It was not until my mid-thirties that I learned what a guava is. It is not that I confused guava with something else, but rather, I had never heard of one.
I went to a food show in Orlando where vendors were showing off their various products and I came across a cheesecake that had a gorgeous salmon/brown color topping that tasted out of this world. I knew I needed to know more.
Guava fruit right off the trees does not look or taste anything like the paste or marmalade I use in my recipe. The fruit by itself can be bitter or sweet and is often combined with other ingredients before being eaten, depending upon what part of the world one might be eating guava.
Guava paste reminds me of the consistency of a fruit rollup. Before you become as ill as I do at the thought of fruit rollups, let me reassure you that the taste is nothing like those vile products I had packed in my lunchbox when I was a kid.
The marmalade is delicious by itself; I even have friends who take the can and pour the marmalade over a block of cream cheese and serve this with chips. Yum.
What makes my Guava Cheesecake unique, aside from the fact that half the people I serve it to for the first time have never tried a guava, is that I cut up the guava paste and blend it into the creamy filling. The top is guava marmalade, mixed with just a bit of sugar that gets firmed up with one packet of unflavored gelatin. This keeps it from dripping off the cake.
Guava Cheesecake is too delicious to not share with everyone you know. When your friends give you a questionable look that says you are making up a fruit, serve them a slice and watch their ‘a ha’ moment begin.
- 5.35 ounces graham crackers (10-1/3 crackers)
- 1 tablespoon sugar
- 3½ tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
- Cream cheese filling:
- 4 - 8 ounce packages cream cheese, room temperature
- 1 cup sugar
- 4 eggs
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- ⅓ cup sour cream
- 8 ounces guava paste, cut into ¼” cubes
- 1 - 17 ounce can guava marmalade
- 1 packet unflavored gelatin
- 1 tablespoon sugar
- Preheat oven to 325°. Set aside a 10” cake pan.
- For the crust:
- Combine the graham crackers and sugar in a food processor fitted with a metal blade and process until it is the consistency of powder. Add the melted butter and pulse on/off until well blended. Grease the pan with nonstick cooking spray. Transfer the crust mixture to the pan and pat evenly onto the bottom. Set aside.
- For the filling:
- Beat the cream cheese and sugar until smooth and creamy, about 3 minutes, scraping the bowl down as needed. Add the eggs two at a time and mix until smooth. Blend in the sour cream and vanilla. Add the guava paste and mix on low speed until the guava cubes are separated. If the guava cubes are sticking together use your spatula to separate them.
- Pour the filling into the pan and bake at 325º for 50 minutes. Remove from the oven and cool completely on a cooling rack. Refrigerate for several hours or overnight.
- Cover a 12” round cakeboard round with plastic wrap. Place the cheesecake in a larger pan. Fill halfway up the side of the cheesecake pan with very warm water. Let sit for about 20 seconds. Take cheesecake out of the water and dry the bottom of the pan. Cover with the 12” covered cakeboard and turn upside down. Tap firmly once or twice against the countertop to loosen the cake from the pan. Carefully lift the pan off the cheesecake. Place a serving plate over the bottom of the cheesecake and invert, holding onto the cardboard round as you do this. Remove the cardboard round.
- For the topping:
- Place the guava marmalade in a small saucepan. Add the gelatin and allow to sit for 5 minutes. Add the sugar and stir over low heat for 2 minutes. Cool for 10 minutes. Pour over the top of the cheesecake leaving a ¼” border.
- Refrigerate for at least 1 hour before serving.
- Betsy's tidbits:
- Guava Cheesecake may also be prepared in a springform pan. Once the cake cools, remove the side of the pan and continue with the topping.
- I prefer Ancel brand guava marmalade and paste.
- Filling the kitchen sink with very warm water is an option to use instead of a larger pan when removing the cheesecake from the pan.