Guava and Cheese Popsicles

When life hands you a box of guavas, make guava and cheese popsicles.

It started out with a small order for six guavas made to the Manhattan Fruit Market in Chelsea. The next day, they had a case of pink guava from Homestead, Fla., at the ready. Seduced by the smell, I bought the entire case.

I had 10 pounds of the fragrant fruit sitting on my kitchen counter for about week as I debated what to do with them. I decided to make popsicles. Lots of popsicles. I devised a recipe for a guava-and-cheese mixture that would showcase both flavors beautifully. The guava and cheese pastry – a popular Caribbean snack – became a central figure in this summer issue of Island and Spice Magazine.

A fresh guava has a subtle sandy consistency. The flavor is sweet and not overpowering. For this recipe, I boil the fruit in a pot of water, add a few tablespoons of brown sugar and a twist of orange juice to help prime the guava for a popsicle.

For the cream, I used goat cheese (a tip from Luisa Santos of LuLu’s Nitrogen Ice Cream in Miami) to elevate the flavor. Goat cheese, as opposed to cream cheese, which is frequently used in a guava and cheese pastry, has a lower fat content. This allows the cream to freeze more easily. The overall impact gave the popsicle a lighter feel, as well. I also folded in cream, milk, coconut cream and a hint of fresh vanilla bean.


Guava-and-Cheese Marble Popsicles

Serves 6 | Time: 35 Minutes (Plus cooling and freeze time)

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INGREDIENTS:

Cream filling

8 oz cream

2 oz goat cheese

4 tbs coconut cream

2 tbs milk (2 percent)

Vanilla bean

Guava filling

1 pound pink guava (about 3 or 4 small- or medium-size guava)

4 cups of water

6 tbs granulated brown sugar

1 tbs orange juice

¼ tsp cinnamon

Preparation:

Cream Filling

Place the cream, goat cheese, milk, coconut cream and vanilla bean into a bowl. Use a spoon to blend until smooth.

guava filling

Step 1:
Rinse the guava. Use a peeler to remove the rind. Chop off ends. Slice the fruit in half lengthwise. Scoop out the pit and seeds and set aside in a bowl. Cut the guava into cubes and set aside.

Step 2:
Fill a pot with 4 cups of water and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium. Place guava cubes into the water and let it sit for five minutes until tender. Turn off stove. Pour off water and reserve for later. Add back one cup of its water and purée using a hand blender. Return the guava to a low heat and simmer for 10 more minutes, adding back one cup of its water every five minutes.

Step 3:
In the meantime, bring a kettle of water to a boil. Pour the water over the guava pits until the bits are submerged. Let this sit for five minutes before pouring off the water. Using a mesh strainer and a spoon, work the guava bits through the strainer to separate the seeds. Add this mixture to the purée as it reaches the last 10 minutes of cook time. During this time, add the sugar and cinnamon to the purée. Before removing from the stove, add the orange juice.

Allow for cooling time.

To make popsicles

Fill two piping bags, each with one filling. Holding the guava in one hand and the cream in another, fill each half of the popsicle mold simultaneously so that each flavor stands vertically. Use a chopstick to gently swirl the purée into the cream. This will give the marble appearance. Try not to over blend.

Freeze popsicles. When ready, run the molds under hot water for easy release.