Guava cheese is like a fudge made with fresh guava and sugar. Also, know as ‘Perad’ in Konkani. Fresh guava is very high in pectin which works wonderfully to make fudge, jams, and jellies naturally. Because it becomes firmer than jelly it is often referred to as cheese rather than fudge or jelly.
Another one of my favorite Christmas sweets is guava cheese. Well, its called cheese but really it’s a fudge. Very similar to making jam but cooked longer until the sugar makes the pectin firm and leathery so it sets into slices.
Honestly, the process of making this sweet is not the most fun for me. Cooking guava would make a lot of splatters which can cause burns. I would wear long sleeves and have a towel on my hand at all times.
Ingredients and substitute
- Guava – use fresh ripe, soft (almost over-ripe) guavas.
- Sugar – use fine-grain white sugar. This will help dissolve easily and maintain a wonderful color.
- Lemon juice – will prevent the sugar from crystalizing when the fudge cools.
- Color – use a few drops of color until you reach the shape you want.
Tips for Success
- The preparation for making guava cheese or fudge requires that you boil the guavas, stew them then extract the pulp before you start the process of cooking it with sugar. This is a very important step so do not skip this.
- When making Christmas sweets with high amounts of sugar it is best to use important to use a wide, heavy-bottom pan to prevent sticking and a long flat wooden spatula or spoon because there usually is lots of bubbling and splattering.
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Indian Guava Cheese – Guava FudgePrint Pin Rate
- Heavy Bottom Wide Saucepan
- Wooden spatula
- Baking Tray 9 x 9
- Sheet Pan
- 4 cup (800 g) Guavas puree from 10 large guavas
- 4 cups (800 g) Sugar
- 2 tbsp Lemon juice
- 1/4 tsp Salt
- 2 tbsp Butter
- 2 drops Red food coloring
- Soften – Clean and wash the guavas. Cut them in half. Place them in a large saucepan and add water just enough to submerge them all. Simmer them in water for about 10 minutes until fork-tender. Cool until warm. Pro tip – Alternatively, you can pressure cook these for 2 to 3 whistles until soft.
- Deseed – Hold each guava half in your hand and scrape some of the rough skin. Use a small spoon to remove the seed. Strain the seeds through a metal strainer using a spoon to push down so you get as much of the pulp and juice as possible.
- Pulp – Pulse the guava pulp in a food processor or mixer until smooth – set aside. Pro tip – You can make this pulp ready up to 2 days ahead and keep it in the fridge.
- Measure – In a heavy-bottom saucepan measure the guava mixture and add the same amount of sugar. Pro tip- 10 guavas should give you about 4 cups of guava pulp which is why this recipe is for 4 cups.
- Prep – Grease/butter a 9 x 9 square pan or sheet pan – set aside for later
- Simmer – In a heavy wide heavy bottom pan, combine the guava mixture, sugar, lemon juice, salt, and sugar. Continue to cook on medium heat stirring constantly. Continue to cook on medium heat until the mixture reduces to less than halfPro tip – It's best to use a wooden flat spatula or spoon with a long handle when stirring this it bubbles and splatters a LOT, especially towards the end
- Thicken – Reduce the heat to medium-low to low-low as necessary/. Stir continuously to prevent the mixture from sticking to the bottom. Now add the color and the butter – continue to stir. The butter adds a nice shine to the mixturePro tip – As the mixture thickens it will start to leave the sides of the pan.
- Doneness test – Take a small bowl of cold water. Drop half a teaspoon of the mixture into the cold water. This mixture should become a softball in the water when you touch it.Pro tip – If not, continue to stir and cook until you reach a softball stage (235 F if using a candy thermometer)
- Pan – Pour the mixture into the prepared/greased baking pan. Spread the mixture with a spatula so it's even – you want at least 1 cm thickness, no less.
- Cool – Allow the guava cheese to cool completely at room temperature until set. This can take 4 to 6 hours (or overnight) depending on the humidity where you live.
- Cut – When ready to cut – flip the pan over a clean kitchen counter – It should easily come out. Grease the blade of your knife with butter and cut it into slices or desired shapes. The butter prevents it from sticking Pro tip – Guava cheese during Christmas is cut into diagonals, squares, or rectangles.
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