Autumn fruits are a tasty antidote to a dose of the blues that come with cooler days. And a new star on the scene is the red-fleshed kiwifruit, albeit in limited quantities. I first tasted an Asian variety in China’s Yangtze Valley and wasn’t impressed with either the flavour or colour. However, the vibrant Zespri Red cultivar produced in New Zealand is a winner. I keep thinking ‘custard’ as I eat it but it is slightly tangy. Its red flesh comes from a unique and naturally occurring pigment called anthocyanin.
Feijoas are always a fave and they’re so versatile. As feijoas are native to South America, they were probably named by early Spanish explorers. Tamarillos also originated in South America and are considered to be one of the lost foods of the Incas. However, when they were first brought to New Zealand in the late 1800s, they were called tree tomatoes due to the similarity of the seed structures of both. That caused culinary confusion when tree tomatoes were first exported — was it a vegetable or a fruit? In the 1960s it was given a new name and ‘tamarillos’ became popular worldwide.
Nashi (also called Asian, Korean, Japanese or Chinese pears) have the shape and texture of an apple, but the taste of a pear. They can be substituted for either fruit in most recipes.
RED KIWIFRUIT COULIS & CUSTARD CHEESECAKE
Red kiwifruit are eye-catching additions atop cheesecakes or pavs.
Base: 200g custard cream biscuits
3 tablespoons caster sugar
50g butter, melted
Filling: 1 tablespoon gelatine
1/4 cup boiling water
1/4 cup caster sugar
1 teaspoon finely grated lemon rind
250g each: cream cheese, ricotta cheese, at room temperature
1 tablespoon custard powder
Coulis: 5 red kiwifruit, peeled and thinly sliced
splash orange flavoured liqueur, optional
Line the base of a 18cm spring-form cake pan with baking paper.
Finely crush the biscuits and sugar in a food processor. Place in a bowl. Stir in the melted butter. Tip the mixture into the cake pan and press evenly with the flat base of a drinking glass. Chill.
Dissolve the gelatine in the boiling water.
Whip the cream, caster sugar and lemon rind in another bowl until stiff peaks form.
In a large bowl, beat the cream cheese, ricotta and custard powder together. Stir in the dissolved gelatine. Fold the whipped cream into the cream cheese mixture.
Spoon evenly on to the chilled base smoothing the top with the back of a spoon. Chill for 2-3 hours or overnight.
To serve, remove the cheesecake from the pan. Decorate the top with a circle of kiwifruit slices. Purée the remainder and add the liqueur, if using. Serve with wedges of the cheesecake. Serves 8.
NASHI & PROSCIUTTO SALAD
A quick, delicious starter. The vinaigrette is available from selected food stores and online. tamco.co.nz
2 cups baby rocket leaves or watercress
1 large nashi
80g sliced prosciutto
50g soft goat’s cheese eg Cilantro
micro greens, optional
freshly ground black pepper to taste
1/3 cup tamarillo vinaigrette eg For the Love of Tams vinaigrette
Rinse the rocket and crisp in the fridge.
Quarter and core the nashi. Cut into paper-thin slices. Place the rocket evenly onto 4 salad plates. Add the nashi. Top with curls of the prosciutto. Garnish with crumbled goats chees and micro greens, if using. Drizzle with the vinaigrette. Serves 4
FEIJOA & CHICKEN CURRY
Feijoas bring a sweet/sour character to this curry.
2 tablespoons olive oil
500g skinned and boned chicken and cut into bite-sized chunks
1 large red capsicum, seeded and cubed
1 medium onion, thinly sliced
1 clove garlic, crushed
4 ripe feijoas, peeled, halved lengthwise and sliced
1 tablespoon each: curry powder, brown sugar, cornflour
1 cup chicken stock
Heat half the oil in a non-stick frying pan.
Stir-fry the chicken for 3-4 minutes then remove from the pan.
Heat the remaining oil and stir-fry the capsicum, onion and garlic for 3-4 minutes, until tender.
Return the chicken to the pan with the feijoas and curry powder. Season with salt and pepper, if preferred.
Stir the cornflour and brown sugar into the stock. Add to the chicken. Bring to a simmer, cover and cook for 20 minutes. Serve with rice. Serves 4.