TASTE THE GENUINE DIFFERENCE
There is something special about the Southern Forests region of WA. The rich soil, pristine forest environment and cool climate shelters the area from pests and diseases and a strong community with long family histories in the area provides incomparable local knowledge.
The Southern Forests supplies nearly 60% of Western Australia's apple production and is the home of the Pink Lady and Bravo varieties. The Pink Lady apple was bred in Manjimup and is now grown and distributed throughout the world.
The region’s climate and environmental influences allows Southern Forests producers to grow crops during the warmer summer months, advantageously contra-seasonal to many other food producing regions.
In response to consumer demand for sustainable packaging, Genuinely Southern Forests has introduced a fibre eco-friendly punnet for its recently launched Genuinely Southern Forests apple pre-pack range. The apple prepacks have been developed in collaboration with the Food Council’s Perth market floor partner, Mercer Mooney, and are available through participating independents and IGA stores.
Many of the region's producers have been farming in the area over three generations or more and have a wealth of knowledge and experience in growing the sweetest and crunchiest apples.
MEET THE GROWER
In 1906 two brothers Archimede (Archie) and Germano (Jack) Fontanini arrived in Manjimup from Garfagnana in Tuscany. They bought neighbouring properties on Seven Day Road. Archie built the now famous Fonty’s Pool whilst Jack began Merrylands, a prosperous orchard and nursery.
Tony Fontanini, third generation Southern Forests producer
Now in 2014 Merrylands is known as Fontanini Fruit and Nuts and is run by third generation farmer Tony with his son Shaun and daughter Kirsty. The farm has diversified from mainly apples to include avocados, sweet persimmons (fuyu fruit), feijoas, chestnuts, walnuts, hazelnuts and macadamia nuts.
During the months of April and June the farm is open to the public to pick and purchase their own fruit and nuts straight from the trees. There is also a great undercover barbecue area where you can roast some chestnuts, or enjoy a picnic lunch.
Fontanini Fruit and Nuts have a commercial packing shed with facilities to pack for both domestic and export markets
When you buy apples with the Genuinely Southern Forests logo, you can be confident you are purchasing a genuinely local product from the down-to-earth locals and their families.
TASTE THE SOUTHERN FORESTS FROM HOME
For the sweetest and crunchiest fruit, keep apples cool until you are ready to eat them, preferably in the fridge.
Apple bake with cinnamon struesel topping
1.5kg peeled (or unpeeled for something different) granny smith apples, cut into 1cm cubes
150g white sugar
30g custard powder
1tbsp lemon juice
½ tsp Sea salt
150g rolled oats
1tsp cinnamon powder
150g almond meal
150g butter, room temp
1 pastured egg yolk
Place all struesel ingredients into the bowl of an electric mixer with the paddle attachment fitted.
Pulse the mixer until the mixture just comes together and stop, it should look like coarse bread crumbs.
Place in the fridge and set aside until ready.
In a small bowl, whisk together 100g of sugar, custard powder, and sea salt and set aside.
Place large pot on medium heat, add apple, remaining 50g of sugar and stir slowly, turning and moving the apple. Once apple has begun to soften (approximately 5 minutes) set aside to cool.
Once the apple mix has cooled (approximately 30 min), add ingredients from step 1 and stir to combine.
Place apple mix into sufficiently sized oven dish, cover with streusel topping and place in a 165c fan forced oven (175c if not fan assisted) and bake for 45 min or until topping is golden brown.
Let the dish sit for at least ten minutes before serving, slathered in cream, vanilla ice cream or both.