This latest blog post is dedicated to one of my new friends here in New Zealand – thank you Rayana for the Feijoas!
It was only last week that I was introduced to this delicious fruit which is part of the Myrtle family. Of course, I have heard about Feijoas before, but don’t think I’ve ever actually tasted them…
Quite a common garden (and production) fruit in New Zealand, the plant is native to Brazil. It is also quite popular in Azerbaijan, which to me is of significance because my new New Zealand friend who gave me the shopping bag full of these green fruit, was born in Azerbaijan – so the Acca sellowiana will forever be “Rayana’s Fruit” to me 🙂
Known also as guavasteen or pineapple guava, I love the tropical, almost floral taste and even the texture – the gelatinous seed pulp in the center surrounded by a thin layer of slightly gritty flesh just under the green skin.
For those of my friends in South Africa, don’t despair – these fruits are apparently quite readily available there too!
They grow in warm temperate to subtropical regions and are frost tolerant. They also don’t mind a bit of drought and a bit of shade, although fruiting may be affected.
It is quite a culinary treasure – the fruit eaten fresh, made into juice, jams, as part of stewed fruit compotes, flavouring liquors and added to ice creams and yoghurts, or even worked into baked goods! The gorgeous flowers are also edible and can be added as an edible garnish or into salads and fruit dishes.
Feijoa pulp is also used in natural cosmetics as an exfoliant!
With most of the feijoas in my gifted bag being ripe already I knew I had to find a way to preserve the taste before the fruit started going off. What came to mind, as I love making both these things, were muffins and jam. So here follows the recipes for Feijoa muffins and Feijoa jam. Enjoy!
- 500g feijoa fruit, weighed after peeling, chopped (slightly underripe works better for setting)
- 500g sugar
- 1/2 cup of water
- Simmer the feijoa fruit in the water in a medium saucepan until soft
- Mash the fruit into the water with a potato masher
- Add the sugar to the saucepan and bring back to the boil
- Boil quickly for a few minutes (stir and check that you don’t burn the sugar) until the jam slightly sets when cooled
- Pour into sterilized jars and seal (re-use some old cleaned glass jars, do your bit for recycling!)
If you’ve not made jam before, read here: How to test setting point
- 2 cups flour
- 1 cup feijoa fruit, peeled and chopped
- 3/4 cup sugar
- 2 tsp baking powder
- 1 tsp baking soda
- pinch salt
- 75g butter, melted and cooled
- 2 eggs
- 1/4 cup juice (I used mango and orange, but I’m sure using a feijoa juice could only enhance the superb feijoa flavour!)
- Mix the dry ingredients together in a mixing bowl (flour, baking powder, baking soda, sugar and salt)
- Mix the wet ingredients together in a seperate mixing bowl (butter, eggs, juice and chopped feijoa fruit)
- Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and work through until just mixed, don’t overwork the batter.
- Spoon into muffin tins and bake in a preheated oven at 180C for about 20mins.
Once your muffins have cooled, spread some butter and feijoa jam and enjoy – it really is delicious!