I know it’s practically December and this may seem like it’s completely out of left field, but, believe it or not — it’s guava season. My Mom’s tree is loaded with them and she’s in a war with the iguanas to snatch them off of the branches before they get to them. Thing is, guava ripens one fruit at a time, and you’ve got to stay on top of it to get any yield — and those damn iguanas apparently like them just as much as we do!
These particular aromatic orbs came from our farmer’s market, not my Mom’s tree — and they were a bargain at $5 for a basket of 5. Mom made some fabulous jam last year with her harvest and we zipped through the jar she gifted us in no time. When I saw these beauties in the market stall, I knew precisely what to do with them.
If you’ve never worked with guava before, you should know they’re full of seeds that are as hard as concrete. You could literally break a crown on one — and since dental work is prohibitively expensive, I recommend dispatching the seeds. This can be accomplished by painstakingly picking them out of the fruit (good luck with that) or quickly zipping the fruit in the blender on low speed to break apart the pulp and loosen the seeds, then pressing the fruit through a mesh strainer. This takes a little time and effort, but you’ll be rewarded with a gorgeous fruit puree.
Then it’s just a few quick steps to your own fresh jam. A little sugar, pectin and heat are all it takes to make this heavenly, perfumed confiture. Because I only had 5 guavas, I didn’t bother with the traditional canning methods — this made just enough for a jar for my Mom and for us. But now that I know how easy it is, I’ll be on the lookout for more fruit — and maybe guava jam will wind up in everyones stocking this Christmas… (but keep it a secret, ok?)
Last year, with my Mom’s jam – I made the most amazing grilled cheese ever — I even instagrammed the photo. I think I’ll have to make it again soon. You’re not going to get this intense flavor and color from store-bought guava jam — and the tangy tartness with its tropical sweet notes is eyes-rolling-back-in-your-head-good! So despite the fact that we’re in full holiday baking mode — you need to make this a priority. Like, now!!!
- 5-6 guava, ripe and fragrant
- 2-3 limes, juiced
- Slice the guavas in half crosswise and use a spoon to scoop out the flesh and seeds. Transfer the guava to a bowl and use a potato masher or the back of a fork to mash the flesh, then transfer to a blender. Add the juice of two limes. Turn the blender on low speed to break up the flesh without pulverizing the seeds, about 20-30 seconds. Set a sieve (not a fine mesh sieve) over a 2 or 4 cup glass measuring cup and pour the guava pulp into the sieve. Use the back of a spoon or a rubber spatula and stir and press the flesh and seeds against the side of the sieve, so that the fruit passes through, but the seeds remain in the sieve. Work on this for about 5 to ten minutes in order to process all the puree.
- Confirm the amount of guava puree that you have by checking the measuring glass. Do this because you'll need half the amount of sugar than you have of the fruit. So if you have 2 cups of puree, you'll use 1 cup of sugar. Transfer the puree to a non-reactive pan. Add the sugar. Add 1 tablespoon of pectin for every cup of fruit you have. 2 cups fruit = 2 tablespoons pectin.
- Heat over medium high heat stirring constantly until mixture comes to a rolling boil. Stir one minute and remove from heat. Transfer to a storage jar. Let cool to room temperature and refrigerate. Spread on toast, serve with a spread of cream cheese on crackers or swirl into yogurt
- This is a fresh jam -- it will keep for up to 2 weeks in the refrigerator.