Pink Guava & Key Lime Jam With Black Cracked Pepper
My neighbor has a massively productive pink guava tree. After picking 25 pounds of fruit, I hadn’t even harvested half of the ripe guavas off the tree. Unfortunately, I had to stop picking when a grumpy spider, who was clearly sick of me shaking her tree, decided to take a chomp out of my arm.
Back home, I decided that the spider at least had good timing. Guavas are kind of a pain to prep. 25 pounds of fruit after peeling and seeding came out to 14 cups of guava pulp.
14 cups of cooked guava pulp
3 cups of granulated cane sugar
half cup of key lime juice
1 teaspoon of pink Himalayan salt
1 teaspoon of fresh ground black pepper
Peel the guavas and drop them into boiling water to soften them. Pull the soft fruit out of the boiling water and slice them into two halves. Scoop out the seeds and reserve them in a separate bowl.
Add a cup of water to the seeds. Let the seeds soak in the water in the refrigerator overnight. The next day, strain the guava juice and water from the seed mixture, discard the seeds, and add the guava juice/water mixture to the guava meat in a large, non-reactive pan. (The guava juice/water mixture contains pectin, which will allow the jam to jell properly).
Add the sugar and the lime juice to the guava meat and guava juice. Cook the jam on a low boil until the liquid is reduced. If the preserves are still too lumpy, mash the jam with a potato masher or blend with a stick blender. Continue to cook the jam until it begins to jell.
At this point, I tasted the jam. Although the guavas smell like strawberries, they have a sort of vague, sweet flavor. Even with the lime juice, I thought the jam lacked sparkle. Since salt and pepper are the standard spices that my Mexican-American neighbors add to their fresh guava, I decided to add a teaspoon of each spice to the jam.
I used coarsely ground pink Himalayan salt because it’s pretty and pink like the guavas. If you decide to use a different kind of salt, add it a pinch at a time, tasting as you go to ensure that the jam doesn’t become too salty.
Pour the jam into hot, sterilized jars. Process in a hot water bath for 15 minutes. Let the processed jars cool overnight at room temperature to ensure a proper seal.
I like this jam on croissants, but my friend Carol Ann used it on pork chops as a glaze and said it was de-licious!