There’s a new girl in the fruit Dept, and she’s HOT!
Having missed winter in South Africa last year, I was almost (dare I say it?) excited, for the wonderful seasonal fruits that we get here at this time of the year.
Think oranges, avocado’s (yes, they’re a fruit), quinces and gooseberries. I always feel that especially during winter it’s important to eat a few pieces of fresh fruit each day, just to pump up the intake of essential vitamins and antioxidants. And really it’s much more pleasing than gulping down a big old pill.
The only downside, if I must be honest, is that sometimes when I’m in rush I find it a real pain and inconvenience to have to peel an orange or take the seeds out of a pawpaw, so it was to my utter delight a month or two ago, that I came across Sharon fruit.
Don’t you just love the name? Definitely more catchy than “Guava” or “Pear”.
Not only is Sharon fruit dreadfully easy to prepare (in fact- you don’t even need to do anything except bite into its juicy, star-imprinted flesh!) it also comes with an extensive list of health benefits to boot!
Originating in China, the fruit is a seedless variety of the persimmon group and it’s only grown in Spain, Israel and South Africa, so we are the only ones that produce it in the southern hemisphere!
The fruit is grown in the beautiful region of Swellendam in the Western Cape and you can find it at most supermarkets as well as fresh produce stands at outdoor foodie markets.
We’ve all heard the saying “an apple a day keeps the doctor away”, well it must be noted that Sharon fruit has twice the amount of fibre than that of an apple. It also contains high levels of anti-oxidants known for fighting heart disease and cancer as well as possessing a good deal of calcium, magnesium and potassium. I’ve also been told it is a great recovery food after a night of heavy drinking.
Having enjoyed Sharon fruit in a number of different ways, I must say the best is simply reaching for it out of the fridge, cutting it into thick wedges and munching on it as a snack when my energy levels start to drop. This, together with a handful of home-made granola, beats a sugar-laden chocolate bar any day!!
Just to show you how versatile this Super-food really is, I have included a recipe for a sweet roulade that I made this week, which I’m sure would go down well at any office tea party or the end of a long leisurely brunch when you feel the need to nibble on something sweet while paging through the weekend papers.
See, now you CAN have your cake and eat it!
Sharon Fruit Roulade with Poppy seed Cream cheese filling
3 eggs at room temperature, separated
1 cup sugar
2/3 cup *Sharon Fruit puree
¾ cup cake flour
1 tsp Vanilla
1 tsp lemon juice
1 tsp Baking powder
1 tub smooth cream cheese
4 Tbps butter
1 cup icing sugar
2 Tbps Poppy seeds
*For the puree, simply peel 4 Sharon fruit and liquidise in a blender.
Preheat the oven to 180 degrees C. Beat the egg yolks and sugar together for about ten minutes. When done, the mixture will be very thick and very, very pale. Add the lemon juice, vanilla and Sharon fruit puree and stir gently.
In another bowl, combine the flour, baking powder and salt. Fold the dry ingredients into the wet and mix just until combined.
Beat the egg whites to soft peak and gentle fold into the batter.
Pour the batter onto a baking sheet that has been greased and lined with wax paper. Spread out the batter evenly and bake for fifteen minutes, or until golden.
Let cool on the pan for about ten minutes and start your filling.
Whip the cream cheese and butter together for three minutes or until creamy. Add the icing sugar, vanilla and poppy seeds. Whip on high for another six minutes. Set aside.
After you have cooled the cake for a few minutes, turn over the baking sheet and gently peel off the wax paper. Spoon the filling on top of the cake and spread out. Starting at the far edge, roll up the cake. Wrap in cling wrap and chill in the fridge for about an hour before serving.
For more information about Sharon Fruit, visit www.sharonfruit.com or follow @sharontmfruit on twitter for updates.