You know, the main ingredients may be egg whites and ground pistachios, but the highlight has to be those dazzling little berries from the blue flax lily – or dianella caerulea.
It’s an Aussie native I started taking more notice of when I saw it flowering on Mount Tomaree up the coast at Port Stephens. When it isn’t flowering or in fruit, the plant is nothing more than a clump of strappy green foliage. A bit on the boring side, really.
Most of us living in the eastern states of Australia and Tasmania are probably so used to seeing it growing in parks and on traffic islands that we don’t even notice it. The fact that the berries, flowers and rhizomes are edible are reason enough for me to take advantage of the very short fruiting season.
Much like lilly pillies and riberries, they don’t have a great deal of flavour – very slight sweetness and tiny seeds that have a soft crunch like poppyseed or teff.
As for the cake itself, I’ve put together a flourless concoction that’s quite tall when it goes into the oven, but deflates into a moist and light tea cake that won’t sit like a lump in the stomach when dessert time arises.
Ideally I would have used yellow peaches as I prefer their flavour, but all I could get at this point in time was white. Ground almonds would be a good substitute if pistachio isn’t to your palate, as well.