April is well and truly autumn-time here, and it’s usually my favourite season. But this year I feel like the red and gold leaves are whipping off the trees faster than I can nostalgically enjoy them. And that the harvest-time produce is piling up with hardly enough time to cozily process it all! Just a reflection on this time of life, where I’m constantly doing everything and nothing at the same time, as well as this strange period of history, where we are waiting for ‘normality’ (ie. the decline of COVID-19) after what is literally now years – racing towards the finish line but still not sure how far to go.
And what to do to process it all, but bake! My little chefs have been finding good uses for the feijoas falling by the bucket-load from our tree each day, but even with their keeness for these fibrous bittersweet fruit we can’t get through them all fast enough.
Feijoa pulp is easy to scoop and freeze for future days, but after all that scooping the pile is the same size from the leftover feijoa skins! Being stingy about these precious green gems that I wait most of the year to collect, I can’t bring myself to waste even the empty shells… Enter feijoa skin muffins: tangy-tasting and textured with raisins and nuts, these are epic with ginger stem added as well if you have it at hand.
If you’re from the North Island of New Zealand, your feij’s might be long gone by now, so apologies that this recipe is a bit late in the season. If you still have some fruit floating around but not the time to bake with them, I’ve found that the skins freeze as well as the pulp – they brown a little bit but this doesn’t affect the flavour later.
Feijoa skin, white chocolate and raisin muffins
Makes 18 regular-sized muffins. Inspired by Love Food Hate Waste
- Approx. one 2L container of washed, de-pulped feijoa skins (from approx. the same amount of fruit / 40 medium-sized feijoas)
- 1/4 cup hot water
- 150g butter, melted
- 1 1/4 cups brown sugar, packed
- 2 large eggs (or 3 small ones)
- 1 tsp vanilla essence
- 2 1/2 cups self-raising flour, or 2 1/2 cups plain flour plus 3 tsp baking powder, sifted together
- 1 tsp ground cinnamon
- 1 tsp mixed spice
- 1/2 cup raisins OR 3 small bulbs finely-chopped stem ginger
- 1/2 cup chopped pecans or walnuts (optional)
- 1 cup white chocolate buttons, chopped roughly
- Preheat oven to 190 degrees Celcius and grease 18 holes in your muffin tins using spray oil.
- Chop off any buds and stalks from the feijoa skins. Place in a heat-proof container and add the hot water. Leave for five minutes, then process to a lumpy pulp using a whizz stick (or in a food processor). A few small pieces (up to the size of your thumb nail) in the mixture are fine.
- In a large bowl, mix together the melted butter and sugar until smooth. Mix in the eggs until combined, then add the vanilla and the feijoa skin pulp to the mixture.
- Sift the flour and spices (and baking powder if using) into the wet mixture. Mix together using a spatula until about half the flour is combined, then add the dried fruit, chocolate and nut ‘add-ins’ that you want to use (as you can see I only used raisins and white choc buttons). Mix carefully until the add-ins are fairly well dispersed and the flour has just disappeared.
- Fill the muffin tin holes to the top, and place the tins in the oven for approx. 20 minutes or until the surface of each muffin springs back when lightly touched.
- Cool for five minutes in the muffin tins before loosening the edges and carefully turning the trays upside-down onto a cooling rack to remove the muffins.
These are so flavoursome, I often don’t even bother spreading with butter/margarine when I eat them.
Are you a feijoa lover, or a ‘not for me thanks’?! I’ve noticed that it’s a polarising flavour!