Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Flooded with Feijoas: Feijoa Paste

When you are one of the lucky people with access to a feijoa tree, then for a month or two every year, you will be wondering what to do with your bounty. First you will eat some these fragrant fruit as is, then you will start to give some away, or freeze some for later, but eventually, you may find yourself faced with a problem: your freezer is full, your friends don't want any as they have too many of their own, and you are at a loss as to what to do with them all. There is a book and an entire website dedicated to feijoa recipes, and news media and magazines (not to mention bloggers and celebrity chefs) will publish ideas for feijoas every year.

A fraction of the fruit I collected recently.

I couldn't be bothered with recipes that use only 3 or 4, or even 8 or 10 feijoas. I needed the fruit to be used up in bulk, preferably in a way that I can easily share (a cake or pie is better than a crumble or ice cream), or something that can be kept without refrigeration!

The traditional way of preserving fruit is of course to make jam. But after burning a big pot of it and running out of glass jars, I wanted something different, something less fragile that I could mail to friends overseas. I remembered the success I'd had making quince paste some years back, and decided to give it a go with feijoa too.

Most of the recipes I found either included apples or liquid glucose (which I didn't have), or took more effort than I wanted to put in, so I just did things my own way.

Basically, I tried to speed up the process by not adding water to the feijoa flesh. It came with plenty of juice and I figured it would take less time to reduce it down that way. After cooking for around 40 minutes, I blended the lumps and didn't bother sieving the pulp before adding sugar.

Feijoa flesh cooking in its own juice.

Apparently, you need 300g sugar per 500g fruit. I prefer things less sweet, so I used less sugar, probably only 600-700g for my original 2kg of scooped out feijoa innards. Then I cooked it again for around an hour, till it went thick and orangey in colour, and poured it into a tin lined with baking paper. The feijoa paste set firmly as it cooled, and it was difficult to smooth it out on top.

A slice of feijoa paste.

I think the end result was even better than quince paste, with a beautiful, aromatic, even floral, flavour. Some people might not like the gritty texture that the seeds gave, but I enjoyed the occasional contrast. Theoretically, it wouldn't keep as long due to the lower sugar content, but my paste has survived being kept in a plastic container for a month at room temperature now. And it is still very sweet, so best enjoyed with cheese and crackers!

Feijoa paste is great with cheese and crackers!

This post is part of Our Growing Edge, a monthly blogging event aimed at inspiring us to try new things. This month, it is hosted by Jordan and Cindy from My Daughter and I.


  1. That is a fantastic idea for all those feijoas! Well done for trying something new! I'm going to see if my friends still have feijoas they're trying to get rid of..

    1. Yeah, it's definitely getting to the end of the season now. It doesn't seem worth the trouble when you don't have many feijoas, but often you can find more of the fruit if you look a bit harder.


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