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Recipe: Guava butter

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This guava butter recipe makes a tropical-flavored sweet and savory spread you can eat as-is or use to amp up other dishes. Put guava butter on yogurt, milk kefir, oatmeal, toast, grilled meats, or other well-paired dishes. 


We previously wrote an in-depth guide about how to grow guavas in containers in non-tropical climate zones. We’re fruit addicts who love to push our growing zones and have accomplished our mission of being able to pick fresh fruit every month of the year in our 7b growing zone. (Guavas ripen in fall for us.) 

One [good] problem with fruit trees is they produce more and more fruit each year as they mature, eventually leading to more fruit than you can possibly eat fresh all at once. This year, our two potted guava trees have been producing fruit far faster than we can eat fresh. (We grow ‘Ruby Supreme’/’Homestead’ and ‘Peruvian White’.)

That means we’ve had to figure out some good cooked guava recipes made from fresh guava fruit. As much as we love eating fresh guavas, cooked guavas are arguably even more delicious than the raw fruit.

Guavas also have tons of tiny hard seeds inside that some people might find objectionable (we just swallow them). However, cooking then straining the seeds is a good workaround for that problem, too. 

A closer look at the inside of the two guava varieties we grow. As you can see, the inside is filled with lots of small seeds, which are very hard. The area in the very center of a guava fruit actually has the best, most intense flavor.

A closer look at the inside of the two guava varieties we grow. As you can see, the inside is filled with lots of small seeds, which are very hard. The area in the very center of a guava fruit actually has the best, most intense flavor.

 

Ureka! What about guava butter… 

My mom is an avid gardener who somehow manages to grow organic apples in South Carolina. No, this is no easy feat, as we’ve written about in our article Easiest fruit to grow organically in the southeast

She had the [good] problem of too many apples this year and turned her excess fruit into apple butter. Not your standard apple butter mind you, but the best apple butter The Tyrant and I have ever eaten. Not cloyingly sweet; perfect amount of tart, tang, and spice… 

We polished off our quart jar of “mom’s apple butter” within a week of receipt and were left hangry for more. Staring at a large pile of our home-grown guavas, inspiration struck: we should make guava butter! 

We had no idea how it would turn out. We collaborated with mom and drafted a recipe. 

We’re happy to say that our guava butter turned out so well that we felt a duty to share the recipe. If you or someone you love has access to fresh guavas, you have a moral obligation to make this recipe. It’s that good. 

Guava butter: something we'll now get to look forward to making each fall with fresh fruit from our guava trees.

Guava butter: something we’ll now get to look forward to making each fall with fresh fruit from our guava trees.

Imagine all the best flavors from apple or pear butter but with the unique tropical deliciousness of guava fruit. Our baby, Sebastian, adores this guava butter, too. 

Recipe tips:

1. Type of guavas

Common names can cause confusion. Hence Linnaeus and the emergence of scientific names.

In this article, when we say “guava” we’re specifically referring to “common guavas” — scientific name: Psidium guajava. We’re NOT referring to strawberry guavas (Psidium cattleyanum) OR pineapple guavas, aka guavasteen (Feijoa sellowiana). Those are both wonderful fruit species in their own right, but we don’t know how they’d work in this recipe. 

There are quite a few different cultivars of common guava. From our limited experience, they all taste quite similar with only subtle differences. So any common guava fruit you have will work for this recipe. 

Do note that if you want a more red/pink-colored guava butter as seen in our photos, you’ll want to include some red-fruited guavas, such as ‘Ruby Supreme’, aka ‘Homestead’ guavas. 

2. Fresh grated ginger 

We highly recommend using fresh-grated ginger rather than simply using ginger powder. It will just taste better. Promise. And the finely grated ginger will be so soft you won’t even notice the texture. 

Ideally, you can even use your own home-grown baby ginger.  

3. Crockpot versus stovetop pot

One of the things that mom says makes her apple butter (the inspiration for this recipe) so good is she cooks it for a looong time. At least 6 hours on very low heat to create a thick, extremely flavorful butter. 

We did the same with our guava butter recipe and recommend you do, too. The easiest way to safely do a long, slow cook is to use a crockpot (here’s the Crockpot we use) so your guava butter won’t start to stick or burn.

In fact, I was being stubborn at first and started this recipe in a large pot on our stovetop, despite The Tyrant’s warnings. I didn’t feel like getting out our crockpot nor did I think all the ingredients would fit in it. 

Then I went outside to do nighty duck duties. Upon coming back inside, The Tyrant informed me that: 1) the guava butter had begun to stick to the bottom of the pan using “my” method, and 2) she’d moved the guava butter out of “my pot” to “her crockpot.” Well then. 

Of course, she was right. We left the crockpot full of guava butter on low all night while we slept, something we couldn’t have done on a stovetop.

The next morning the house smelled like magic and we sampled our first taste of guava butter on a morning bowl of oatmeal. Magic there, too. 

Ok, long story short: use a crockpot if you can. If you can’t, use a pot on your stovetop during the day (don’t leave it on over night), and be sure to stir your guava butter regularly to make sure it doesn’t start sticking or burning. 

4. Guava seed removal

As mentioned previously, guavas have lots of small, hard seeds. If you value your teeth, you’ll need to remove the seeds from your guavas early on in the cooking process as per the instructions in the recipe card below.

The best tool we’ve found to make the seed removal process easy is a chinois strainer set. The included wooden pestle pushes the pulp through the metal strainer while leaving the seeds behind. 

Straining cooked guava fruit through a chinois strainer is an easy way to remove the small, rock-hard seeds.

Straining cooked guava fruit through a chinois strainer is an easy way to remove the small, rock-hard seeds.

Once strained, put the guava pulp back in the crockpot and cook away!      

Recipe: Guava butter made from fresh guava fruit

guava butter recipe

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Guava butter

Course: Preserves, Sauce, Snack
Keyword: fresh guavas, guava butter
Cook Time: 8 hours

Made from common guavas (Psidium guajava), this is a tropical-tasting sweet and savory fruit butter spread you can eat as-is or use to amp up other dishes. Put guava butter on yogurt, milk kefir, oatmeal, toast, grilled meats, or other well-paired dishes. 

Ingredients

  • 10 pounds fresh guavas
  • 1 lemon juiced and zested (don't use the pith)
  • 4 tbsp fresh grated ginger
  • 1 1/2 cups organic cane sugar
  • 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar  
  • 4 tbsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp cardamom
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt
  • water to start cooking guavas (see recipe instructions below)

Instructions

  1. Chop guavas into chunks, then place in large sauce pan. Pour enough water in to pan to almost cover the fruit. Then turn stove to medium heat and cook guavas for about 15-20 minutes, stirring occasionally. Your aim is to cook the fruit (without scalding it) to allow for easier seed extraction.

  2. Once fruit chunks are soft and cooked, you're ready for seed extraction. If you have an immersion blender, go ahead and blend the guava in the pan now — the seeds are too hard to be blended or broken apart and it will make things easier. If you do NOT have an immersion blender, no problem — just proceed to the next step.

  3. Over a large bowl, pour cooked guava mixture through a chinois strainer. Turn wooden pestle in circular motion around strainer to push pulp through, separating it from seeds (see pictures above recipe card). Compost or discard seeds and pour guava pulp back into sauce pan or crockpot. We strongly recommend using a crockpot for best results!

  4. Add all other ingredients into pan or crockpot and cook on low heat until thickened. This is a simple process if you're using a crockpot since you won't have to worry about the guava butter sticking or burning. If using a crockpot, set to low heat and let cook for 6+ hours. If you're using a sauce pan: 1) you'll want to be careful that the guava butter doesn't start sticking or burning on the bottom of the pan, so check and stir regularly especially the longer you go and the less water is in the guava butter; 2) you'll want to either keep a lid on the pan and cook for 6+ hours or leave uncovered and cook for less time (~2 hours or so).

  5. Once finished, place guava butter in jars and use the safe canning method of your choice. As good as guava butter tastes right after cooking, it tastes even better once it's cooled and sat for a day.

How much guava butter does this recipe make? 

It depends… The final quantity will vary by how much water you add in the beginning and how much you cook down your guava butter. We ended up with about 4 quarts of guava butter, but your final quantity may vary. 

We should also share that we made another batch of guava butter wherein we added in extra apples and pears we had laying around. Guava-apple-pear butter. Unsurprisingly, this turned out to be delicious too, and the guava flavor still came through, although not as pronounced.  

So if you only have a few guavas at your disposal, you could also stretch your supply with apples and pears, which are much easier to come by. 

We hope you love this guava butter recipe and even consider growing some of your own organic guavas in containers like we do! 

KIGI,

Tyrantfarms

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2 Comments

  • Reply
    Jay
    November 28, 2020 at 8:23 pm

    Thank you for this must try recipe!! I didn’t know how best to use my bounty of pink flesh guavas, besides donating .
    Would it be ok to use stevia/ splenda or only sugar will do? Diabetes in the family. Any way to adapt for sugar free , non spoiling results?
    Happy Holidays …….

    • Reply
      Aaron von Frank
      November 28, 2020 at 10:12 pm

      Hi Jay! Sugar is used solely as a flavoring so you should be fine using stevia or a bake-specific splenda. Not sure how much to tell you to add, so maybe just add until you’ve reached the desired sweetness. Please check back and let us know how your sugar-free version of this guava butter turns out, thanks!

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