Posts Tagged ‘fruit’

Achacha, it’s a fruit!

Today, I was given an achacha to try. Of course I had to take a photo.

Achacha

It has a red/orange/brown skin, but doesn’t really smell of anything. You cut the fruit in half, pull out the big seed, and then eat the inside with a spoon. It was really tasty – kind of like a mangosteen (of which it is a relative). Smells a bit like a longan/lychee, tastes a bit like cross between custard and a pear without the crunchy tannic bits you get in a pear.

The skin contains heaps of beta carotene. If you soak the skin in water for 24 hours you make a achacha drink.

achacha drink

I tried with the ‘shells’ of three achachas eaten for breakfast. It made a slightly sour tasting, brown coloured drink.

Spotted at Harris Farm Markets for $10/kg.

Loquats, sorted

My first loquat!

I have seen the tree growing around the suburbs, but had no idea what they were. When I saw a tray of these at the market, I had to ask.

Loquats

You peel the skin off the outside, and pull out the large elliptical shaped seed. Sometimes there is a tough protective layer between the fruit and the seed which you remove.

The taste is like a sour pear/nashi pear cross. My neighbour dips the fruit into sugar before eating, because it is too sour for her! This reminds me of the Indians who dip fresh mango into a salt-chilli powder mix, because the mangoes are too sweet for them.

Something new, everyday.

Guava Butter

After throwing kilos of boiled guava “pulp” after making myguava jelly into the Bokashi bucket, I thought I would investigate using it. I am supposed to be minimising my impact upon the environment

Charmaine had a recipe for Guava Butter

Guava Butter
Per cup of de-seed boiled guavas, leftover after making the jelly:

3/4 cups of sugar (184 grams)
Strained juice of one lime (approx 1 tablespoon)
Heaped tablespoon of softened butter (15g), in small chunks.

Don’t cook more that 4 cups at a time, because you can’t get the mix hot enough.

Put the de-seeded guava pulp in a large bowl, and microwave to steaming.

Add in the softened butter and lemon juice, stir.

Microwave for 2 minutes at a time, stir to combine until thick and piping hot.

The butter needs to be steaming hot because that’s how you maintain the sterilty and longevity of your goodies.

Spoon the guava butter into hot sterilized jars out of the oven.

Fill each jar almost to the top with a 1cm gap.

Seal immediately with new jar lid, or
the Fowlers Vacolla ‘kleerview’ plastic jam covers. These are neat, because as the contents cools, you can see the seal being sucked back towards the jar.
The steam seems to permeate through the seal whilst hot. No doubts that hot air takes up more space than cool air!

If using the kleerview seals, screw on the original jar lid on top to protect the seal. I’ve been doing this after the contents have cooled down, but I’ll report back later in the year if this destroys my plastic seal.

I only had enough space in my big bowl to do 3 cups.

You can also cook the guava butter on the stove, but because it is so thick, it spits all over you and the stove.

So here we are on the far right: my very first batch of guava butter.

Guava Jelly and Butter, a photo by A Sydney Foodie on Flickr.

And it tastes *so* good.

I won’t be giving this one away!

I wonder though – how long does this last? It does contain dairy after all. If you used clarified butter (ghee), would it last longer?

Fresh Guava Tart with Guava Jam

So what is the best way to deal with my over abundance of guava fruit? Having made guava jelly and butter, and given kilos and kilos of the stuff away, I thought that I should package it up in a tart and feed it to my colleagues.

I was aiming for something like tarte tartine, but with guavas! *evil cackle*

1. Pastry
I made sour cream pastry. However perhaps because of the humidity, I needed 1.5 cups of plain flour to the butter and sour cream.

The extra flour was enough for a large 27cm quiche tin, and five 10cm taster tins.

I oiled the tins, and put a round of baking paper in the base to assist later removal. The finished product comes out quite easily, so this might be unnecessary.

Blind baked the pastry for about 15 minutes, or until light brown.
2. Guava Jam
I figured sliced guava on its own might be too plain in flavour, so I made jam. I didn’t read the recipe properly, so like on autopilot, I made as per guava jelly and boiled my guavas.

This is my recipe, modified from the link above.

3 cups guavas, de-seeded and simmered (as per guava jelly)
1.5 cups sugar
1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
1 tablespoon lemon juice (1/2 lemon)
1/4 tsp salt

Boil the lot, and then have it on a medium simmer for about 30 minutes.

I had the mixture bubbling for 20 minutes, and kept stirring to stop it spitting.

This gave me enough jam for a thin layer in one large quiche tin, four small 10cm tasters, and one 500g jam jar for later consumption.

Guava Tart Prep, a photo by A Sydney Foodie on Flickr.

3. Guava Tart
Half an apple, thinly sliced.
3-4 fresh guavas, de-seeded and sliced into strips.
Guava jam, to taste.
Just baked pie/tart crust.
Allspice, cinnamon, brown sugar.

Smear a thick layer of jam on the pastry baked base.

Starting with thin slices of apple (optional), create the main pattern on the pastry, and then infill with strips of fresh sliced guava. Go on, don’t be shy, if you’re trying to use up a day’s harvest of guavas, you’ve got plenty to spare.

Sprinkle, allspice, cinnamon sugar and brown sugar. I had some Chinese five spice lying around, so that went on too.

Bake for 10-15 minutes, until pastry is golden brown and the fruit has reduced a little.

Guava Tart, a photo by A Sydney Foodie on Flickr.

Verdict: yum! Evil in this case is justified.

Lessons learned: use heaps more fruit. Also, how do I make nice professional looking pastry edges rather than rustic homemade edges?

Bountiful Harvest

Bountiful Harvest by A Sydney Foodie
Bountiful Harvest, a photo by A Sydney Foodie on Flickr.

Look at this! I took 2kg of guavas to work yesterday to give away, and when I got home there was another kilo waiting for me. Then yet another kilo thumped off the tree overnight!
*happy dance*
I didn’t have a harvest at all last year because I had a terrible infestation of scale, and the bats (flying foxes) were fighting over the fruit every night. So none left for me. This year though, I have way too much.
Charmaine says: “In the middle of the ball (of quite hard seeds) is the sweetest, softest pulp found in the guava, very smooth compared to the slightly granular texture of the flesh outside the seeds.” She’s right!
I’m going to have to make jam over the weekend, because I expect another 4kg by Monday!?!?
Oh my. Every time I turn my back, another one bites the dust.