There are different types of guavas that grow globally but this recipe speaks to the one variety I am able to find locally which is from Mexico. These are slightly round in shape, on the small side (about the size of a ping pong ball), have a light yellow skin and a white flesh inside. If anyone in NYC comes across a larger variety with a pink flesh, please get in touch. This recipe creates a half a cup of jelly. It is based on ratios, so the amounts that I’m working with can easily be adjusted to your needs. Also, as you are learning the process it is best to work with smaller amounts and work your way up.
Jelly basically cooks like a type of candy, so its definitely helps to purchase a candy thermometer for exact accuracy. However, you can have lots of fun using traditional jelly testing methods.
- 12 small Mexican guavas
- 1 cups granulated white sugar
- 1 lime
- canning jar
- cheesecloth or fine mesh strainer
- candy thermometer (desired but not necessary)
- Place canning jar submerged in cold water and heat to boiling point for 10 minutes. Turn off heat and leave jars in water until jelly is ready.
- Thoroughly wash guavas and remove any stickers. Cut guavas into quarters, there is no need to core them. It’s okay if a few guavas are not fully ripe.
- Place guava quarters in medium sauce pan along with 2 slices of lime. Set aside the remaining lime. Fill with water just enough so all the fruit is covered. Bring to a medium boil and cook until the flesh breaks apart releasing all of the seeds and the peels separate and become tender. Should be about 45 minutes, stirring occasionally.
- Using a fine mesh strainer or cheesecloth, strain cooked guava mixture over a bowl to reserve the juice. Agitate it gently but do not squeeze or press too hard or else the extremely unforgiving seeds may fall through. To accidentally bite into one of these is one time too many.
- You should have about 1 cups of juice after straining. Transfer guava juice to small a sauce pan. Stir in sugar until dissolved. Squeeze in juice of remaining lime. If doubling the recipe, here is where there is some flexibility. It all depends on the amount of juice you can extract. The ratio is 1 cup of guava juice to 1 cup sugar and the juice of one lime.
- Bring juice to a medium boil stirring frequently until temperature reaches 220 degrees. It’s important not to overheat otherwise sugar will convert to soft ball stage of cooking and you will end up making gumdrops. If you don’t have a thermometer, continue reading.Every time I make jelly this ends up taking about 30 minutes to get a nice, firm jelly. As the juice thickens you will start feeling resistance as you stir and it will slowly be converting from a syrup to a jelly. You will notice a distinct “jelly smell” that is indescribable. Without a thermometer, you can test the readiness in a number of ways. After storing a plate in your freezer, drop a little jelly on the cold plate to let it cool for a little while. When tilting the plate the jelly should not be too runny. Another method is to scoop some jelly on a cold spoon. Let it cool for a few minutes and when the spoon is tilted upright, some jelly should coat the spoon rather than fall off.
Keep in mind that people sometimes have different personal tastes in how they prefer their jelly texture. The timing could be about 20 to 25 minutes if you want your jelly more soft and syrup-like.
- While still warm, pour jelly into a sterilized sealable jar and let cool to room temperature. Store jelly in refrigerator.
Yield: 1/2 cup