Guava in syrup and spice, that’s nice!

Guava season is very short, so I had to hurry up and post this magnificent piece. Yes, I am not being modest this time, because this is simply magnificent and there is no other way to describe it.

Guava in spice syrup freestyle tart:

You will need yellow but firm guavas for this one. Washed and sliced to about 1cm thick slices (watch out for worms!).

Make syrup: take about 1/2 of sugar, put in a non- stick pan, and let it caramelize. Watch carefully and make sure it doesn’t burn. Mix the non-melted (caramelized) sugar into the melted sugar gently, so you won’t get burned caramel mixed with grains of sugar. When all the sugar is melted and has light ember color (or dark, if you prefer but not real dark, cause that’s just bitter). Add about 1/2cup of water to the caramel- and take to steps back- it will sizzle. Mix with a wooden spoon until all the caramel has melted into the water to give a caramel syrup. It doesn’t take as long and it is not as complicated as it sounds…

So, we’ve got caramel syrup, and now we need to add the spice: cinnamon stick, star anise, cardamom and clove is what I normally use, but almost anything goes.  I would recommend to use only 1 cardamom, half a star anise and about 4cm long cinnamon stick to get a delicate flavor and avoid one flavor taking over, but you can, obviously, spice the way you like. Add the spices to the syrup and cook until it thickens a little- to a maple syrup consistency (the real one, not the sugar paste thing..).

Add the sliced guavas to the syrup, cook them, turn over once in a while, until they soften, become golden, and smell like spice. Add water as needed to the syrup- don’t let it caramelize more cause it might burn with the guavas in it. Don’t get too worried about consistency at this point. So, cook the guavas until you are happy with their texture and taste. Take out the guavas and set aside. Continue cooking the syrup until you reach the desired consistency adding to the baked tarts. Note that the syrup thickens when it cools down, but you can reheat and/ or add a little water.

Pastry: simple tart pastry or shortbread. I used 200gr flour, 10gr sugar and 120gr cold butter cut into cubes. All were mixed until I got crumbles (this should be done in a food processor, but I use a mixer, and it can also be done by hand, but you need to make sure you are  softening the butter as least as possible). One egg yolk was added and a little egg white to get the dough do start forming. The dough should be ‘collected’ by hand and put in the fridge, covered in nylon wrap, for 20min or more.

Now, combining: roll out the dough to 20-30mm thick sheet. You can do personal dishes or roll all the dough for one tart. So, roll the dough, put a slice of guava, or arrange all the slices of the guavas in on the dough, arranges, and leave margins. For one tart leave 5cm margins, for personal dishes leave 2-3cm margins, approximately. Fold the margins on the already arranges guava slices and close carefully, and gently.

Bake at 180C until the pastry is golden (I guess around 15, maybe 20min). You can bake ahead and reheat in the oven (only in the oven! otherwise it will become soggy) before serving. Yow can also keep in the fridge unbaked and bake before serving.

Serve with some creme fresh or whipped cream and the syrup with the guava and spice flavors.Now go, get guavas!

Ingredients list, for your convenience:

  • Guavas
  • Syrup: sugar and spice (cardamom, clove, cinnamon stick, star anise)
  • Pastry: Butter, egg yolk, flour, sugar

And, other posts with guavas (by other people, in Hebrew), because guavas are great!

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