Guava paste is basically a sweet conserve that has a tropical, floral aroma. It is a very common ingredient in the Caribbean and Latin American cuisine.
Some of the ingredients used to make guava paste include; fresh guavas, cane sugar, lemon, and cinnamon.
What does guava paste taste like?
Compared to regular guavas, guava paste is much sweeter. It also has a tart flavor thanks to the lemon and cinnamon that is usually added to it.
Guava paste does not taste like fresh guavas because manufacturers simmer it for several hours and then let it dry before packaging. Therefore, the flavor is caramelized.
I acknowledge that none of these substitutes will give you the real guava taste. However, they will give you a flavor that is very similar to that of guava taste.
Homemade guava paste
I am always of the opinion that homemade substitutes always give better results compared to other substitutes, and this homemade guava paste is no different.
If you have fresh guavas at home, you can use them to make homemade guava paste. It will take a little bit of your time but the process is very straightforward and the results worth every effort. Here is how to make homemade guava paste.
You will need;
- 900 grams of guavas (peeled and halved)
- 1 ½ cups of water
- Granulated sugar (2 lb)
- Use a spoon to scoop the guava seeds from the flesh and place them in a small bowl with one cup of water, let them soak.
- In a saucepan, place the guava flesh and add ½ cup of water. Heat it on high till the water boils then reduce the heat and let it simmer. Stir until the mixture becomes soft.
- Strain the water from the guava seeds you had soaked and discard the seeds. Pour the water into your now-soft pulp.
- Pour the mixture into a food mill and process until it turns into a pulp. Transfer the pulp to a large saucepan then add your sugar. Heat the mixture over medium heat stirring constantly until it thickens.
- Remove from heat and use a wooden spoon to stir until the thick mixture forms a paste. You will stir for approximately 10 minutes.
- Line a large pan with wax paper and scoop the paste into the pan. Let the paste sit overnight in a cool place. It will become firm overnight.
- Transfer the guava paste into an air-tight container and use it the way you usually use store-bought guava paste. Enjoy!
- Fresh guavas
Fresh guava is an ideal guava paste substitute, after all, it is the main ingredient used to make guava paste.
I suggest using fresh guavas as a filling for apple pies and cherry pies. Just add a little bit of sugar to sweeten it and you are good to go. You can also use fresh guavas in salads. Fresh guavas also work well in cheese boards since they are sweet.
You can use apple paste as a substitute for guava paste. The flavor of apple paste is not the same as that of guava paste, but the texture is the same. It is also readily available, one of the easiest substitutes to buy.
I suggest choosing the varieties that have nutmeg or ginger if you want a flavor similar to that of guava paste. They work better compared to the ones that contain cloves or cinnamon.
My favorite thing about quince paste is that its flavor and texture are similar to that of guava paste. Therefore, you can easily incorporate it into dishes that call for guava paste.
Quince paste is a European product. You can either buy it in your local supermarket or specialty stores. I love the results I get whenever I use quince paste as an alternative to guava paste.
Fig paste is also an ideal substitute. It has very many similarities with guava paste. For starters, it has a sweet flavor just like guava paste since it is made from figs that are naturally sweet. Fig seeds are sweet, so they are not removed in the process of making fig paste.
Fig jam is very similar to fig paste. The only difference is that it has a thinner consistency compared to the paste. Both of them are ideal substitutes. However, I recommend using the fig jam as a sauce.
Fruit preserve is a surprisingly good substitute. You can use either pineapple, apricot, or strawberry depending on the recipe you are making.
The texture of fruit preserve varies depending on the brand you choose, so keep this in mind when choosing them.
You can smear fruit preserve on toast or use it as a filling for pastries. I do not recommend using these substitute in cheese board for the obvious reason that it is not in solid form.
Where to buy guava paste
You can buy guava paste at your local supermarket. Simply go to the Latin aisle. Guava paste is usually labeled as pasta de guayaba.
Alternatively, you can buy guava paste online. I have come across several genuine vendors that stock it.
How to properly store guava paste
Once you open your guava paste, you should store it at room temperature. Simply place the guava paste in an airtight container and close the lid tightly.
Alternatively, you can wrap it in a plastic bag. Make sure you store the container or wrapped guava paste in a cool and dry place, far away from sources of heat, including your oven. I suggest storing it in the pantry or in a kitchen cabinet.
Guava paste uses
Guava paste adds a tropical touch to every dish it is added to. The natural acidity in fresh guavas also adds a zing to dishes. It can be used in both savory and sweet dishes. Here is a few guava paste uses.
- Stuff pastries
You can use guava paste to stuff pastries. Stuff puff pastry with guava paste to make pastelitos for dessert.
- Smear onto toast
You don’t have to eat tasteless toast. Smear a little bit of guava paste on it and enjoy!
- Serve it with cheese
You can serve guava paste as a block with cheese. The combination is heavenly.
- Making homemade barbeque sauce
Guava paste can be used to make guava barbeque sauce. This sauce is perfect for grilled meats.
- Making buttercream
Yes, you can make butter cream using guava paste as one of the ingredients. It will turn up the volume of your cake.
- Baking brie
You can use guava paste to bake brie, a classic appetizer.
We’ve all been there. You want to make a recipe that calls for guava paste and realize you ran out. Luckily, you do not have to waste time rushing to the store to buy more. You can use substitutes instead.
Homemade guava paste, fresh guavas, apple paste, quince paste, fig paste/jam, and fruit preserve are suitable guava paste substitutes.
They work well in most recipes that call for guava paste. Without wasting any more time, let us discuss these substitutes in detail.
Frequently asked questions
Does guava paste melt?
Yes, guava paste melts. You can melt it inside your oven, microwave, or even on a pan. The guava paste will hold its shape for a few minutes, but it becomes softer with time. It won’t melt the same way that cheese does.
Is guava paste the same as guava jelly?
These two products are basically the same thing. I am of the opinion that guava paste is just hardened guava jelly. The hardening process increases the shelf life of guava paste especially in areas that have high temperatures.
Can you use guava paste as a substitute for guava puree or guava juice?
I do not recommend using guava paste as a substitute for guava puree or guava juice for two main reason. First, the texture of the three ingredients is completely different. Secondly, guava paste has a much higher sugar content and therefore it may not be an ideal alternative.
Guava paste is an amazing ingredient that you can use in various dishes. I like enjoying mine with cheese and on toast. I also love making barbeque sauce with it. The flavor adds to my grilled meats is just amazing.
If you run out of guava paste, you can use any of the substitutes we have discussed above. I am a sucker for homemade guava paste because I have control over the ingredients, I add just enough sugar, a little bit of lemon juice, and cinnamon.
It took me some time to get a perfect balance but I finally got it right. Fresh guavas are ideal for use as fillings in pies and also salads.
I occasionally use quince paste and fig paste as alternatives and I have never been disappointed. Apple paste also works although its flavor profile is not the same as that of guava paste. Fruit preserves also work well.
These substitutes work just fine. Try using them today and let me know if you like the results.