Pineapple Guava Bread with Browned Butter and Macadamias


Pineapple Guava Bread with Browned Butter and Macadamias

Urban Foraging

Cutting pineapple guavas

“Wherever a trickle of water came out of the ground a house sprang up and a family began to grow and multiply. Cuttings of red geraniums and rosebushes were planted in the dooryard.”

East of Eden, John Steinbeck


I’m getting back to my old self again. I’ve been baking. And cooking for fun, not just because we need to eat. I’ve been working on my list of baking and cooking ideas. Lists are one of my most favorite things. My notebook has little drawings on the left hand side of the page to remind me of the idea— the colors, textures, setting and props. The sections for spring and summer are almost empty. It’s been months, early March, since I felt free enough to daydream.

I can tell when I’m easing up, I notice my surroundings. On my morning walk I have seen apples, pears, pomegranates, lemons, oranges, avocados, persimmons and pineapple guavas. All these trees have ripe fruit that has fallen to the ground and gone to waste. The untapped harvest of urban backyards must be staggering.

On the next street over from our home there are just five houses on one city block. I found the pineapple guava trees along the driveway of one of these stately homes. On our morning walk we saw the ripe fruit littering the lawn and driveway. I knew once the gardeners arrived the pineapple guavas would go in the yard waste bin. I went home to get a basket for the guavas and returned to pick up the silvery green fruit. Gathering my courage I rang the doorbell, but no one answered. I filled my basket and returned home. A few days later the two pineapple guava trees had been pruned back into shrubs. Littering the driveway, the fruit had become a nuisance.

Cutting pineapple guavas


Pineapple guavas are not really guavas but part of the Myrtle family that includes cloves, allspice and eucalyptus. Native to South America, the feijoa or pineapple guava is typically made into jam or paste. The exterior of the fruit smells faintly of evergreens when ripe. But the inside of the pineapple guava doesn’t taste or smell anything like evergreen. Cutting open a pineapple guava is quite the sensory revelation. Unique, floral and faintly sweet, the pineapple guava reminds me of apples and not yet ripe pineapples. The closest taste would be a sweet and mild rose water.

Pineapple Guava Bread with Browned Butter and Macadamias

Pineapple guavas have a slightly grainy texture like pears and quince, not a bad thing. Pineapple guavas are ripe when they fall from the tree. When ripe the interior around the seeds is clear. Overripe pineapple guavas are brown inside while underripe ones are white in the center of the fruit. Since finding pineapple guavas in your neighborhood may not be an option they are now in season and can be found at farmers markets, fruit stands and some grocery stores.

With a cup and a half of fruit the pineapple guava flavor plays a staring role in this recipe. Mr. R very much liked the Pineapple Guava Bread with Browned Butter and Macadamias, which was a pleasant surprise as it does not contain—chocolate. I’m fairly certain the combination of browned butter and macadamias added to the sultry tropical appeal of the pineapple guavas. I used half whole grain flour and half cake flour to keep the cake from being dense and heavy. All-purpose flour can easily be substituted for my choice of flours. A melon-baller made scooping the fruit from the interior of the pineapple guavas fast and easy. Puree the ripe fruit in a blender or food processor to make the Pineapple Guava Bread with Browned Butter and Macadamias.

Pineapple Guava Bread with Browned Butter and Macadamias

1/2C unsalted butter, plus more for greasing the pan
1C cake flour
1C white whole wheat flour
1t baking powder
1t baking soda
1/2t fine grain sea salt
1/2C organic cane sugar
2 eggs
1-1/2C pineapple guava puree
1/3C milk
1t vanilla extract
1C macadamia nuts, chopped
  1. Prepare the browned butter by melting the butter in a saucepan or skillet with a light colored or shiny interior on medium heat. At first the butter may sputter for a bit as the milk solids cook. Gently swirl the pan until the milk solids are a warm toasty brown at the bottom of the pan. Remove from heat and cool to room temperature.
  2. Heat the oven 350°. Grease a 9″x5″ loaf pan, set aside.
  3. Into a medium size bowl sift or shake through a large sieve the flours, baking powder, baking soda and salt.
  4. In the bowl of a stand mixer add the cooled browned butter and sugar. Beat for 3-5 minutes until the mixture lightens in color and becomes creamy. Add the eggs, one at a time, mixing throughly after each adding each egg. Add the pineapple guava puree, milk and vanilla and mix to throughly combine. Remove the bowl from the stand mixer and add the dry ingredients. Fold the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients. Do not over-mix. Add the macadamia nuts (reserve a few for the top of the loaf) and fold into the batter.
  5. Pour batter into the prepared loaf pan. Press the reserved macadamia nuts into the top of the batter. Bake for 50-55 minutes. When done, a cake tester will come out cleanly and the bread will have pulled away from the sides of the pan and be a tawny golden brown. Let cool in the pan for 10 minutes. Release the bread from the pan, by running a kitchen knife around the edge of the bread. Then invert the bread onto a cooling rack or breadboard to finish cooling.

Pineapple Guava Bread with Browned Butter and Macadamias

Good News!

My recipe for Pumpkin Bread with Toasted Pecans is a finalist in the #switch2Star recipe contest. I need your vote to win the contest. As an enticement, every day you vote you are entered in a drawing for a gorgeous Kitchenaid 4.5 quart stand mixer. Your support is appreciated!

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32 Responses to Pineapple Guava Bread with Browned Butter and Macadamias

  1. Carol Sacks says:

    Intriguing recipe and such lovely photos, Deb!

  2. Jacquee says:

    I love guava, but had not heard of this type before. What an intriguingly delicious combination!

  3. Deb: I am crazy for both pineapple and guava as well as for most tropical fruits. It is refreshing to see Americans using guava to make treats — since it is not that often. I am looking forward to trying your recipe.

  4. don’t get me started on lists! i have so many lists that my lists have lists!

    now, onto the good stuff …. a> thank you for introducing me to the wonerful world of pineapple guava. i never even knew that was a thing! you’ve done such a good job of describing it though, i definitely need to try it now. this bread looks OVER THE TOP amazing.

    straight up gorgeous.

  5. I know what you mean about starting to notice what’s around you and allowing yourself to daydream and create. I’ve been struggling along over the last few months as well. You have come back with a beauty Deb! Love the photos and styling as always and love how you used the pineapple guava. Just lovely!

    • Deb says:

      Thank you for the gracious comment Beth! It’s been a year of great change for me and I am very happy to pause and enjoy each day again.

  6. valentina says:

    So happy to hear you’re feeling well and baking beautiful things. I can only imagine the delicious scent of this bread that must have filled your house while you baked. I love lists too. I don’t think I’ll ever stop writing them — typing them into a phone just isn’t the same. 😉 xo

    • Deb says:

      Agreed! There is something so rewarding about writing and organizing hand written lists. Using a keyboard can’t even begin to compare. Thank you for the wonderful comment Valentina!

  7. Patty says:

    Beautiful photos Deb! Great to see you posting and love your foraging to make such a unique bread..did you share a slice with the neighbors? Just curious if they knew what they had in their yard!

    • Deb says:

      Thank you Patty! I’m not usually shy about sharing my baking adventures but once the trees were cut back I was in shock and couldn’t bring myself to knock on the door another time….

  8. Gerlinde says:

    Oh Deb, I’m so glad that you’re back to your own self. This is another wonderful post with great pictures. You have educated us all on how to pick the right pineapple guava and what they are. Thanks because I like eating them and I will try making this bread.

  9. Cathy says:

    Fascinating! I have never heard of this fruit and doubt very much if we would ever see it on sale here. We have lots of apple trees on the edge of our village near the public footpath, but most of the fruit is gathered by locals so little goes to waste. I’m sure it’s different in towns and cities though. It’s nice when you find something like your pineapple guavas just going begging! I have had luck finding walnuts before now.

    • Deb says:

      I wish we Americans weren’t so wastful! I’m sure it’s because my parents were so thrify that I notice these things. Foraging walnuts sounds wonderful! Thank you for sharing your thoughts Cathy!

  10. What an unusual bread – pineapple guava sounds like an interesting fruit to use in a bread! Those macadamias on top look so yum!

  11. It’s so great to see this fruit being used! I have a pineapple guava tree, and I love taking photos of the flowers in the spring. It doesn’t produce fruit though. I always assumed our winters are too cold for the tree to set fruit, but I’m not sure. I’d love to taste it some day!

    • Deb says:

      The blossoms are gorgeous! On occasion, I have found the fruit at local fruit stands. The flavor of the pineapple guava is worth seeking out! Thank you for the gracious comment Lisa!

  12. What an interesting combo of flavors, Deb! And a gorgeous, golden loaf 🙂

  13. My neighbor has a pineapple guava tree and just shared some of her fruit with me. I will have to pass this recipe along to her – the brown butter and macadamias are sure to make this a scrumptious bread!

    • Deb says:

      If your neighbor’s pineapple guava tree is as prolific those I found this recipe is a great way to use some of that luscious tropical fruit. Thank you for sharing Laura!

  14. Liren says:

    What a find! Such a shame that the tree was trimmed down, but so glad you were able to make beautiful use of the fruit. It looks like it found perfect partners with the macadamias nuts and brown butter!

  15. Welcome back Deb, to your old self. Life ebbs and flows, and we adjust as best we can. Baking and cooking bring us around again, to our centered selves.
    Over the years I’ve followed your blog, you have introduced me to fruits I’ve never tasted, pineapple guava among them. This bread is a most delicious way to experience this intriguing fruit for the first time. Now, I must find some Pineapple Guavas.

    • Deb says:

      Your support means a lot to me Mary, thank you! My mom’s illness and passing has made this a year of change for me. She would have enjoyed a slice of the Pineapple Guava Bread!

  16. Pineapple Guava and Macadamia combined…mmm I’m sold!

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