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Bahamian guava duff

Guava duff is the national dessert of The Bahamas and rightfully so—it’s an extraordinary dessert of delectable guava slices nestled in a roulade and generously drizzled with a guava rum sauce.




  • 3 cups (750 mL) all-purpose flour
  • 3 tablespoons (45 mL) baking powder
  • 3 tablespoons (45 mL) granulated sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon (2 mL) salt
  • 3 tablespoons (45 mL) unsalted butter
  • 1-1/4 cup (310 mL) water
  • 2 cups (500 mL) pink or red guava shells, sliced

Rum sauce:

  • 1 cup (250 mL) pink guava shells (or softened guava paste)
  • 1 can (300 mL) condensed milk
  • 1 can evaporated milk
  • 1 cup (250 mL) whipping (or heavy) cream (35%)
  • 1/3 cup (80 mL) dark or spiced rum
  • 1 tablespoon (15 mL) pure vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup (125 mL) granulated sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon (1 mL) ground nutmeg

Guava creme:

  • 1 can whipped cream for garnishing
  • 1/3 cup (80 mL) diced pink guava shells for garnishing
  • 1/4 cup (60 mL) whole mint leaves for garnishing


  1. To prepare the dough, in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment (or you may mix by hand), add flour, baking powder, sugar and salt. With the mixer on its lowest speed, mix in butter. Gradually pour in water and continue mixing until the dough comes together.
  2. Dust a clean surface with flour, knead dough and form into a ball. Let rest for ten minutes.
  3. Roll dough out into a rectangular shape. Using a pastry cutter, divide dough in half. Place diced (or mashed), guavas over each dough, leaving about 1/2-inch (1 centimeter) border at the ends.
  4. Roll the first dough into a roulade, fold and seal both ends firmly by pinching together. Repeat with the other dough.
  5. Tear a large enough piece of heavy-duty foil. Carefully transfer the roulade to one end of the foil, then roll loosely, allowing a little space for the dough to expand. Secure tightly by folding both ends of the foil upwards (this prevents water from entering during the steaming process). Repeat with the remaining dough.
  6. Place the roulades over a salad plate (or metal rack of a 10-quart (10 L) oval roaster.) Add a little water to reach 1 inch (2.5 cm) just below the plate. Place over high heat and bring to a boil, then cover tightly with a lid. Reduce heat and steam for one hour 30 minutes, while replenishing the water level occasionally
  7. Meanwhile, to prepare the rum sauce, in a blender, combine diced guavas (or paste), cream, condensed milk, evaporated milk, vanilla, sugar, rum, nutmeg and puree. Set aside.
  8. Carefully remove the roulades from the pan (as hot steam will escape). Remove and discard the foil. Place guava duffs on a platter and slice them into two-inch (five centimeters) thick pieces on the diagonal. Pour rum sauce over and serve garnished with whipped cream, diced guavas and mint leaves.

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