Arborio Rice Pudding with Guava Sauce

Arborio Rice Pudding with Guava Sauce

Guava season is here!  A couple of weeks ago, I stopped at Freshmart, the local health food/market chain to pick up a few items on the way back home.  Once I stepped into the store, the smell of ripe guavas stopped me on my tracks. It’s no coincidence these sweet, fragrant fruits were placed right by the entrance… and that I fell prey to the supermarket’s logistics game.

Oh… did I tell you I had never cooked a guava in my life at that time?  (Hangs head in recently shed shame).  With guava paste, jelly, and marmalade so readily available, I never felt the need to.

I turned to the Puerto Rico cooking bible, Cocina Criolla, for guidance on how to turn the 1.5 pounds of guavas I bought into jam/sauce.  In addition to this recipe, the book also includes recipes for the paste, shells (casquitos), and jelly.  All of them only have two ingredients: guava and sugar.  The guava sauce I made called for equal parts sugar and ripe, unpeeled pureed fruit.  Jelly and paste use unripe guavas because these are higher in pectin.  Pectin is that magic component in fruit that thickens jams, jellies, and sauces.  Other fruits high in pectin include apples, cranberries, and citrus.

Guavas for Guava Sauce

Uncooked guava puree

Raw guava puree

To make the guava sauce, I washed well the 1.5 pounds of guava.  I quartered the fruit and pureed it on the food processor.  The total puree yield was close to 1 1/3 cups.  I measured equal amounts of sugar, and combined all the ingredients in a saucepan.  This mixture is cooked over medium heat for about fifteen minutes, until all the sugar melts into the puree and the color deepens.  It is important to stir the sauce continuously and carefully.  Once it begins to boil, be very careful and lower the heat as needed.

I made this sauce as a substitute of sorts for the Rice Pudding and Caramel Apples, a recipe recently prepared by the French Fridays with Dorie crew.  Dorie Greenspan’s Arborio rice pudding is the perfect blank but not bland canvas to highlight this delicious jam.  Unlike the more traditional Puerto Rican arroz con dulce made with coconut milk, this rice pudding is super creamy, in no small part due to the high starch amount in the Arborio Rice. It’s cooked over the stovetop for close to fifty minutes.  I used some vanilla extract my mother brought back from Dominica, and frankly it blew my mind.  This is probably because I am not a fan of arroz con dulce and didn’t have the highest expectations.

Arborio Rice Pudding with Guava SAuce

Arborio Rice Pudding with Guava Sauce

By Adriana A Published: October 24, 2013

  • Yield: 3 Servings
  • Cook: 60 mins

I served the layered pudding in sundae glasses. Another alternative would be to spoon the guava sauce in the bottom of a ramekin and top with the rice pudding.



  1. Bring the water and salt to a boil in a saucepan, preferably with tall sides. Add the rice and boil for ten minutes. Strain the rice and discard the water.

  2. Add the milk and sugar into the saucepan and bring to a boil. Add the rice and lower the heat to medium. Stir constantly so the rice doesn't stick to the bottom of the pan. Lower the heat as needed so the pudding does not boil over the saucepan.

  3. Cook the pudding for 45 minutes or the rice absorbs most of the milk and thickens. Remove from heat and stir in the vanilla extract. Allow the pudding to cool for about ten minutes.

  4. Drop a spoonful of sauce in the bottom of a sundae glass. Add two spoonfuls of the cooled rice pudding. Add another layer of sauce and pudding and top with a small dollop of sauce. Chill for about an hour before serving.

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I know this is not this week’s French Fridays recipe, Muenster Cheese Soufflés, but one Mrs. Mary Hirsch challenged me not to miss any Fridays in year #4 and I’m doing my best to stick to that.  That said, there’s a piece of Muenster from WI in the deli drawer of my refrigerator that will rise to the occasion (ha!).

French Fridays with Dorie is an online cooking group where the fearless Doristas tackle a recipe from Dorie Greenspan’s Around My French Table. The group celebrated Mme. Greenspan’s birthday!  Although I couldn’t squeeze in an extra recipe this week, I made sure to extend my warmest wishes to this lovely, lovely lady.   I hope she enjoys this tropical twist on one of her recipes.

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Author:Adriana A

Adriana is a financial analyst by day, avid home cook in the evenings, and food blogger and runner in the strange hours between those two. When not in the kitchen concocting meals and stories to pass around, she is out looking for the next great bite (or the ingredients to make it at home), checking what's new at the market, or planning a trip around great food and wine.

8 Responses to “Arborio Rice Pudding with Guava Sauce”

  1. October 24, 2013 at 10:15 pm #

    Love this tropical take on rice pudding!

  2. October 24, 2013 at 10:16 pm #

    Ooo la la! I like the tropical flair that you added to this dessert.
    Now that the temperatures are dipping into the freezing levels up here, anything tropical is sounding pretty good. (The girls and I agreed that we need to go to Puerto Rico on our next vacation – because its warm there and has sun and beaches :-) )

  3. October 24, 2013 at 10:33 pm #

    Fabulous Adriana ! What a lovely twist to that FFWD pudding. Oh my you have me curious about that guava and really wanting to try some. I can’t recall tasting the fruit in anything other than a juice form (ok, truth be told….there may have been some booze involved too!!) I know it is out of season in PA but I will look for it in the summer. And you had me LOL about Mary’s challenge. Our UrbanSpoon hostess was a Dorista who teased me about the number of posts where only Nana did the recipe and not me… I was shamed into not missing another week (or trying…..) myself. Good luck !!!!!!

  4. October 24, 2013 at 10:48 pm #

    Oh my – this looks so good. I have never even seen a real guava!

  5. October 25, 2013 at 10:32 am #

    Qué rico! Tengo que intentarlo! Me encanta la guayaba :-)

  6. October 25, 2013 at 2:26 pm #

    I have never seen a whole guava before – thanks for sharing the pictures! Your pudding looks delicious, and you’re right, it is the perfect canvas.

  7. October 27, 2013 at 3:55 pm #

    I’ve never had a guava, though a friend with a Puerto Rican husband has made me a batch of her mother-in-law’s guava squares as a treat. I liked them so much I now have a can of guava paste in my pantry. Making a parfait with rice pudding sounds delicious! My usual rice pudding recipe must be Latin style because it is called Arroz con Leche. Looks delicious, Adriana!

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