Even though we mostly use them for smoothies and smoothie bowls, there's so much more that can be done with our fruit pulps. This recipe is a good example of that: developed for our popup events last Summer, where it was served along with the Pão de Queijo. It can however go well with lots of savoury treats: We have tried with grilled Halloumi and baked Camembert and figure it can be just as well a spread for sandwiches (with meat or veggie fillings) or go on top of a stack of fluffy pancakes... Hmmmmm.
How to use Guava
Guava likely originates from Central America, but was already present in South America when the europeans arrived, most likely through human action. The fruit then traveled even further, and spread around the globe. Today, its biggest producer is India, where it is used in the iconic Guava Lassi and other recipes.
It is a very aromatic fruit, and the guavas grown in Brazil have light yellow to light green skin, with small brown spots once they are ripe. The pulp is soft and light pink with a large number of small seeds. Guava’s taste is mostly sweet, with just a little bit of bitterness.
It has been a staple of Brazilian cuisine for decades. Eaten raw when in season (which is mostly in Brazilian Autumn), it is also used in the warmer months for ice creams and juices. Often, it is also used as the base for thick sauces and spreads that are combined with cheeses.
One of these iconic combinations is called Romeo and Juliet. Just like the star-crossed lovers, the flavor combination in this recipe is a perfect pairing: sweet, tangy guava and salty, soft cheese.
Taking the combination one step further, some people like to add a little bit of 🌶 to the love affair between the Shakespearean couple! And what is a love affair without a bit of spice, right?
Spicy guava jam Ingredients
A small list of ingredients, and it is important to notice - all are totally vegan, and the recipe is gluten free. Which the cheese buns also are (see below)!
For about 150g of jam:
- 2x Tropix Guava (200g)
- 4-5 cloves
- 2 tablespoons sugar
- juice of 1 lemon or lime
- 1 small chilli pepper (or more to taste 🔥🔥🔥)
How to make the spicy Guava jam
Run the Guava pack under warm water for a few seconds. This helps soften the pulp just enough so that it’s a little easier to slip out of its packaging. Mix the contents of the package in pan with the cloves, lemon juice and sugar over medium low heat. Let the mixture thicken and turn the heat off.
While you make the guava jam, wash and dry the pepper(s) well. Cut and discard the stem and cut pepper(s) in half, lengthwise. With the tip of a spoon, scrape and discard the seeds (if you want a hotter sauce, leave the seeds). Tip: to avoid accidents with hot fingers in your eyes, apply oil or olive oil to your hands after cutting the peppers — capsaicin, the substance responsible for burning, is fat-soluble. Then wash your hands with soap to remove the oil.
Add the peppers and guava jam - remove the cloves first! - to a food processor and mix until smooth, adding a bit of water if you need to make it creamier.
Transfer the jam while still hot to a sterilised glass jar, leaving about 2 cm free from the lid. Close the jars with the hot jam to form a vacuum. It keeps for a month when vacuum-sealed in the fridge, and for a week after opened.
As an alternative to the pepper you can also add Sriracha or another pepper sauce to taste.
What about the Cheese buns?
We call them pães de queijo (literally, cheese breads), but did you know that they are actually gluten free? Indeed, the flour that goes into these gooey, cheesy balls of goodness is in fact tapioca, which is technically a starch. You can find loads of recipes online (this is a great one) and they are not that difficult to make!