Poached Guavas

8 Servings
45 min

It’s autumn and there’s a heady aroma of poached guavas in the air … the familiarity of that smell and the powerful memories it evokes … priceless! I’m making poached guavas and I’m struck by how something so simple can be so deeply meaningful.

If you’ve read my post Mauricia’s Poached Pears, you’ll be familiar with the connection that guavas have with my childhood. If you still haven’t, head on over to the blog and read the post. These guavas are from that same age-old tree mentioned in that post. I can’t think of a better way to celebrate its longevity than using its fruit to cook dishes that remind me of my gran (mamma), the person who planted the seeds that eventually gave rise to this generous force of nature.

Don’t limit yourself by eating this only as a dessert. Serve it at breakfast with your favourite muesli or granola and a generous topping of Greek yoghurt. I normally make a big batch, but you can easily halve the ingredients if you’re using less guavas. A tip, leave the whole spices in until you’re ready to serve. Also, don’t be tempted to use more sugar if at first the syrup isn’t sufficiently sweet. It will become sweeter and more infused with the flavour of the whole spices the longer it gets to stand before serving.

Serve it at room temperature with vanilla custard or refrigerate and serve cold with chilled evaporated milk, fresh cream or ice cream … whatever takes your fancy … and let it transport you to a bygone, but certainly not forgotten era.

Poached Guavas
Poached Guavas
Poached Guavas

Recipe details

  • 8  Servings
  • Prep time: 25 Minutes Cook time: 20 Minutes Total time: 45 min
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  • 40 ripe guavas, peeled and halved
  • 500ml (2 cups) sugar
  • 4 large cinnamon sticks
  • 10 whole cloves
  • 1.5L (6 cups) cold water


Place all the ingredients, except the guavas, into a large pot on medium to high heat.
Once it starts to boil and the sugar has dissolved, add the guavas and reduce the heat to a gentle simmer.
Cook until the guavas are soft but still retaining their shape.
Transfer the guavas and syrup to a glass bowl and set aside to cool.
Serve at room temperature or cold.

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