A glut of guavas
Guavas are a tropical fruit but grow well in Melbourne, and fruit in winter. They grow on medium size bushes and are a tart fruit about the size of a tom bowler marble. Pineapple guavas are yellow skinned, and cherry and strawberry guavas are dark red skinned. Any guava variety can be substituted in the recipes below and each recipe has been tested.
Ways of using guavas include:
- fresh fruit, and in salads and fruit salads
- juice in a range of exotic cold drinks and cocktails (google for recipes),
- puree in smoothies or with yogurt or with grilled cheese on toast
- jam, jelly, fruit cheese and curd
- pavlova topping
- bread, muffins and cakes (google for recipes)
- South American and Mexican food (google for recipes)
To prepare guavas for use in cooking, it is necessary to remove the hard pips. To do this, chop the guavas into halves, place them in a large saucepan, cover them with water and simmer until the flesh is soft. Add extra water as required.
- For juice, pour the liquid from the saucepan into muslin. Don’t squeeze the muslin. Just let it drip
- For puree, blend the pulp and skins in a food processor on the lowest speed. This will prevent
the seeds breaking. Tip into a strainer and use the back of a wooden spoon or a heavy pestle,
to push the pulp through the strainer.
- For guava jelly, use the juice only.
- For jam, curd or cheese, use the puree.
Pineapple guava jelly
Note that the liquid from the pulp will be a charcoal colour. When the sugar is added it will turn to a clear, golden jelly.
1 kg of yellow guavas
1 and 1/2 cups of white sugar
Juice of a lemon or lime
- Prepare the guavas by cutting them in half, covering with water and simmering them till soft.
- Then drip through a muslin cloth. Do not squeeze the pulp as this will result in cloudiness.
- Place the liquid, the sugar and citrus juice in a saucepan and boil uncovered for 45 minutes or until very syrupy.
- Pour into sterilised jars and cover with cellophane Kleerview squares.
Easy strawberry or cherry guava jam
1 kg of guava puree prepared as above
2 – 3 cups of sugar depending on your preference
Juice of a lemon or lime
- Prepare the puree as above.
- Return the puree to the saucepan and add the sugar and citrus juice.
- Cook over low heat, stirring often for 30 – 40 minutes, until you can see the bottom of the saucepan as you stir the mix. Guavas contain a lot of pectin so you are unlikely to need to add any.
- Pour the jam into sterilised jars and cap with cellophane squares (sold under the name Kleerview in Fowlers Jam Making Kits available at supermarkets). Make sure you dampen the top side of the cellophane and not the underside as the latter will cause the jam to go mouldy. The dampness is intend to stretch the cellophane tight.
Guava curd like any curd can be used on pavlova, between cake layers or as a cake topping or simply spread on bread or scones.
1 cup of puree or juice
2/3 cup white sugar
3 large eggs and 3 egg yolks
60 grams unsalted butter cut into small pieces (at room temperature)
- Whisk the eggs and sugar together in a metal basin then add the citrus juice. Continue to whisk.
- Place the metal bowl over a saucepan of boiling water making sure the bottom of the bowl does not touch the water.
- Whisk until the mix thickens. This will be at 82C.
- Take curd off the heat and set aside until temperature reduces to 60C.
- Then whisk in butter piece by piece.
- Chill in the fridge until ready to use.