Just like asparagus and mandarins, and fresh figs and cherry blossoms, feijoas are one of those magical treats whose seasonality has not been engineered to appear glossy under neon lights all year long. It seems in the upper parts of the north island every second person has, if not a great abundance, then at least an easy supply of these fragrant, squidgy, green fruit. A friend had a couple of us over for dinner the other night, and she had done an after work raid of her feijoa tree in order to make crumble for dessert. The crumble recipe came from the recently released and completely gorgeous Pipi The Cookbook, and was a simple, inspired take on this classic dessert.
I'm the first to admit I am very much a throw together kind of cook, and my crumbles of the past have always been of the non-purist variety. Adding coconut, and cinnamon, and hazelnuts, or ground almonds, and never being content on just one fruit, this recipe requires discipline just to trust in its simplicity. It's worth it. My friend gave me a photocopy of the recipe and I recreated it at home with apple and rhubarb. Served with just creamy vanilla ice cream on the side, it was bliss.
(from Pipi The Cookbook, by Alexandra Tylee)
A lot of feijoas, peeled and chopped, or 2kg cooking apples, peeled, cored and cut into slices
1/2 cup caster sugar (I used raw sugar)
1 1/4 cups flour
1 3/4 cup whole rolled oats
3/4 cup soft brown sugar (again, I used raw sugar. It was all we had!)
2 teaspoons baking powder
250g butter, melted
Mix the other dry ingredients together in a bowl and pour in the melted butter. Luscious luscious melted butter.
Drain the apples and put them in a baking dish. Or just fill your baking dish with feijoas, if using them. Spoon the crumble over the top, don't push it down flat.
Cook in the oven for one hour until the crumble is completely cooked and golden brown (mine didn't need an hour, but keep an eye on it). Serve with cream or ice cream.