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Kiwi season in the Sierra Nevada Foothills

Submitted to The Union
Also known as the Chinese Gooseberry, kiwifruit are oval berries about the size of a large egg with fuzzy brown skin, tiny black seeds and juicy, sweet-sour flesh.
Photo courtesy Shared Abundance Organic Farm

In the Sierra Nevada Foothills, fruit and veggie lovers have a wealth of fresh, locally grown produce to choose from. This time of year, Shared Abundance Organic Farm near Auburn is harvesting kiwi and delivering to BriarPatch Food Co-op.

Also known as the Chinese Gooseberry, kiwifruit are oval berries about the size of a large egg with fuzzy brown skin, tiny black seeds and juicy, sweet-sour flesh.

Kiwifruit is native to China and the first recorded description of the Kiwifruit dates to the 12th Century during the Song Dynasty. Rarely cultivated or bred, the fruit was usually collected from the wild and given to children as medicine to help them grow and to women to help them recover from childbirth.

These days, Kiwifruit are grown commercially in several countries around the world and folks eat them for enjoyment as well as for their rich levels of vitamins C and K. Kiwifruit are mostly enjoyed raw and yes, the skin is edible. The skin is easy to remove by slicing off a little of each end and running a spoon around the inside of the skin. Presto!

Kiwifruit tastes great in green smoothies along with kale, pineapple fruit or juice and mint leaves. They’re also a fun addition to avocado or mango in salsa. Kiwis can also be made into jam or baked into a fruit tart with almond meal in place of the flour. Try kiwifruit in upside down cake, wrapped in crepes with lemon curd or Nutella or as a beautiful topping on custard fruit tarts or cheesecake. Slice them into a green salad, freeze them into a popsicle, blend them and make sorbet or for an extra special treat, try the recipe for Kiwi Pavlovas below.

Kiwi Pavlovas

6 egg whites, at room temperature

1/2 tsp cream of tartar

1/4 teaspoon salt

11/2 cups granulated sugar

1 1/2 teaspoons cornstarch

1 Tbsp lemon juice

1 tsp teaspoon pure vanilla extract

2 cups heavy cream

2 Tbsp confectioners sugar

8 kiwi fruits, peeled and thinly sliced

Makes 10 mini pavlovas

Preheat oven to 225 degrees.

Slowly beat the egg whites, cream of tartar and salt. Gradually add the sugar, slowly increasing the speed to high, until stiff peaks form and the mixture is glossy. Fold in lemon juice and vanilla extract.

On parchment lined baking sheets, using a large serving spoon, place scoops of the meringue, creating a large indent with the back of the spoon on each pavlova. Alternatively, you can pipe rings of meringue for a more formal look.

Bake for 1 hour, turn the oven off and then let pavlovas sit in the oven for another 30 minutes with the oven door closed. The outside should be crisp, and the palest of cream colored and the inside should be fluffy and marshmallow-like.

Whip the cream with the confectioners sugar until soft peaks form. Dollop the cream in the wells of the pavlova and place the kiwi slices on top. Serve immediately.

Source: Briar Patch Food Co-op


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