Christmas at home isn’t complete without these blush red bites and the intoxicating fragrance of guavas! All those hours stirring viscous, bubbling molten fruit pulp and sugar culminate into this simple and festive pâte de fruit or guava cheese as most of us know it. This one is made almost all natural without any artificial additives such as pectin or acids, except the food dye which simply adds that special holiday essence to it!
PREPARATION TIME: 3 hours, excluding setting time
- 3 cups guava pulp, freshly made (approx.6 medium guavas)
- 3 cups caster sugar, plus extra for dusting
- 1/2 teaspoon lime juice
- 1-2 drops red food dye*(optional if using pink fleshed guavas)
- 1 tablespoon clarified butter, plus extra to grease the tin
You will also need: An 8X8″ baking tin
Grease the baking tin, line with parchment paper and set aside for later.
Place the guavas into a large saucepan and fill the pan with just enough water to cover the fruit. Bring to a boil for about 20 minutes or until the guavas are cooked all the way through when checked with a skewer.
Drain the water out and peel the guavas once cooled. Cut each one in half and scoop out the seeds into a sieve to squeeze out the remaining pulp. Discard the seeds and transfer all the fruit pulp along with the flesh into a blender.
Blend for a few minutes until smooth and transfer the pulp into a large non-stick saucepan. On a low heat, add the caster sugar to the pan and stir through with a sturdy spatula or wooden spoon.
Increase to a medium heat and continue to stir gently until the pulp starts to achieve a thick consistency. This process could take about 40 minutes. Once you start to feel the mixture starting to achieve a jam like consistency, add in the lime juice.
Continue to stir the mixture as it reduces. Once it starts to bubble vigorously, add in the drops of food dye while stirring such that it evenly distributes the colour.
Stir vigorously at this point for a good while until the jam starts to leave the sides of the saucepan. Add in the clarified butter and continue to stir, this should help the jam become less tacky in texture.
To test if your mixture is ready, drop a small blob into a bowl of water and check if it is pliable enough to make a ball. If not, continue to stir vigorously!
Once the mixture is ready, quickly pour it out into the previously greased baking tin. Tap it onto the kitchen counter to remove any air bubbles and even out the surface.
Leave to set in a cool place for a few hours, preferably overnight. Once set, place the entire slab onto a worktop surface and slice evenly into squares.
You could alternatively go the extra mile and toss them in sugar if you prefer! That’s all there is to it, a fairly simple yet tedious process but worth every bite in the end!
Make sure than the pulp is completely free of seeds or any grainy lumps of fruit before you start the cooking process.
While stirring, be consistent! You don’t want the mixture to stick to the bottom of the pan and start to burn.
Use a sturdy long-handled spatula/wooden spoon to avoid sugar burns while stirring, as the mixture starts to bubble once it attains a jam like consistency.
If you give this recipe a go, I’d love to see how it turned out. Leave a comment below and share your pictures on Instagram using the tag #thecookbooklife!
Happy holidays everyone!