This recipe combines the harvest bounty of the Caribbean and Brazil: the Guava and the product manioc--tapioca. I have previously written about manioc, and that can be found here. I know that just mentioning tapioca can bring up bad memories for people of a certain age who were terrorized by in school, but trust me, this combination is winning one. This is solidly a Brazilian pudding and can be found in almost every Brazilian cookbooks out there, however this particular one comes from a very useful book simply entitled Fruit by the great food writer Alan Davidson, with absolutely gorgeous illustrations by Charlotte Knox!
2 pounds fresh guavas
1/2 cup quick cooking tapioca
1 1/4 cups sugar
Pinch of salt
1 1/4 cups water
1 tsp. grated lemon peel
1 tsp. fresh lemon juice
Plain or Sweet Whipped Cream (optional)
1. Halve the guavas and scoop out the flesh. Push through a strainer to remove the seeds--this produces a nice puree.
2. Cook the tapioca with the sugar, salt and water for 5 minutes, until the tapioca is clear. Then remove from the heat and stir in the lemon peel and juice. Then stir in the guava puree. Return to heat and heat slowly, stirring so it won't stick. Serve hot with or without a dollop of whipped cream.
My Note: This is also delicious served cold.