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Guava Paste is Perfectly Suited for Summer Heat

Meet: Guava Paste

Meet guava paste, shown here with coconut chips.

If you think the words “paste” and “summer” don't belong in the same sentence, you would be correct – with very few exceptions. However, there is a paste perfectly suited for the warm weather we’ll experience before August becomes a distant memory.

What Is It?

Guava paste, also known as goiabada or bocadillo, is a thick preserve of fresh guava and sugar. Traditionally made in large cauldrons set over fire, it is sold commercially – and inexpensively – in virtually every international or Latin market across the country. Don’t waste your time perusing the jam and jelly section: This paste is packaged in magenta-hued bricks or rounds in stores across St. Louis, including Global Foods Market in Kirkwood.

What Do I Do With It?

Similar in density to Turkish delight, guava paste is most often sliced and paired with cheese in one of two ways: either perched atop cubes of cheese as an appetizer, or braided alongside cheese as a pastry. More confection than preserve, guava paste’s potent floral aroma imparts tropical flair in recipes that call for jam or curd: Fill cookies or bars, add swirls to cheesecake or give tarts a base layer. Cubed, it’s a pleasant addition to muffins or quick breads.

This paleta will transport you from poolside to beachside in an instant: Guava paste and fresh pineapple suspended in a toasted-coconut and vanilla-bean-infused cream base is a grown-up twist on the traditional Colombian paletas de coco con bocadillo.

Shannon Weber is a writer, graphic designer and stay-at-home mom who writes the award-winning blog aperiodictableblog.com.

Guava-Pineapple Paletas with Coconut Vanilla-Infused Cream

Serves | 10 |

  • 1 cup unsweetened coconut chips
  • 2/3 cup whole milk
  • ½ cup heavy cream
  • 2 cups unsweetened coconut cream
  • ¼ cup granulated sugar
  • pinch sea salt
  • 1 vanilla bean, split lengthwise, seeds scraped
  • 6 oz guava paste, diced into
  • ¼-inch cubes
  • 6 oz fresh pineapple, chopped into
  • ½-inch pieces

| Preparation – Coconut | Preheat oven to 350ºF. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Spread coconut chips in a single layer on baking sheet, and toast for 5 to 8 minutes, flipping halfway through, until chips are golden brown. Set aside.

| Preparation – Base | In a large saucepan over medium heat, heat milk, cream, coconut cream, sugar and salt, stirring constantly, until sugar has dissolved and mixture is smooth. Continue stirring until mixture just begins to boil. Remove from heat; add toasted coconut chips, vanilla bean pod and seeds and stir to incorporate.

Transfer to an ice bath to cool for 30 minutes, stirring frequently. Cover base tightly, transfer to refrigerator, and allow to steep for 6 hours or overnight.

| Preparation – Paletas | Pour base mixture through a fine-mesh strainer to remove solids, pressing with a wooden spoon to remove all liquid. Discard solids.

In a standard 10-serving ice-pop maker, add 5 cubes guava paste to each mold. Layer 1 heaping Tbsp of chopped pineapple gently over guava paste; do not press down. Add another 5 to 6 cubes guava paste over pineapple; distribute remaining pineapple over the top. Finish with 3 to 5 cubes guava paste.

Slowly pour paleta base into each mold, until filled. Gently tap molds on the countertop to remove air bubbles and distribute base evenly, adding more as needed. Gently push in Popsicle sticks and transfer to the freezer until firm, at least 4 to 6 hours.

| To Serve | Remove paletas from freezer. Run each ice-pop mold under warm water for a few seconds on each side to loosen. Unmold and serve immediately.

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