When picking fresh guavas for this Cuban-style casquitos de guayaba recipe, select fruit that are neither too green nor too ripe; they should have a sweet and faintly musty fragrance and be firm yet give slightly when squeezed, like a perfectly ripe avocado. “Casquitos” translates to “little helmet,” referring to the shape of the guava when its seeds have been scooped out. As the shells simmer in the vanilla syrup, the white flesh will gradually turn a vibrant red.
Featured in “The Guava Dish That Makes Cubans Nostalgic for Home.”
- 8–10 medium guavas (about 2 lb.)
- 1 tsp. vanilla extract
- 2 cups sugar
- Soft queso blanco or cream cheese