Feijoas


In our household there are three ways to eat feijoas.

One: The Proper Way.
This involves cutting the feijoa in half and scooping out the flesh with a spoon. This is the only way I eat fresh feijoas.

Two: The Other Way
This is DH's preferred method. It involves ripping the top of the feijoa off with one's teeth and sucking out the contents. It's messy. It makes for less washing-up according to DH (what? one teaspoon counts as washing up?) and it means you can eat them anywhere.

Three: The Uncle#4 is Weird Way
It happened a few years ago. I was going for a walk with The Most Adorable Granddaughter#1 when she burst out with, "Uncle#4's weird. He eats feijoa skins." I've not done an official survey but I suspect less than five percent (less than one?) of the population eat feijoa skins. They're just not that tasty raw. Sure, I've thrown whole feijoas into muffin recipes but to eat them raw skin and all ... ah no thank you.

Go for a walk around most neighbourhoods in New Zealand at this time of year and you'll likely see many backyards overflowing with feijoas due to the foresight of some previous owner who decided to plant a couple of feijoa trees. Our household is no exception. Son#4 estimated that he collected sixteen kilos of feijoas on one day alone. At approximately ten dollars per kilogram, that's a huge saving on fruit at the moment. And there's more fruit out there waiting to be picked up.

Our dog won't eat them, her tastes being confined to plums and walnuts that she can either gather from the tree herself (yes she does, really) or crack her teeth on. So we've been eating feijoas, stewing feijoas, crumbling feijoas, dehydrating feijoas, and giving feijoas away to family, friends, and the painter who's working on our house.

I've searched online for recipes using feijoas and have found hundreds of them. Most of them however call for four to eight feijoas in a recipe. I have four to eight kilos that I need to use up at a time.

Which brings me to the point of this post. When you have that many feijoas to use up the only course of action is to use a recipe that uses lots of feijoas. Enter the humble fruit crumble. In the past I’ve used apple or pear or both with feijoas but the other day I decided to be brave and use feijoas on their own.

After scooping out the flesh of a hundred or more feijoas (a conservative guess) I couldn’t be bothered rubbing butter into flour to make a crumble topping. A quick search online confirmed what I’d suspected for years: it’s possible to use oil in place of butter. I adapted a recipe and this is what I’ve come up with:

No Butter Crumble Topping
¾ cup flour
1 cup rolled oats
½ cup brown sugar
½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
½ teaspoon of some other spice such as ground cloves or ginger
1/3 cup oil (I used olive oil but if you like coconut, coconut oil might be worth a try – I leave coconut out of most recipes since I really don’t like it).

Mix the dry ingredients together with a fork before adding the oil and mixing until all are moistened. Use as any other crumble topping.

By the way, a few almonds scattered on top really lifted the flavour and had the compliments rolling in.

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