Guava and spice and everything nice

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Two versions of the most wonderful and fragrant autumn crusty pie

Guava in spice syrup:

  •  200gr sugar (1 cup)
  • 250ml water (1 cup)
  • 3 cardamom pods
  • 2 cloves
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 1 star anise
  • yellow but very firm guavas

Put the sugar in a non- stick pan, and let it caramelize (it is better explained with a movie- here is Gordon Ramsay, stop before adding the butter). Try to get a light caramel (light amber color) and watch carefully and make sure it doesn’t burn. Add the water to the caramel- be careful- it will sizzle. Mix with a wooden spoon until all the caramel has melted into the water to give a caramel syrup. It doesn’t take as long and it is not as complicated as it sounds…

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So, we’ve got caramel syrup, and now we need to add the spice: cinnamon stick, star anise, cardamom and clove . After adding the spices to the syrup, cook until it thickens a little- to a maple syrup consistency.

Add the sliced guavas to the syrup, cook them, turn over once in a while, until they soften, become golden, and smell like spice. This should take ~ 3 min on each side for the galette (for which the guava will be baked further) and 6 min on each side, or more , for the cream-tart (for which you want the guavas completely soft but not falling apart as they will not be cooked further). Take out the guavas and set aside.

Pastry: simple tart pastry or shortbread.

  • 280 gr flour (2 cups)
  • 20 gr sugar (~1 tbs)
  • 140 gr butter, cold, cubed
  • 1 egg

In a food processor mix the flour, sugar and butter, until you get (sand-like) crumbs. Add the egg and mix only until the dough starts to form. Wrap the dough in a nylon wrap and leave in the fridge for 30 min.

Galette

Roll out the dough to a round-ish freestyle sheet. You can do personal dishes or roll all the dough into one tart. So, roll the dough,  arrange all the guava on the center of the dough,  and leave margins (~4-5 cm margins). Drizzle some of the spice-syrup on the guavas. Fold the margins on the  guava slices.

Bake at 180°C until the pastry is golden (~30 min).

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Serve with some creme fresh or lightly sweetened whipped cream and some extra syrup, and some tea.

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Cream-pie

Roll the dough  and cover a tart pan. Bake at 180°C until golden brown (complete baked). Cool the pastry completely.

  • 240 ml milk (1 cup)
  • half a vanilla bean or half a tonka bean
  • 60 gr sugar (4 tbs or a little more than 1/4 cup)
  • 2 egg yolks
  • 15 gr cornstarch (2 tbs)

In a sauce pan over a medium heat,  heat the milk, sugar and vanilla/tonka bean- but don’t let it simmer (heat for just a few minutes). Turn off the heat and let the milk infuse the taste for 15 min.

Mix the yolks and cornstarch together.

Re-heat the milk (no simmer), and gently transfer it to the yolks, while constantly whisking the yolks. Return the mixture to the pan and continue whisking thoroughly over a medium-high heat until it becomes very thick (pudding-like). Remove the cream from the heat, strain into a new container and tightly cover with nylon wrap. Cool the vanilla cream completely, in the fridge.

Combine all the tart parts together – close to serving. Put the cream in the tart shell, arrange the cooked guava and drizzle some syrup.

Now enjoy a wonderful and fragrant cake.

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 Comment:

You may keep the guava in syrup in a jar, and eat them (without pastry) accompanied by ice-cream or creme fraiche etc.

 

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