Posted on August 06 2014
High quality guava jam is not easy to find in stores but very simple to make. Guavas are amazing because they can be consumed as a fruit, candy, snack, or paired with cheese for an appetizer or dessert. I grew up eating a lot of guavas; we had two trees in our back yard in Los Angeles and even more trees in our winter escape to Mexico. Since my family is from Mexico our #1 way to consume guavas is as candy; they are boiled with sugar and molded into a block or rolls and sometimes dusted with granulated sugar outside.
My Colombian friends like to eat the guava blocks with hard white cheese, bocadillo con queso. They also use their sanwichera to make guava and cheese hot sandwiches. It is also very common to see guava and cream cheese pastries in Latin bakeries. My favorite way to enjoy this jam is to spread it on a buttermilk biscuit for breakfast or on a baguette with goat cheese for lunch.
If this same mix was boiled less and left as a very thick guava syrup you would get almíbar de guayaba; a heavenly topping used for shaved ice or raspados (see my post).
This recipe is best if done with fresh guavas although you can use canned or frozen puree as well. My friends and family send guavas to me frozen from their Los Angeles trees; when the guavas are ripe they seem to all be ripe at the exact same time, too many to consume fresh so most people freeze or can the extra. If you don’t know anyone in Los Angeles, use canned guavas or buy them at the farmer markets.
Most guavas consumed in Mexico are white and they end up making a brown candy. In most of South America the guavas are pink and therefore produce a pink candy. In Brazil, guavas grown wild and line the streets of São Paulo. I can walk down the street and find a tree on the main avenue and steal them.
Rinse all of your guavas and cut in half, boil in water until they are soft, remove from heat, allow to cool, remove seeds manually or blend and strain. Bring to a boil again and add sugar. Boil until you have the consistency you desire.
I started this recipe with frozen guavas which means cook time will be different if you are using guavas at room temperature.
- 1 gallon of water
- 12 medium guavas (lemon size)
- 1 cup of sugar (if you have scale use half the weight of guavas, but you can add more or less depending on your desired sweetness)
- Rinse guavas and cut in half, boil water and guavas on medium heat in a large pot until guavas have begun to break apart (about 20 minutes).
- Turn off stove and let cool for a bit until you feel comfortable handling them. Remove seeds with your hands or blend and strain. If you like the idea of having guava chunks in your jam leave some of the flesh whole.
- Throw away the seeds and return everything to the pot and continue to boil until it has desired consistency (about 30 minutes more).
- Remove from heat, allow to cool and put in a jar. Refrigerate and enjoy within 2 weeks. If you want to keep for up to 6 months that will require more work and canning supplies.
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