Mainly found in the Outback, the Quandong tree- also known as a “native peach” tree- has never been seen by many Australians. This tree yields a delicious red fruit that has twice the amount of Vitamin C of an orange. Aborigines have been eating the fruit and using it for medicinal purposes for many years. I had often heard of people making Quandong Pie but I didn’t know where I could get the fruit from.
Imagine my delight when I made a recent trip to Arkaroola in South Australia’s Outback and found a large Quandong tree growing outside my hotel room! Quandong pie- here I come! I picked several bags full of the fruit, ready to make several pies on my return to Adelaide. If you can’t find fresh quandong fruit, you could also use the dried version, which is sometimes sold in stores or online.
Arkaroola is a large wilderness sanctuary measuring 240 square miles, located 430 miles north of Adelaide. It takes at least 12 hours to drive there, with the last three hours driving over a bumpy, unpaved road. Besides seeing the beautiful scenery of this area, making those Quandong pies would definitely make this trip worthwhile!
Quandong fruit that I picked for my pies
Before sharing the recipe for my Quandong Pie, I would like to share some of the pictures of my trip to the Arkaroola Wilderness Sanctuary- if you visit here one day, you’ll see lots of kangaroos, emus and wild goats, as well as beautiful geologic formations:
Quandong fruit can taste a bit tart, so I added several apples to the pie mixture- perfect combination! Rather than making one large pie, I made four smaller tarts, each one topped with a brown sugar crumb.
Start by making a pastry to cover the bottom of your pie or tart pans:
Finish by filling the pie or tart pans with the quandong and apple mixture and top with a crumb:
- 1/2 shortcrust pastry for the base
- 2 cups Quandong fruit- fresh or dried
- 2 apples
- 1 cup sugar
- 2 cups water
- 1/4 cup corn flour or arrow root for thickening
- 1 cup white flour
- 1/2 cup cold butter, cubed
- 3 tbsps brown sugar
- 2 tbsp white sugar
- Make the shortcrust pastry to form the base of a traditional 9 inch pie pan, or to make 3 smaller tarts (5 inches in diameter). Roll out the pastry and line the pie or tart pans with the pastry and set aside.
- Remove the seeds from the fresh quandong fruit and chop coarsely. Peel and de-seed the apples and chop coarsely. Add the fruit to a large saucepan, add the sugar and water and cook over medium heat until the fruit softens (10-15 minutes). Toward the end of the cooking, combine the cornflour or arrow root with a little water to make a paste, then stir this into the fruit to thicken.
- Combine the flour and cold butter, rub together with the palm of your hands to form a coarse mixture. Add the brown sugar and white sugar to finish the crumble.
- Add the fruit mixture to the prepared pastry, sprinkle the crumb on top and bake for 20-30 minutes until the pastry is cooked through.
- If you are using dried quandong fruit, you will need to re-hydrate the fruit according to the instructions on the package.