A very common and simple dessert in Cuban households, mermalada deguayaba is like a tropical applesauce (though with a slightly different texture). While the traditional preparation is with guava, this is also made using mango when they are in season, so if you are unable to find guava in the stores, feel free to substitute.
“Mermelada de guayaba”
- Remove bad spots from guava with paring knife and then slice in half.
- Add all to boiling pot of water and cook 15-20 minutes until tender.
- Allow to cool a little and then add to blender and blend until smooth.
- Pour through fine colander (mesh sieve) to allow water to drain.
- Add guava pulp to bowl and combine with sugar
(Approximately ¾ cup sugar per 2 cup pulp.)
- Chill and serve
**May follow this same recipe with mango!!!**
This dessert, which is very similar to traditional rice pudding, is so engrained in Cuban culture that there is a popular children’s song called “arroz con leche”.
“Arroz con leche”
While every Cuban family prepares arroz con leche a bit differently, and there also seems to be an ongoing debate among Cuban women about arroz con leche made with normal white rice versus criollo rice, it is ALWAYS delicious and a great comfort food.
“Arroz con leche”
- Rice cooker or large pot with lid
- 2 cups White Rice
- Whole Milk
- Coarse Sugar
- Cook rice as you would normally prepare white rice, adding a dash of salt.
- Once prepared, add juice of ½ – 1 lime, depending on juice content, and 1 – 1.5 tsp cinnamon.
- Add room temperature milk and cook for 15 minutes more. (Quantity of milk depends on personal tastes. Like with oatmeal, there are people who like arroz con leche soupy and others like it thick. Your best bet is to add only a cup or two here and you can add more later if you want.)
- Add sugar and stir well. (Again, amount depends on how sweet you want it, this can be anywhere from ¼ cup to 1 cup.)
When you serve this in individual bowls, add more room temperature milk and dust with cinnamon or a cinnamon/sugar mix to make it pretty.
- May be served hot or cold.