Strawberry Gum is an indigenous ingredient - the dried leaf of Eucalyptus olida. You might also find it sold under the names of Olida or Forest Berry Herb. High in anti-oxidants, its culinary use is to enhance the flavour of fruit desserts.
On opening the jar, the aroma really hits you with its intensity - I found initially it had the aroma of passionfruit going into pineapple with a subtle berry back note.
I've decided to use this herb to spice an apple tart as a replacement for the more usual cinnamon. There's a bit of trail and error to decide on just how much strawberry gum is needed - cooking will dampen the flavour so you'll need to almost "overspice" the filling to compensate.
Pasta frolla (half portion)
apples, peeled, cored and diced (I used 3 apples)
raw caster sugar
Prepare the filling:
Place the diced apples into a bowl sprinkle over with a couple of spoon-fulls of caster sugar and a heaped teaspoon of strawberry gum. Toss well to combine and let it sit for a few minutes.
Roll out the dough on baking paper to form a rough circle a bit bigger than the base of an 18cm tart tin. Sprinkle the base with a little almond meal - this will absorb the juices of the apples as they cook. Loosely top with the filling, making sure it is evenly distributed.
Fold the edges of the pastry up around the filling to form the tart. Brush the pastry with a little milk and a generous sprinkle of raw caster sugar.
Bake in a preheated 170°C until golden and the apples are cooked through - this should take around 30 to 40 minutes. If you find the pastry is cooking too quickly, then cover with foil.
This can be served hot, warm or cold and preferably with a good lashing of softly whipped cream.