­zle sugar syrup over each wedge to serve.

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