Wednesday, July 4, 2012

tipsy jam

Feijoa time has rolled around again. Interestingly a whole month past this time last year I was gifted a bucket.

Funny to think that a little fruit I had never heard of before I lived here,  that I have made many batches of jam from, that we have eaten so many many jars of throughout the year, has become a late Autumn tradition of sorts in this house. Last Spring we planted our very own feijoa tree, but it will be many Autumns yet until we see a harvest.

If you have never tried this little green fruit then I can tell you that it looks a little like an avocado on the outside, with flesh not unlike the texture of custard apple, pleasantly fragrant and once cooked a taste and scent reminiscent of pineapple. A Jackie French article describes it as an "ugly sister" type of tree, whose real worth is it's ability to produce fruit even in the toughest season when nothing else is.

I used the same recipe as last time, though I added the marsala right at the end of cooking for a stronger flavour. To one batch I poured in a about a quarter cup of amaretto. A vanilla bean, or half of one to be more frugal, and a few generous dashes of alcohol brings any jam to a whole new level. You can't get further from supermarket jam than that.

I used assorted recycled glass jars from the cupboard, using the simple method I described here.

This batch may be the last of the preserves for the season. I feel both relief and satisfaction when I look at that full pantry shelf. I certainly won't be needing to buy any jam for the foreseeable future.

To think that I used to put jam making up in that unattainable, mystical art type category. But it's really not.

So have you tried this little fruit before?
Have you made any jam lately?
Do you have jam plans?


  1. I envy you your jam making skills. Jam making continue to elude me, so I usually buy from the local growers market.
    Loved your knitting in your last post as well.

  2. I have never heard of frijoa's before, but a quick google search showed me that I can grow them in my area. They aren't very popular in the states, but now I am very curious to try them.

  3. funny little fruits those...we used to have them as jam larder has mandarin marmalade still from last year...strawberry jam from this Summer just gone...enough to see us through.....

  4. very jealous!! I tried making my first jam on the weekend - mandarin - after raiding the tree hanging over the fence at my mums... I was constantly checking and stiring it (*cough, but I um, *cough, was also reading 50 shades of grey,cough*) and it burnt :( I had a couple left so I tried again, and was a good girl and just stirred it constantly so it wouldn't burn. and now, I have mandarin TOFFEE stuck in the glass jar...... back to knitting I think! :) I've never had a fejola. What are they like ?

  5. We had an abundant producing fejoa tree a house we once lived in. Every year it was dripping with fruit. They make the most delicious jam, utterly unique. The petals taste divine like flowery sweet marshmallows, our kids stripped the potted plant we have of flowers last year.

  6. No, I have never tried feijoa but there's no surprise there as I seem to have a fruit phobia and often find myself sticking to apples, mandies, bananas and berries. Your jam looks and sounds lovely. Does the jam stay tipsy or does the alcohol cook out? xx Fi

  7. Jam Plans...include a batch or two of marmalade, using orange and lemon together but I tend to zest it as we don't like the bitterness gernerally associated with maramalde. Then peel thickly so no pith and chop up the flesh. Very lovely on a bit of homemade wholemeal toast with butter....mmmmmmm

    Fancy a jam swap? I've never had fejoas before or even seen them I don't think?

  8. I haven't been lucky enough to try them either, but I shall be keeping my eye out now.

    I felt the same way about jam. It's nice to master these skills that seemed unattainable. I felt the same way about knitting socks and yet now I am up to the heel flap of my first sock! I will let you know how it goes, but so far it is a great feeling. :)

  9. My mother in law has a feihoa tree on her farm and I absolutely LOVE the fruit - have never preserved it though... I love the look of your jam and with the added extras I bet it tastes simply delicious and would be heavenly on some scones fresh from the oven..

    On the jam front at my home I'm thinking up some kind of lemon spread, not butter but more of a sweet jam-y spread using the excess lemons we have in season here at the moment.

    Jodie :)

  10. Learn something new everyday, never heard or seen fejoas before, when I first saw photo's I thought they were avocados. Also love the idea of generous dashes of alcohol added in:) Nx

  11. Excellent timing with your post. I moved into my new house 3 weeks ago and have inherited a beautiful garden, and only today I was asking a friend if she knew what the avocado-esque fruit were on a huge bush out the back. Now I know- feijoas..thank you.

  12. I've never tried feijoa jam before, let alone a tipsy one. I had never thought to put alcohol in jam. I can see how it would alter it quite distinctively.
    I love your granny square blanket in the background. Did you make it?

  13. Feijoas are so common here in NZ, every second household has a few trees. I love them, though my husband doesn't care much for them. I usually have them in a crumble with some ginger pieces, or just scoop them out with a spoon.
    One thing to note though, feijoas are generally not self fertile so you will need more than one to get fruit.

  14. I've never even heard of it. I must have been absent when you posted about it last year. It sounds interesting and I'd sure like to try one sometime...not that I'll likely find one in Montana, but you never know! It wouldn't be as good as fresh picked though, that's for sure.

    We made jam for the first time last year and were super pleased to learn, as you did, that it is in fact quite an attainable craft.

    Good for you!

    It is interesting to note how the years change from one to the next once you're more in tune with seasonal living. We picked sour cherries for jam in early and mid-May last year and they are still not ready yet this year.

  15. After going to Rhonda's workshop a couple of weeks ago I tried my hand at strawberry jam and was very happy with the results. I tried making lilly pilly jelly a couple of months ago but it didn't really jell. I will try again next year. I am thinking I realy need to plant a feijoa tree and find out what all this fuss is about.


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