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Guava Jelly

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It’s guava season, and making guava jelly is a perfect way to use up a huge crop if you have a tree in the back yard. Unfortunately the possums got to my tree before I did, and the ground was littered with guavas with one bite taken out, but I did manage to salvage enough for a batch of guava jelly. Guava jelly is delicious with roast pork, or eaten on its own as a preserve as you would a jam. It is also superb with cheese, particularly blue vein.

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To make guava jelly you will need guavas (I had around 12 smallish guavas), sugar, water, and either some limes or lemons. Chop the guavas roughly, and place in a pan, just covering them with water.
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Bring to the boil and simmer, with the lid on, for around half an hour. Strain through a cloth in a sieve for a couple of hours at least, preferably overnight. Important, do not press down or squeeze the fruit while doing this, allow the juice to slowly drip out.
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After all of the liquid has dripped out, you need to test for the pectin content. Take one teaspoon of the liquid and mix with three teaspoons mentholated spirits in a glass, and tip onto a saucer. If there is one large clot, your mixture is strong in pectin, and you can add sugar cup for cup. If it has several clots (like I had, see below), add 3/4 cup of sugar to each cup of liquid. In the end I had three cups of liquid, and added three X 3/4 cups of sugar.

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At this point, put the sterilised glass jars you are going to use in the oven on low heat, around 130 degrees, as well as a pouring jug (I use a glass oven-proof one). Add a candy thermometer to the pan if you have one, and slowly bring the mixture to the boil, ensuring that the sugar is fully dissolved before the mixture boils. Add the strained juice of two limes or one lemon. You will need to adjust the amount for your own quantity, but the proportion is around two tablespoons or lemon or lime juice to two cups of sugar. Lime juice is best with guava jelly if you have it.

Allow to boil until it gets to jelling point, which will be pretty fast. Mine took only 10-15 minutes. If you have a themometer, jelling point is 104 degrees, or you can use the spoon or saucer tests, which I have described in other preserves recipes. The other way in which you can tell is the smell, which changes at the end (it will smell amazingly good!), and the bubbles which get larger and start spitting – see picture.

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Take the jelly off the heat, and prepare your jars. Pour relatively quickly into the prepared jars, or it will set in the pan, which you don’t want to happen! Pour slowly down the side of the jars, and seal immediately. My batch made one and a half jars, which was OK, considering I had shared most of the fruit with the possums in my back yard!

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One more sleep until Cookery judging starts at the Brookfield Show!

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Did you know?

We have 650 entries each year in the Cookery Section of Brookfield Show from over 200 exhibitors. Each year, almost half of the exhibitors are new to the Show.
It takes seven judges to taste, prod and admire each entry. Each and every entry is tasted except for the decorated cakes and the eggs.
25 volunteer stewards assist in the Cookery, each with specialised skills from database management, to logistics, to display and marketing. Our experienced stewards expertly swing into action each year to assist with the judging and run the Pavilion. As our volunteers retire or move away, we welcome new stewards each year to join our group.
Brookfield Show Cookery is one of the largest of the non-Royal agricultural shows in Queensland. We are also one of the longest running Cookery Sections, and can trace back our roots to the Brookfield Country Market over 100 years ago.
There have only ever been four Chief Stewards in the post-World War II history of the Cookery Section. The longest serving, Mrs Daphne Dowdle, served in the role for almost 40 years, and only retired in her 80’s. Daphne was much loved by generations of Cookery exhibitors, and only passed away at the age of 96 in October 2013, active to the end despite crippling polio as a child and its after effects. The Cookery Pavilion and Grand Champion prize are named for this inspirational community leader.
The Lyn Nayler Champion Preserves prize is named for Mrs Lyn Nayler who served alongside Daphne Dowdle as a steward for many years, and was a preserves specialist, winning the championship prize herself on many occasions. Lyn was a kind and generous friend to all, and her name and spirit lives on through the Champion Preserves prize. She was thrilled to be acknowledged in this way.
The Children’s Cookery section grows bigger each year, greatly assisted by the active involvement of the Kenmore State High School Home Economics teachers and over 70 keen students who enter each year to test their skills. The last two Children’s Cookery Chief Stewards grew up entering in the Children’s section, and were themselves Children’s Champions under the watchful eye of Daphne Dowdle.
Each year we get bigger and better as the Cookery Section slowly moves with the times, although never forgetting our roots in the Agricultural Show tradition.

Don’t forget to come and admire our beautiful exhibits this year, buy some fudge or other products, and pick up a raffle ticket to help us run the Pavilion.

See you at the Show!