Thursday 4 June 2015

The last of the Feijoas - with Granny Smiths in a shortcake

Feijoa's can be a little divisive: people tend to either love or hate them in equal measure. It is no secret that Little Miss and I love them. In a world where you can buy any kind of imported fruit and vegetables at any time of year, there is a great joy in these completely seasonal, utterly New Zealand, green treats. I'm sure if they were available all year round they wouldn't have such an appeal. Anyway, as the season comes to an end, I'm doing my best to make the most of these fabulous fruit before they disappear again for another 10 months.  

This recipe makes the most of another couple of seasonal treats, the walnut and the Granny Smith apple. I've put walnuts in the pastry to add texture and a nutty flavour, and the Granny Smiths make a great tart dessert apple. 

Feijoa and Granny Smith Shortcake with Walnut Pastry. 

for the pastry:
300g plain flour
200g butter
100g brown sugar
1/2 cup walnuts
4 tablespoons cold water

for the filling
3 Granny Smith apples
6 to 7 medium sized feijoas
the juice of half a lemon
3 tablepoons caster sugar
3 tablespoons raw sugar - for sprinkling on top of the shortcake

Using a kitchen whizz, blend the flour, butter and brown sugar until well mixed. 
The mixture will resemble crumbs. Add the walnuts, and briefly blend - you don't want to cut the walnuts up too finely. 

With the motor of the kitchen whizz running, add the water and blend until it starts to come away from the sides of the bowl - as shown.

This can be made by hand: mix the dry ingredients together, rub in the butter using your fingertips. Add the finely chopped walnuts, then blend together with the water. 

Either method, don't overmix! Wrap the pastry in plastic food wrap and chill for at least half an hour. The pastry will keep quite happily in the fridge for a couple of days, so it is easily made in advance. 

Preheat the oven to 190deg. C. 
Line a medium sized baking dish with baking paper. 

Roll the pastry out before preparing the fruit as both the feijoas and apples will brown once peeled. 

Roll the pastry between two large sheets of plastic food wrap. You may need to use a couple of sheets overlapped. It should be about 5 to 6mm thick once rolled. 

Take the plastic wrap from the top of the pastry and invert it into the lined tin. Ease it into the corners, then trim around the top of the tin. Cover and chill in the fridge while preparing the fruit. 

Peel, quarter and slice the Granny Smiths. 

Prepare them one at a time and immerse in a bowl of water with the lemon juice added. This stops them going brown. 

Prepare the feijoas by cutting the tops and tails off, then parring the skin off each one. 

Slice into rounds, then place in a small bowl with the caster sugar to prevent browning. 

Arrange the apple slices and feijoa rounds onto the chilled pastry. It doesn't have to be super neat, just squeeze them all in. Spoon the left over feijoa sugar and juice over the apple slices. 

Cut the pastry that was trimmed from the tin into strips and arrange them on top. 

Sprinkle with the raw sugar crystals and bake for 40 minutes until the pastry is golden brown. The pastry needs to be baked quite brown to ensure the bottom is cooked and not soggy!

We took half the pie over to share with our neighbours as a thank you for lending us their trailer. It was getting late, so our Little Miss put a dress on over her pyjamas!

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