Friday, August 3, 2012

Exotic Ingrediants~What is Guava?

So what is a Guava? I am sure many of you have heard of them, and are trying to conjure up memories of where you have! When we lived in Claremont, my friend's mom would always make these delicious desserts with Guava paste in the center, but until recently I never really knew what it was.

"A guava is the sweet fruit of the guava tree, which grows in tropical regions of America and Asia. The genus consists of about 100 small trees and shrubs, with the Psidium guajava species being the most cultivated for food. The fruit can be eaten raw or used to flavor drinks, desserts, and sauces.
The guava is believed to have originated in an area extending from southern Mexico into Central America. Since 1526, it has been common throughout all warm areas of tropical America, the West Indies, the Bahamas, and Bermuda. It was introduced to Florida in 1847 and was brought from there to the East Indies and Guam. It is likely that it spread from those regions to Asia and Africa. It was introduced to Hawaii in the early 19th century and is now common throughout the Pacific islands.
The plant is evergreen, in the form of either shallow-rooted shrubs or trees up to 33 feet (10.05 meters) in height. The tree has a smooth copper-colored bark that flakes off to reveal a green layer underneath and has branches that spread at the top of the tree. The leaves are green and leathery. In addition to fruit, the tree also bears fragrant white flowers with four or five petals."

The guava is rich in vitamins A, B, and C, as well as beta carotene. It can be eaten raw, either out-of-hand or seeded and sliced in desserts or salads, although cooking eliminates the strong smell. The fruit is widely canned and sold for export, as is juice, nectar, and shells, which are stewed and served as a desert in Latin America and Spanish-speaking islands of the West Indies. There are countless recipes for the use of guava in pies, cakes, puddings, jellies, and chutneys, and the fruit may even be dehydrated and powdered to flavor ice cream. 


500g all purpose flour
200g unsalted butter
1 cup milk
1 tbsp baking powder
250g guava paste (for the filling)
1 egg white (beaten, to brush the top)
2 cup crystallized sugar (to coat)
Slice the guava paste into small strips and reserve. Grease two 12×16 inches pan. Pre-heat oven to 350°F.
Mix the dough ingredients, the flour, butter, milk and baking powder. Mix until smooth. Divide the dough in two and reserve one half in a plastic bag. Roll out one half on a floured surface into a rectangle (not to thin). Cut into smaller rectangles (3×2 inches), put a guava paste strip in the center and role up the dough and pinch edge together to seal. Brush the top of the biscuits with the egg white and coat only the top with the crystallized sugar. Bake for 35 to 40 minutes (or until the bottom of the biscuits turn brown). Repeat the process with the other half.


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