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Guavas Are in Season. So What Do You Do With Them?


Guavas

The large display of guavas in the supermarket had a heady aroma that filled the entire area. It was sweet and fruity, but there was also a floral note that was entrancing. I just started to grab the first ones I saw. But what was I going to do with them?

I have worked with guava paste in the past, in empanadas among other dishes. But I’ve never used the fresh fruit. So a little research was in order.

“There are a number of guavas in the world, but the common guava — the one most available here — resembles a pale smooth-skinned lemon,” says “Joy of Cooking.” That was the variety in the market, not the green ones with a pink interior that are commonly depicted. “Choose blemish-free fruits, as yellow and soft as you can find, and ripen them at room temperature, out of the sun, or in a closed paper bag. … Ripening time is unpredictable, so check daily and turn the fruits often. When they are ripe, refrigerate in a perforated plastic bag.”

From that point, things get both easier and more complex.”Guavas are simple to serve. Just trim off the blossom end, slice in half either way and eat with a spoon — the seeds of most guavas are edible. For fruit cups and salads, peel with a vegetable peeler and cut in slices,” according to “Joy,” which is largely indispensable in such matters.

Trouble is, the cookbook offered no recipes for guavas.

I did find three simple recipes in my favorite go-to guide for all things fruit, “A Passion for Fruit” by Lorenza De’Medici. They ran a gamut of styles, and I made all three in the course of the evening, just to get that aroma into the kitchen.

Guava Sautéed with Chives was a sweet-savory side dish. Guava Sauce with a lively hit of chili powder went perfectly with a pork chop for dinner. And dessert was a decadent Guava Ice Cream made with heavy cream.

All of the recipes talked about seeding the guava before using, and one website mentioned that there were often anywhere from 112 to 535 per fruit, but no one really said how to do it. I tried picking at a few with a knife tip, but that seemed to take away too much flesh with it. Juicing the fruit would probably work, but the recipes I had didn’t want juice. So, I simply left the seeds in. I do that with raspberries and blackberries. I don’t mind those seeds. I will say that the guava seeds are a little larger and slightly harder, so that really could be a problem for some.

The next day I went back for more. Now that I’ve started,  I can see more ways of using guavas, from salads to tarts. Or, as a friend suggested, you could swirl guava purée into an icy glass of horchata. How do you like to use them?

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Guava Ice Cream Is a Rich Treat


Guava Ice Cream

Guava not only adds flavor to this refreshing ice cream, it also perfumes it with its floral aroma.

Guava Ice Cream

6 guavas, peeled, seeded and diced
2 cups heavy cream
1 cup sugar
2 tablespoons kirsch or raspberry liqueur

Purée the guavas in a blender. Heat the cream (do not let it boil) and dissolve the sugar in it. Allow it to cool, then stir it into the guava purée with the kirsh. Pour the mixture into an ice cream machine and follow the manufacturer’s instructions to freeze. If you do not have a machine, pour the mixture into a suitable container and put it into the freezer for at least 4 hours. After the first 30 minutes, take it out and whisk it to break up the ice crystals, then return to the freezer. Whisk twice more at half-hourly intervals, then leave the ice cream in the freezer to firm up.

Makes about 1 quart.

From “A Passion for Fruit” by Lorenza De’Medici

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Guava Sauce Adds a Sweet-Hot Touch to Pork, Fish


Pork chop with Guava Sauce

This versatile sauce can be used on different kinds of meat or fish that like a touch of sweetness, such as pork loin.

Guava Sauce

2 guavas, peeled, seeded and diced
6 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 teaspoon chili powder

Purée the guavas in a blender. Melt the butter and stir it into the guava pulp with the chili powder. Pour the sauce into a bowl and serve it with ham, pork chops or whitefish.

Makes about 1 cup sauce.

From “A Passion for Fruit” by Lorenza De’Medici

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Guava Sautéed with Chives a Sweet-Savory Side Dish


Guave Sautéed with Chives

This fruit side dish is deliciously different and goes well with pork, chicken and seafood.

Guava Sautéed with Chives

3 guavas, seeded and sliced
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
Salt, to taste
3/4 cup heavy cream
1 tablespoon sweet paprika
2 tablespoons finely chopped chives

Sauté the guava slices in the butter over low heat for a few minutes to warm them through. Add a pinch of salt and the cream, then cook for a couple of minutes, until the sauce thickens slightly. Sprinkle with the paprika, then the chives, and serve immediately. This makes an excellent accompaniment for spicy Mexican dishes.

Makes about 1 cup.

From “A Passion for Fruit” by Lorenza De’Medici

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