What to do with Feijoas?
It’s a Feijoa time and I’m not a fan. Maybe it’s a Kiwi thing, perhaps I just didn’t get the right childhood (having grown up in Australia) but I find eating any more than one or two of the fruit in a sitting is going overboard. I don’t get why they are for sale in the shops. Just about everyone I know is in the grip of a Feijoa glut and I’m pretty sure you only have to ask a neighbour if you’d like a couple of bags for free.
I’m no different, we currently have 3 heavily cropping trees on our section with another 3 quickly maturing by our stream. If I take bags of the fruit with me to a social gathering, I usually find someone has beaten me to it. I’ve given up trying to give them away but I can’t bring myself to transfer the bounty directly to the compost. Feijoa cake is a bit of a non event for me. Crumble? Meh. Jam? Yeah-nah. The only thing I had found worth my time to date is to dehydrate them. Dried feijoas are delicious, textural, chewy and complex.
But it takes a lot of dehydrator space and a lot of drying time for a few handfuls of these scrumptious little beauties. I was left thinking “there’s gotta be a better way.”
Enter the Feijoa sorbet, or Feijoa and Ginger to be more precise. This was a step in the right direction and I felt it could have it’s place amidst some kind of composed dessert but as something to scoff in it’s own right, I was still not in love.
Still, it had a good keeping ability so on this singular merit I chose to make another batch. Half way through this process I decided it was an exercise in lunacy and thought I’d see what would happen if I just kept cooking the sorbet mix. And cooking it. And cooking it.
EUREKA! Feijoa Paste.
Feijoa Paste is AMAZING. In fact I’m going to go as far as to say that it trumps Quince paste. It’s sweet yet perfumed and tart, has an incredible slightly gritty texture and is soft and glossy but the fruit holds it’s shape.
Now, I just happened to have a fridge full of great cheese ready for our launch – one of which was an unpasteurised Brie De Meux Rouzaire AOC (hello King of all Bries!). I had to try this with the paste………SHAZZAM! OMG. Win.
So here it is, my Feijoa Paste Recipe
Feijoa Paste (or any other fruit sorbet)
1 kg feijoa fruit scooped from their skins and each half cut in half again
300g caster or granulated white sugar
150g liquid glucose.
Heat everything gently together until the juices run and the sugar dissolves.
For a fruit sorbet, this is all you need to do besides pass the mix through a fine strainer and cool before freezing in an ice cream maker.
Turn up the heat to medium and cook for a long time. Stirring intermittently to make sure the mix doesn’t catch on the bottom. Keep going until you have a thick texture with virtually all of the liquid gone and the colour changed to a deep amber. That’s it. Simple.
p.s I don’t think I put ginger in my second batch but you could. You could also try adding some blanched strips of orange zest or maybe one or two cloves (but you’d have to go fishing for when your paste is done).