This recipe for guavas poached in a chamomile syrup with vanilla & cinnamon is my absolute favourite way to eat this winter fruit. The heady tropical smell of guavas when they enter the house always reminds me of winter even though it’s such a summery scent. The chamomile tea creates a very subtle floral base note here but it’s very mild and could totally be left out. It was a success in my recipe for apricots poached in chamomile tea and vanilla, so I thought I would add it in here too. I use used the seeds and the vanilla pod itself to infuse into this delicious syrup along with a stick of cinnamon and star anise. It’s all kinds of tropical spicy heaven and perfect for a dessert with vanilla ice cream or for breakfast.
*cooks notes – I used a punnet of guavas which was about 12 smallish ones, but you could use a little more or less. Some were very ripe and others were a little hard so I left the skin on the very ripe ones (to keep them together) and peeled the less ripe ones but I prefer them peeled. I like to keep the whole spices with the syrup right up until its served to allow for maximum flavour infusion.Print
Guavas poached in a chamomile syrup with vanilla & cinnamon
Approx 12 small guavas (about 700gms)
2 cups (500ml) hot water (below boiling point +- 80C)
1 bag of chamomile tea (pref made form whole dried flowers)
¾ cup of sugar
1 large vanilla bean pod, split lengthways and seeds scraped out
3-star anise pods
1 stick cinnamon
Steep the chamomile tea in the 2 cups of hot water for 5 minutes then add it to a medium-sized pot. Add the rest of the ingredients and bring it to the boil.
Peel the guavas and slice them in half. Rinse them to ensure any dirt has been removed. Add them to the pot and poach them over a gentle heat for about 10 minutes and until they are soft but are still holding their shape. Remove them with a slotted spoon and set aside.
Continue to lightly simmer the syrup for a further 8 – 10 minutes until it has thickened. Take it off the heat and allow to cool a little then add the guavas back in and then allow to cool completely. Decant into a storage container with the spice pods and cinnamon stick and refrigerate until serving.
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