Guava Cheesecake Recipe: Move Over, Pumpkin Pie!

So, I’m still on my quixotic quest of declaring November as National Guava Month. To that end, I am happy to share my recipe for Guava Cheesecake in time for you to make it for “El Sanguibin.”

Of course, the main ingredient in cheesecake is cream cheese, which is inexorably tied to Philadelphia (thank you, Kraft Foods). And when you think of Philadelphia, you inevitably think of liberty. At least, I do. (You know, where the Declaration of Independence was signed, the Liberty Bell, Benjamin Franklin and all that…)

But you know…we Cubans love our guayaba con queso crema. (Guava with cream cheese.)

And yes, I know that Thanksgiving is a purely American holiday. But I offer you this thought:

Once you add the guava, the quintessential Cuban fruit of choice, to the oh-so American cream cheese base, it becomes a wonderful representation of us Cuban-Americans.

Therefore, it is my strong belief that Guava Cheesecake should be THE dessert staple of every liberty-loving, Cuban-American family’s Thanksgiving holiday celebration.

Happy Thanksgiving, my guava-and-cream-cheese-loving friends.

Oh yes... and Happy National Guava Month!

Guava Cheesecake Recipe

1 3/4 cups  sugar, divided

1  1/4 cup  graham cracker crumbs

4 Tbsp. butter, melted

Cooking spray

1/2  cup  water

1/2  cup lime juice

8  ounces  guava paste, cut into small pieces (about 1/2 a bar)

5 large egg whites, divided

1/2  cup sour cream

2  (8-ounce) packages cream cheese, softened

1 1/2  tsp.  vanilla extract

1/8  tsp.  salt

1. Preheat oven to 400°.

2. Coat a 9-inch springform pan with cooking spray.

3. In a large bowl, combine 1/4-cup sugar, graham cracker crumbs, and butter. Press mixture into bottom and 1/2 inch up sides of the springform pan.

4. Bake at 400° for 7 minutes. Cool on a wire rack.

5. Reduce oven temperature to 325°.

6. Combine 1/2-cup sugar, 1/2-cup water, lime juice, and guava paste in a small saucepan; bring to a boil. Reduce heat, and simmer 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Cool slightly.

7. Pour mixture into a blender, and process until smooth. Cool completely. Stir in 1 of the egg whites.

8. Combine remaining ingredients: sugar, sour cream, and cheese in a medium bowl; beat with a mixer at low speed until smooth. Beat in vanilla and salt. Gradually add remaining 4 egg whites, beating well after adding each one.

9. Pour cream cheese mixture into prepared pan.

10. Drizzle guava mixture over cheese mixture.

11. Swirl them together using the tip of a knife.

12. Bake at 325° for 45 minutes or until cheesecake center barely moves when touched. (It may crack a little along the edges.)

13. Turn the oven off; cool cheesecake in closed oven 30 minutes.

14. Remove cheesecake from oven. Run a knife around outside edge.

15. Allow it to cool to room temperature.

16. Cover and chill at least 8 hours before serving.

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