Feijoa and Apple Shortcake

11:45 pm on 24 August 2009

This is the time of the year when granny smiths are plentiful and more feijoas land on the ground than in our fruit bowls. Here is one excuse to rescue at least a handful of feijoas from the ground. Whether you raid the feijoa tree or take advantage of the supermarket variety, this is still such a cost effective, comforting winter’s dessert.

Baking always brings Dunedin to mind. I spent 12 years there in the late 1970s and early '80s where Cons and Doug Breen allowed me to use their home as refuge from Boarding School. The Breen kitchen was where I learned what “filling the tins” meant and just what a wonderful concept it was.

The secret of success with this recipe is to lightly press the mixture into the bottom of the tin and to loosely cover the top with the remainder. This way, we have a nice firm base to keep the slice together and a nice crunchy top.

The shortcake works very well with the Canelloni recipe as they both require the same oven temperature – you cake have the shortcake towards the top of the oven and the Canelloni in the middle.


  • 1 cup flour
  • 1 cup polenta
  • 1 cup castor sugar
  • ½ tsp baking powder
  • 150 g unsalted butter
  • zest of 1 large lemon grated
  • 1 egg 
  • 1 ½ cups granny smith apples skinned and sliced
  • 1 ½ cups feijoas, skinned and sliced
  • Dusting of castor sugar

Equal portions of plain yoghurt and thickened cream sweetened with icing sugar to taste.


Pre heat oven to 180 C and line a brownie tin with baking paper.

Put flour, polenta, castor sugar, baking powder, butter, lemon zest and egg in food processor and pulse till it resembles bread crumbs.

Spread half the mixture over the base of the tin and press gently.

Arrange Feijoa and apple slices on the top of the mixture and sprinkle with additional sugar to taste.

Cover with remaining mixture and bake at 180°C for 35 - 40 minutes.

Remove from oven, cool and chill in fridge before serving with mixture of yoghurt and cream.

Stephen Morris’s wine match

Feiojas are not really one of wine's friends. I love their texture and their almost-minty green freshness, but it isn't an overly friendly wine spectrum flavour.

Nevertheless, try Westbrook (Waimuku) Pinot Gris 2009. $25-30. Very warm and approachable. Nashi and pear and lovely richness. Has a hint of almost toffee and cream.

Or The Yealands Estate 2008 Pinot Gris. Another rich and creamy mouthfilling wine. It has what I call "width" which isn't a "proper" wine term, but it means that it fills all your mouth with it's lovely flavour. Hints of the same nashi, apple, pear fruits too.

Or - and especially if you are having this for a Sunday lunch - 42 below feijoa vodka, apple juice and mint. Clap the mint before you put it in the glass, lots of ice, a generous splash of the vodka, and top with apple juice.

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