Make your own – guava preserve | Eco Lifestyle 1


Jam and preserve have the power to trigger involuntary memory to recall childhood moments. The great combination of fruit, sugar and pectin will always be summer mornings, waking up to the smell of  fresh bread baked by my mom, mixed to fresh coffee for a glorious breakfast before hitting the beach for the day. I associate fruit preserve to winter too; jam tarts cooling where minutes seemed like hours, when my siblings and I waited in anticipation for the goodness to cool down before we could taste some (P.S. I never waited long enough). When my parents moved to their new place, we all discovered that on a corner of the garden stood tall a guava tree. The tree grows naturally; without the use of pesticides, we prune it, year in and year out. The tree thanks us by bearing an abundant amount of fruit. The first few years we ate lots of guava; we quickly reached full capacity though ( and so did our neighbours, our friends, colleagues and everyone with whom we shared our annual harvest)  and felt the need to find a new life for the beautiful citrus fruit.

Our guava tree ©David Peter Harris

Our guava tree ©David Peter Harris

One day, Nonna dropped by with a few bags and filled them up with guavas and off she went without saying much; the next day, we had preserve. Since then, every winter we make our own guava preserve and store it away for summer days. Besides enjoying the cooking process, I love the idea of taking advantage of what is in season for the following months, it makes me feel respectful of what Nature gives us.

Some perfectly round guavas © David Peter Harris

Some perfectly round guavas © David Peter Harris

For this post, I asked my lovely partner in crime David to help me out with photos, so that I could show how easy it is to make preserve with the fruit of your choice. Thanks Dave! The recipe

Ingredient checklist ©David Peter Harris

Ingredient checklist ©David Peter Harris

The recipe comes from Nonna – most recipes I found on the internet call for an equal amount of fruit and sugar, while Nonna puts a little less sugar and it tastes just perfect. Since we mention it, I would like to say that my body cringed a bit when I saw the needed sugar quantity. However, sugar does not only give preserve its lovely consistency, but it prevents spoilage, even after the jar is open. Remember that home-made preserves will never taste as sweet as the mass produced ones; also, you can choose what sugar to use. Without further ado: 1kg guavas (peeled, chopped and after the seeds have been removed) 650 gr sugar (I used organic brown sugar) 1 lemon 1 medium apple or 2 small ones If you have more than 1 kg, you can adjust the sugar/lemon/apple quantity. Follow the 8 steps to delicious guava preserve. And so we begin

I love peeling the guavas  ©David Peter Harris

I love peeling the guavas  ©David Peter Harris

1) This is a fun task: peel your guavas.

Carefully remove all the seeds ©David Peter Harris

Carefully remove all the seeds ©David Peter Harris

2) Removing the seeds is quite a crucial (and a bit tedious) part of guava preserve making.  Try remove all the seeds because once they are cooked they become hard and, therefore, a real danger for your teeth. I throw the seeds away since I don’t have a good strainer. If you strain the pips, put the pulp you get in a little pan and cook it for 10 minutes, then add it to the chunks. Weight it up! 

Weight it up! ©David Peter Harris

Weight it up! ©David Peter Harris

3) Put the fruit on a scale. I was lucky because I got 1 kg on the dot (it never happens!). You can definitely spot some seeds on the chopped guavas, and that’s ok, it’s home-made! Dave left the house for the next two steps, so the visual is missing but my description is painstaking. 4)Pour the chopped fruit in a pot, with the apple cut into pieces and the juice of one lemon, on the stove. I use a heat diffuser, which spreads the fire so that the pot receives equal heat.  Cook it for 30 minutes, until the fruit starts bubbling up. before adding the sugar. Put a lid on the pot and stir every 15 minutes or so for a few hours until….   When are we done?  

Rule of thumb for jam making  ©David Peter Harris

Rule of thumb for preserve making is to wait until the jam sticks a little to the teaspoon ©David Peter Harris

6) Cook it for roughly five hours; the golden rule is to cook it until the preserve sticks a little to the teaspoon. 7) Let the delicious concoction cool down for a few hours; in the meantime you can wash your jars (I used three jars for 1 kg of preserve); I wash them in hot water and soap, rinse them, then I dry them in the oven for about 5 minutes. I personally love decanting the fresh preserve in glass jars, and I find it difficult not to eat in between jar filling, right off the stove!

Decanting home-made preserve is my personal favourite ©David Peter Harris

8) Before closing your jars, spread some sugar or a drop of liqueur, that fights water condensation on the surface – water condensation would allow mould to grow.

Guava-Sugaring

Remember to spread some sugar or liqueur before closing your jar, to fight water condensation ©David Peter Harris

I never manage to keep my preserve until summer, unless I hide them in my pantry ; when I make preserve, it becomes the main ingredient of my breakfast. Since the end of the guava season is nearing, I urge you all to spend the coming weekend cooking up a delicious guava storm!If you do, remember to send us pictures of your beautifully delicious jars.


Clotilde Angelucci

About Clotilde Angelucci

Clotilde a.k.a Clo is an international researcher, teacher, editor, meditator and freelance explorer, who lives by Roald Dahl's Big Friendly Giant (BFG) motto "Let your love out!". Oneness Blessing Giver and an all round Bookworm, she strives to make a difference wherever she goes. Clotilde is now following her passion for the Planet and its People by raising awareness and spreading the knowledge on how to be good and do good in our sustainable world.


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One thought on “Make your own – guava preserve | Eco Lifestyle

  • Reply
    Sonja

    I happened on your blog by accident looking for ways to preserve in season fruits of the moment, on my journey to sustainable and organic life – and love it. Thank you Clotilde for sharing your knowledge.