At last, I can see the back of my refrigerator. It’s been several weeks of feijoas in salads, feijoas on oatmeal, feijoas on pancakes, feijoas in Dutch babies, feijoas in banana bread, and of course, feijoas in chutney and pickles.
I have no idea what this year’s harvest of feijoas weighed in at, but I can tell you it was a lot. After pecking away at the mountain of fruits in the fridge (where we had to keep them since they don’t store well at room temp), there were only a few handfuls left and I decided to try a new spin on the salty sweet pickles I’d made and loved.
These sweet hot pickled feijoas were my second venture into pickled fruit — unless you count watermelon rind, though pickling crisp, cool watermelon rind is pretty much like pickling cucumber. (And by the way, you’ll find that recipe in The CSA Cookbook, as well as one for watermelon rind kimchi.)
But I digress. The idea of pickled fruit seemed strange until I tried my first small batch using feijoas. The li hing mui-inspired pickles were an unexpected hit in bitter-greens salads, and the leftover brine was delicious in margaritas and sodas.
This time, I tried a more taste bud-tingling brine, one made with cinnamon, clove, ginger, mustard seed, and red pepper. On its own, it’s a fantastic mix of flavors that I want to try with other fruit pickles as well. I think it would go great with peaches, plums, and figs in summer, and I’m curious to try it with cranberries next (but I’ll probably cook the cranberries down a bit before packing them in jars).
There’s a more savory chutney-esque flavor to these pickles, which makes a wonderful pairing with roasted ham, roasted pork, or fried chicken. If you find other uses for them, let me know!
As with my previous pickled feijoas, I left the skins on, so you can save those frustratingly tiny (but firm and unblemished) fruits for this recipe! I also find a mandoline to be indispensable for slicing the ginger thinly and evenly.
Sweet Hot Pickled Feijoas
Makes 2 quarts
1 1/2 cups apple cider vinegar
1 1/2 cups water
1 cup sugar
2 (3-inch) cinnamon sticks, broken in half
1/2 teaspoon mustard seeds
1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
2 1/4 pounds feijoas, trimmed and quartered
2-inch piece fresh ginger, thinly sliced
In a small saucepan over medium-high heat, combine the vinegar, water, and sugar and bring to a simmer. Stir until the sugar is dissolved, then remove the brine from heat.
Divide the cinnamon, cloves, mustard seeds, and red pepper flakes evenly between two jars. Tightly pack the feijoas and ginger into the jars and pour the hot brine over them, leaving about 1/2-inch headspace. Tap the jars to release any trapped air bubbles and adjust the brine as needed. Wipe the rims clean with a towel, seal with lids, and let cool to room temperature.
Transfer the jars to the fridge and allow the flavors to develop for at least one week before serving. The pickles will keep, refrigerated, for about one month.
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