United States Edition

Feijoa: Preserving - 175 litres down to 35 litres.

Saturday, 14 May 11 14°C / 57°F

  • 25
  • Very Happy

175 litres dry volume down to 35 litres of sweet goodness!

We have a friend with a large tree, an extremely productive tree in fact, no appetite for the fruit, and a generous nature. All these are positive attributes in our book because we are the beneficiaries of the copious quantities that arrive by the bag load (and they say supermarket bags are a single use product?)
We’ve passed many of them onto others, feasted on them, converted the unenlightened ;-) but still have way too many than can be reasonably used before the gray fuzzies attack them.

Each Christmas DW makes brandied fruit salad, both for our use and as presents (Ssssh, don’t tell the food police, we wear ‘the gloves’ when we make them and use tongs to do everything! Fair dinkum and no word of a lie, would I fib about something so important?!) This Christmas Feijoas will feature predominately in the brandied fruit salads ingredient list.

Anyway 5 off, 35 litre tubs of Feijoas have been scooped (not peeled) and plonked into jars full of syrup. When you have so many then expediency is the yard stick, we could have squeezed a few more in (I’ll carry the scars from that suggestion) but the job is done and they’ve all sealed, albeit some were reluctant with the fine seeds that float around. The liquid showing at the bottom of the jar is testament to the seal.

These were done in a medium syrup, next time we’ll go for a heavier, and darker one – stuff the white sugar, dark brown is best.

Preserving in Syrup

Brandied Fruit Salad

Makes 2 off 200gram Coffee Jars (Moccona)

Ingredients 4X Jars 8X Jars
425g can peaches or two fruits or feijoas 800g 2 large tins
425g can black cherries 800g 2 large tins
450g can pineapple 800g 2 large tins
1 cup sultanas 2 cups 4 cups
1 cup quartered dried apricots 2 cups 4 cups
½ cup dark brown sugar 1 cup 2 cups
¾ cup brandy 1½ cups 3 cups
½ cup toasted almonds (optional) - -

Like any recipe, substitute to taste, availability etc.

Drain peaches, cherries and pineapple. Mix the syrup with dried fruit and sugar. Boil. Cook gently till syrup thickens (doesn’t thicken much). Cool. Stir in brandy. Spoon fruit into jars then pour over brandy mixture. Leave at least three weeks in refrigerator before use (longer is better, much better!)
Store in refrigerator, where it will keep for 12 months easily – (those who don’t like Brandied Fruit Salad have relayed that information ;-). It may pay to keep a secret stash at the back of the fridge for those with no willpower!


  • The tree, with DW for scale purposes :-)
  • The Feijoas flesh, scooped out with a tea spoon.
  • Spooned into the bottles (syrup is in the empties).
  • The finished product.
  • The discards – chooks and compost heap.


This entry is about

Day 10726

Feijoa (Feijoa sellowiana)

Feijoa sellowiana


Washing them in the sink

Pantry garden

Bottled feijoas on display


  • Pink_Lady

    Pink_Lady wrote:

    Nice friend you have there :)

    Posted on 15 May 11 (almost 4 years ago)

  • ves

    ves wrote:

    Your preserving jars look a lot easier to clean than our “Ball” jars. Ours have wide shoulders and if you use them for messy things like, oh, sourdough starter, or soaking oatmeal overnight, it is very hard to get them clean again.

    Looks like a lot of work, but it must be worth it. What do they taste like?

    Posted on 15 May 11 (almost 4 years ago)

  • graibeard

    graibeard wrote:

    @Pink_Lady, an excellent friend, who we must pass more produce onto!

    @ves, They are the best of the bunch and the most popular I’d say. The range has been pruned right down over the years but these remain, easy to clean and the hand can get right down in them for packing purposes.
    The smaller 20’s & 27’s have those shoulders you mention, and also a 3" neck. DW refused to use those smaller necks and had wanted to get rid of them for ages but I’ve resisted (they are up in the roof :-) . It turns out they are good sauce bottles so they are back to being loved again.

    It is worth it and we opted for speed in the process so it wasn’t a drag. They are in the words of DW (sitting behind me) – Yum! :-)
    They are sweet, but can be a bit tart when unripe. They are just ripe when they fall off the tree (thus the net in the photo) and continue to ripen quickly from then on. They’ve been described as having an unusual, perfumed, musky odour, the flesh is pear like in texture with sharp gooseberry flavour overtones. (that’s from the book noted in the text above.) I don’t know about the gooseberry flavour but the flesh is certainly pear like, and they are strongly perfumed, some people don’t like them because of that, to me it’s a plus.
    The common name is Pineapple guava and they do have that type of sweetness, not an exact match but close enough!

    Posted on 15 May 11 (almost 4 years ago)

  • GrowMonkey

    GrowMonkey wrote:

    Lovely post. Your plants are so intriguing and exciting, it makes me want to live just a BIT further south so I could try them out myself. :-)

    Posted on 15 May 11 (almost 4 years ago)

  • cristina

    cristina wrote:

    Congrats on the “35 litres of sweet (misterious) goodness”! It seems so exotic from up here! I’d really like to have a taste ;-)

    Posted on 15 May 11 (almost 4 years ago)

  • Bernieh

    Bernieh wrote:

    Fantastic effort! I love the idea of brandied fruit salad as Christmas gifts. Having never seen nor tasted Feijoas, they do sound kind of interesting.

    Posted on 15 May 11 (almost 4 years ago)

  • TeresaGreen

    TeresaGreen wrote:

    Wow – what an impressive feijoa tree – I’m never quite sure whether i like feijoa’s – I always need another one just to check and see – and before I know it I’ve consumed a huge bowl full of them

    Posted on 15 May 11 (almost 4 years ago)

  • flowerweaver

    flowerweaver wrote:

    That’s quite the haul! So wonderful that you’ve managed to preserve most of them. I just love those Vacola jars.

    Posted on 15 May 11 (almost 4 years ago)

  • seeingreen

    seeingreen wrote:

    What a harvest and some serious preserving for winter – making my mouth water! First prickles making them into leather/strap and now you, really sparking my interest in these fruits – I’d love to sample some but I wonder if they would tolerate our climate here in UK – not heard of any growing hereabouts. Hmm – a bit of research needed on my part.

    Posted on 16 May 11 (almost 4 years ago)

  • hops

    hops wrote:

    Wow – that is one huge feijoa tree graibeard! If you’re still looking for preserving ideas they make great chutney and relish and also delicious muffins. Just let me know if you want any recipes. (I’ve just eaten three delicious feijoas as I sit here typing this – yum!)

    Posted on 16 May 11 (almost 4 years ago)

  • kristiecav

    kristiecav wrote:

    I’m working in a garden that has a feijoa of similar size that has just started to drop it’s fruit. I can’t wait to get there tomorrow and get preserving on the weekend. Up to now i’ve just been eating them but lordy lord there is so many down there now, I can’t wait! shivers of pure pleasure and anticipation!!

    Posted on 17 May 11 (almost 4 years ago)

  • graibeard

    graibeard wrote:

    @GrowMonkey, Thanks, Your part of Texas is a bit too hot then?

    @cristina, Exotic? I thought that was you and yours . :-) A mountain view and berry harvests from the local laneways! These are nice, it’s a shame I couldn’t send some. :-(

    @BernieH – I’ve added the Brandied Fruit Salad recipe to the journal. Adjust to taste and availability, of course. ;-)

    @TeresaGreen, LOL!

    @flowerweaver, you just can’t beat glass when it comes to showing off preserves and these bottles show why. Our walk in pantry is a sight to behold when we’ve been busy preserving and we don’t have the half of what our parents and their ilk had up country.

    @seeingreen, Wikipedia mentions them growing as far north as Scotland so there may be hope for you. pfaf has some more detailed information

    @hops, You’re the first kiwi to respond to this journal. I thought I must have spelt it incorrectly! ;-) Yes, if you have some favourites then by all means share away.

    Posted on 17 May 11 (almost 4 years ago)

  • graibeard

    graibeard wrote:

    @kristiecav, that makes two kiwis!
    I just realized where you’ve both been – eating Feijoas or dreaming of them!

    Happy harvesting, eating, preserving…

    Posted on 17 May 11 (almost 4 years ago)

  • hillbillyhayshed

    hillbillyhayshed wrote:

    Well done.
    It has been a fantastic season for feijoas here in Western Vic too. None have got into the jars or dehydrater though, I’ve been too busy eating them.

    Posted on 17 May 11 (almost 4 years ago)

  • hops

    hops wrote:

    OK, I’ve added some recipes to the Foodies group here

    And this is probably a bit late for you graibeard but I read somewhere a couple of days ago that you can save up all the discarded skins and they make a great jelly – made in the same way as regular fruit jelly. I haven’t tried this yet but I will do next year. You can just pop them in a bag in the freezer until you’ve saved up enough to make a batch.

    Posted on 17 May 11 (almost 4 years ago)

  • Prickles

    Prickles wrote:

    That’ the biggest feijoa tree I’ve seen!

    Top bottling, graibeard. I must try the dark brown sugar in a syrup.

    Posted on 20 May 11 (almost 4 years ago)

  • spidra

    spidra wrote:

    Also the biggest feijoa I’ve yet seen. They tend to be pruned into hedges here. I love the smell of feijoa. And it’s a great thing to grow because it fruits at a time when you’re missing the summer fruits. It sorta gives you a burst of tropical flavor when you are most in withdrawal.

    Great job preserving them!

    Posted on 21 May 11 (almost 4 years ago)

  • graibeard

    graibeard wrote:

    @hops, Thanks for those recipes. It’s good to have a backup plan with Feijoas – they are a bit like Zuchinni and while they don’t ambush you with a huge fruit overnight, they can overwhelm with their suddenness. But we aren’t sick of them yet!
    The jelly sounds like a great use of the skins too.

    @Spidra, Their timing is one of the great things about them, fresh fruit in the ‘off’ season. An added bonus of 30mg of Vitamin C per 100g helps in the cold season too.

    Thanks all,
    Regarding the size of the tree. It is a great specimen, and would have been larger but the neighbours cut the side that hung over their fence off. (The trunk is well to the left of the basketball ring.) Apparently they didn’t know what to do with all the fruit – LOL!

    Posted on 21 May 11 (almost 4 years ago)

  • epiphany

    epiphany wrote:

    Oh wow! So many feijoas! I’m so jealous. You know…I reckon I could find a use for that many fruit. Feijoa juice is divine & freezes well. My mum makes a really nice pudding…sort of like a feijoa fool. And our family are massive fans of feijoa crumble (much nicer than apple crumble,,,lol). As an aside, hubby always said his aunt (or whoever) had a massive feijoa tree as big as her house & I sort of didn’t believe him until I saw your pic. The ones at my parents would probably be around 1 story high…but that one looks lovely indeed!

    Posted on 09 Jul 11 (almost 4 years ago)

  • graibeard

    graibeard wrote:

    We’ve had some as crumble and it is nice. We’ve also been having the bottled mix (feijoas in syrup as per above) in a desert bowl with a generous spoonful of natural yoghurt and that is particularly nice.

    As large as a house. Yep, having seen this one (which had been heavily trimmed on the left side by the neighbours) then it’s certainly a possibility. They are a reasonably robust tree and the branches change their cross section to cope with the weight which helps to explain the ease with which they spread.

    Posted on 10 Jul 11 (almost 4 years ago)

  • halhurst

    halhurst wrote:

    Hope you’re having a great winter. What are your garden plans for Spring?

    Posted on 21 Jul 11 (almost 4 years ago)

  • graibeard

    graibeard wrote:

    @halhurst, I’ll be upping the variety and number of climbing beans this season, but other than that not much will change unless an outside play comes in. The squash (tatume, trombicino) and peppers (joe’s long, jimmy nardello) that I’ll be planting will be fewer in variety, or at the least I’ll be concentrating more on the winners from last year.

    Currently, I’m about to start doing some soil tests and find out just what, or how long, the list of amendments will be in an attempt to shake off some of the persistent problems here. I’m tired of second guessing everything, I need to know the base line.

    I’ll save all that for a future post when I can steal more time, and our broadband account rolls over – it’s maxed out at the moment :-(

    Posted on 22 Jul 11 (almost 4 years ago)

  • halhurst

    halhurst wrote:

    Glad you’re still alive and kicking!

    Posted on 25 Jul 11 (almost 4 years ago)

  • rainymountain

    rainymountain wrote:

    Hi graibeard, As with halhurst, I am glad to hear that you are alive and kicking and I hope you have had a good winter and are beginning to feel Spring in the air. Look forward to hearing about the new season’s garden and the chooks. Cheers

    Posted on 07 Aug 11 (over 3 years ago)

  • graibeard

    graibeard wrote:

    Thanks rainymountain. It’s been a different winter here, quite wet but also mild. Unfortunately I’ve been time poor when it’s come to the gardening activities, there’s been just a bit too much going on. I do sense the Spring though and am looking forward to it. The girls have sensed it already and have started laying again, at least the older ones have, the youngun’s haven’t quite made the connection yet. :-)

    Posted on 07 Aug 11 (over 3 years ago)

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