1 Apr 2024

Plabita Florence’s Feijoa Sherbet

From Easter Monday, 9:45 am on 1 April 2024

Plabita Florence is one of Auckland's best chefs. Her restaurant Forest was awarded one hat in the 2021/22 Cuisine Magazine Good Food Awards.  This year Cuisine also named her one the 50 most inspiring and influential women in food

Forest, which started out as a series of pop-ups in 2017 grew into a small Symonds St restaurant before finally expanding to its current location – a 30 seat venue on Dominion Road. 

 It focuses on seasonal, low waste vegetarian food, with a regularly rotating menu. One of the stars of that menu is a deep-fried feijoa served with feijoa skin sherbet...  

Plabita joins Susana Lei’ataua to talk about how her food philosophy and share that sherbet recipe.  

Plabita Florence stands behind the bar of her resturant Forest. She is weating a earthy brown apron with a white t-shirt underneath.

Photo: Lawrence Smith

Feijoa Skin Sherbet 

This is a waste-saving method, so I won’t give exact amounts, because I don’t know how many feijoas you’ve got. You’ll need the following ingredients: 

If you have two cups of peels:  

  • ¾ cup caster sugar 

  • 1tsp of sea salt 

  • 1tsp of citric acid 

Set oven to 130 degrees Celsius. Peel feijoas with a vegetable peeler, and lay peels in a single layer on a baking tray, lined with baking paper to avoid sticking. Place in the oven and check at 10 minute intervals, turning over when needed, to ensure even drying. Once everything’s properly dried and crispy, remove from oven and allow to cool. (Allow roughly an hour for this step. Could also be done overnight in a dehydrator.) 

Place dried peels in a good blender with caster sugar, sea salt, and citric acid. The ratio of these ingredients can be adjusted according to your tastes and how many peels you’re working with. Blend until everything’s a fine powder. This can be passed through a sieve if your blender doesn’t quite cut it. Store sherbet in an airtight container, and in the fridge – if it comes into contact with moisture or is left open it’ll start clumping.  

At Forest, we deep fry lightly battered feijoas and roll them in the sherbet before serving.  

Here are some other recommended uses: 

  • Dusted over rich desserts in the place of icing sugar to add some zing. 

  • Spooned onto ice cream. 

  • Added into icing, for sourness that doesn’t add moisture. 


A deep fried feijoa rolled in feijoa skin sherbet. It is sitting on a bed or toffee couloured icecream.

Photo: Plabita Florence