After the Indian summer and the warmest and driest May on record, the weather pattern where I live carries on into the first couple of days of June. It's meant to be winter but it doesn't seem like it yet, not really.
The autumn fruit is still in abundance - and cheap. I love feijoas, the bright pungent flavour and lasting aftertaste. So I decided to experiment with a feijoa pudding and a sweet wine to match.
The water pale Grove Mill Late Harvest Gewurztraminer 2006 from Marlborough is gorgeously fragrant, reminiscent of the delicately scented pale pink Celile Brunner rose that grows on the roadside fenceline, now in its late autumn flush. The rose scent is mixed with delicately pungent exotic spices. It's sweet to the taste, rich and luscious without being overpowering, the sweetness kept in check with clean, lemon and orange acidity and the spices carrying through the honeyed backbone with a hint of ginger on the finish. Tasted blind in a lineup, and clean of botrytis, it is quite obvious to its variety. It has 110 grams of residual sugar, 9.7 grams per litre of acidity and 11% alcohol.
The wine comes in a tapering 375ml bottle. It will cost around $20 to $25, depending where you buy.
Check out the Grove Mill website to find out more.
Feijoas are pungent and can be quite tart and I wanted to bring some of the wine's flavours into the desert. That was achieved by poaching the feijoa pulp with honey, orange and ginger. Here's the easy recipe. In fact, the most laborious part is peeling the fruit.
Feijoa Honey Pudding
For the fruit base you will need -
500 grams of ripe feijoas, weighed after peeling (I used nine, large quite, elongated feijoas - you will need more of the small ones - click here for information on feijoa varieties).
the juice and zest of an orange
1 tablespoon of creamed honey
3/4 cup water
4 pieces of crystallised ginger, chopped up into fine dice
Place all of the above into a saucepan, bring to the boil and simmer about 10 minutes. Strain the juices into another container. Put the feijoa mixture to one side. Return the juices to the saucepan and boil rapidly for about 10 minutes, taking care not to let the bubbling liquid boil over. Meanwhile, make the sponge batter.
Beat together one large free range egg and half a cup of sugar. Add 100 grams of melted butter and beat together with the egg and the sugar until thick and creamy.
Sift in one cup of flour and 1.5 teaspoons of baking powder and fold in with a spatula. Then fold in half a cup of milk.
Spoon the feijoa mix into the bottom of a pudding baking dish and spoon over about 4 dessertspoons of the reduced liquid. Pour the batter over the top and smooth, if necessary, with a spatula. Cook in the oven at 180 degrees C for about 30 minutes. Serve while still warm and accompany with the Grove Mill Late Harvest Gewurtztraminer 2006.
It seems appropriate to feature a Grove Mill wine at a time when the climate seems to be slightly awry and also when food miles issues are hitting the news.
Click here to check out my blog for recent comments and links.
Grove Mill is New Zealand's first certified 'CarbonNZero' winery.
You can go to the Carbon Zero page on their website, read how they are achieved this status and view videos that feature their contribution to reducing the carbon footprint.
© Sue Courtney
4 Jun 2007