06 Mar Homemade Guava Jelly
A leaf out of my childhood memories, Guava Jelly constitute a major part of my childhood breakfast culinary tales. My mother, a prolific cook, would often stack up homemade guava jellys that would be relished at the breakfast tables. The aroma of the juice that eventually results in this outrageously delicious spread was a immensely intoxicating as I would stand next to her and wonder in awe as she prepared this awesome jelly.
This was during the age of no- internet -days when making a new recipe was purely an element of mercy at the hands of a few magazines that existed or tips from someone who learnt the art of making a specific recipe somewhere. Mom ,learnt this in a cookery workshop in her Ladies club those days, when a professional workshop was conducted for the members of the Club. Since then, this Homemade Guava Jelly had been a forerunner as a delicious spread with bread and rotis for breakfast, also sandwiched between biscuits. Also, not to forget that not many brands of jams and jellys existed then in the market,probably Kissan with its mixed fruit jams was an ubiquitous element of breakfast fare across households .Nothing else existed in that parched phase of time.
Very different then jams, the texture is what distinguishes a jelly from jams apart from the cooking techniques. While jams are made from the fruit itself, Jellys are made from its juice and mostly from fruits that produces its natural pectin. Guava produces a high quantity of pectin hence its jelly is a winner in terms of homemade jelly. In short, jelly is slightly trickier to prepare then jam since hitting the right consistency of the juice is an arduous task. You keep it on the flame for long ,it hardens up and what you get is a hard mass of jelly and not jiggly , floaty texture that symbolizes jelly.
Technically it might sound daunting and you might be intimated by the process but by the time you are done making your first batch you will be confident of your skills. The Guava Jelly forms a light reddish hue even as you stir the juice and when bottled up, it truly looks magical.
Few important things that needs to be considered however are the type of guavas and the time cooked on flame. Many people use raw guavas, however, I generally use the medium ripe guavas. The consistency and the time cooked is something that you can get a hold on once you start making it.
And once you are over with the first batch , its almost like an addiction. Not just with breads, rotis or biscuits they are good to go as a bite as well sometimes.With kids, jellys sandwiched between biscuits is a steller trick to tame those sudden cravings and hunger.
Once you are done , you will realize how easy it is and how uniquely different then even the most popular brands available in your neighborhood supermarket. You will never want to buy any jam anymore.
- Guavas 1 kg(not so ripe guavas)
- Sugar 750 gms (correct estimate) but for an easier method, its best to use 1 cup sugar to 1 cup guava juice that forms from the guavas
- Lime Juice 1 tbsp per 1 cup guava juice
- Water enough to cover the guavas for boiling
- Cut guavas into thin slices and add to a deep pan
- Add enough water to cover the guavas.
- Boil them until the guavas are soft
- Remove, mash and strain the boiled guavas juice by tying it up in a muslin cloth and letting the juice pour down in another container.
- Once the juice is collected, take a container, put on low-medium flame and add the juice
- For every cup of juice, add 1 cup of sugar and 1 tbsp lime juice
- Keep stirring on medium flame until the juice thickens.
- At this stage the color changes too
- You know you have hit the right consistency of jelly when a drop of the thick juice falls down in a glass of water in a joined fashion or falls down to form a solid mass
- For me, it took about 15-18 minutes to achieve this consistency
- Remove from the pan, let it cool for a few minutes and pour into sterilized glass jars