22 Mar2007


I always liked the caramel colored guava jelly of my childhood. Always purchased rather than home made, the intense and distinct flavor of the guava, mixed with the sweet gjam2sugar was always good on toast with butter. I never once wondered how the pulpy and heavily seeded guava fruit turned into such a smooth, fragrant and delicious jelly. So when I came across some ripe “native” or smaller guavas that were pungent as heck, I thought I might experiment a bit. Back home, I decided I could try one of two possible recipes… first, a guava jelly similar to those sold in the groceries and which I recall from 20 years ago, or a more “sophisticated” and adult version of a guava jam or spread. Something more along the lines of a membrillo or quince paste; that would be closer to solid than liquid, a guava “cheese,” really. I wanted texture, parts of the pulp and a bit of bite to the resulting jam. I went for the latter this time around and these are the results of that effort. Note that I have NEVER made guava jam or jelly before.

Take about a kilo of small, ripe guavas and peel them and remove the “eyes”. Boil them in hot water for about 5 minutes to soften and carefully remove from the water. Pass all the boiled guavas through a food mill so that it looks a bit like baby food but without the seeds. gjam3Add a touch of the guava water from the pot if it looks too dry. Weigh the pulp (mine was about 1 pound) and add an equal amount of sugar. Stir over medium heat until it thickens and add the juice of half a lemon. Some folks add a little pectin at this point but I don’t think it is necessary. Boil until you reach the desired consistency. Mine was closer to a solid paste and that took about 15 minutes or so. Remember that it will harden as it cools so don’t overdo the cooking. The result? For me, fantastic. It is quite “cheesy,” incredibly aromatic, has texture and graininess on the tongue and fantastic flavor. I suspect this will pair well with a sharp cheese in the same way that membrillo pairs with manchego. The next time I find nice guavas, I will attempt the guava jelly…



  1. Maria Clara says:

    I love guava jelly or jam in toasted pan de sal with a dab of butter and sliced queso de bola. It is worth dying for. There is a Cuban bakery in the Los Angeles area named Porto’s Bakery and one of their house specialty is guava pastry which is made out of puff pastry, cream cheese and of guava jam. I heard from here and there in the Latin culture guava is one of their precious fruit.

    Mar 22, 2007 | 4:41 am


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  3. Jaja says:

    I love love love guava jelly! My mom used to make this at home. I like it better with Skyflakes than with bread. Ah… memories of childhood=)

    Mar 22, 2007 | 8:36 am

  4. lori says:

    This is an eye opener for me. The only guava jelly I know is the dark colored one that comes in a jar. I’ve always wondered how it got to be that color since I know guavas to be green and white.

    Mar 22, 2007 | 8:48 am

  5. CecileJ says:

    Guava jelly on skyflakes with cheese = great childhood memories!!! MM, did you remove the seeds before passing the mix thru the foodmill? Also, did you use white, brown or segunda (light brown) sugar? (Serendipity, i saw native guavas being sold near the office this am. Will buy some later so I can try your recipe.)

    Mar 22, 2007 | 9:15 am

  6. lojet says:

    My Spanish co-workers serves this on parties. Goya guava paste that comes in a flat container, put a slice on top of a ritz cracker, topped by a small cube of cheddar and held together by a toothpick. Good finger food. You can not eat just one.

    Mar 22, 2007 | 9:30 am

  7. Marketman says:

    lojet, I am planning such a canape at an event tonight…I have been cooking since yesterday…15 different pica-pica and dessert items…yikes! CecileJ, I passed the whole guava through a food mill, the food mill kept the seeds out of the final puree. I used white sugar for this one. Though light brown might also work…don’t cook yours too long or it will solidify after a few days…mine literally looks like a soft cheese right now…but that is perfect for what I have planned for it. lori, the jelly is from the “essence” of guava…none of the pulp or gunky stuff. It is made by extracting the guava flavor into water and the water is mixed with sugar. As it cooks, it turns that fantastic color. You must start with ripe native guavas I think, the large greenish ones might not work as well…or at least I have never tried them cooked. Maria Clara, guava jelly with butter is just superb…

    Mar 22, 2007 | 9:41 am

  8. joey says:

    A local counterpart to membrillo…that’s great! I can just imagine how wonderful it is with cheese!

    Mar 22, 2007 | 11:02 am

  9. awi says:

    hey MM, congrats on the Philippine Blog Awards nom ;-)

    but now i’m torn coz Lori is nominated in the same category too! ano ba yan, choices, choices, haha ;-)

    Mar 22, 2007 | 5:45 pm

  10. F1foodie says:

    MM, you also have to try the guava jam in a Brie/Camembert en Croute. I like topping the guava jam with walnuts for added texture. This is a picnic favorite.

    Mar 22, 2007 | 6:22 pm

  11. alilay says:

    maria clara, i do fall in line at Porto’s bakery in Glendale and Burbank for these goodies, the line’s long so when i go i just hoard the stuff, just the cheese rolls and the guava and cheese strudel only. sometimes i make it myself by buying frozen puff pastry and filling it up with guava jelly yummy

    Mar 23, 2007 | 5:57 am

  12. Trin says:

    Yeay! Guava paste! one of my most favorite things in the world! :-)

    Mine is usually prepared like this: Top flour tortilla with thinly sliced guava paste along with coarsely grated mozzarella or Sulguni. I either broil this (for the open-faced/pizza version) or put another tortilla on top then grill briefly on both sides(for the quesadilla version).

    Mar 23, 2007 | 1:42 pm

  13. ana5678 says:

    To those of us who went to school at the Assumption, the mere mention of guava jelly will automatically conjure wistful images of our sweet, innocent youth and our even sweeter, albeit slightly sinful Assumption Tart. Basically a sweet, flaky crust that is slathered with sticky, gooey spoonsfull of guava jelly, a slice of Assumption Tart was as close to heaven as our grape-colored nuns would allow us to savor.

    Mar 23, 2007 | 8:39 pm

  14. bugsybee says:

    Ulk! You can box me in the ears. I thought we were the only family who loved to eat guava jelly with queso de bola. But I like to try all the suggestions here.

    Mar 23, 2007 | 11:44 pm

  15. Marketman says:

    aridelros, I have always maintained that others are free to use and try my recipes and can even quote them in their sites as long as they attribute them to marketmanila. In the case where I use someone else’s recipe, I do try hard to give credit to the source that I used as is the case with several favorite baked goods where I didn’t just “make them up” but rather followed someone else’s precise recipes. I have always allowed others to “borrow” or “use” my photos when they source it to marketmanila or if they ask permission. I do, however, retain copyright over this site (writing and photos)because I wrote it and I took the photos myself (except for a few by Mrs. MM and The Kid). I do not, retain copyright over other people’s materials. In the same manner that someone who writes a novel or magazine article “owns” the intellectual property, I feel the same way about this blog. I have NEVER been selfish about sharing my recipes, but I would be upset if you stole them for a commercial gain such as writing a cookbook and fully lifting these recipes and photos without seeking permission, that is in fact, illegal in most countries. I do, I think, understand the concept of intellectual property rights fairly well. My anonymity should not bother you or anyone else in any way. Besides, with several EB’s behind me, more than 100 people have met me in the flesh and you had that option last year and didn’t do it. My photos have appeared in American websites from New York to Alaska, including a Harvard LAW SCHOOL website on global blogs. My photos were used in a Mexican thesis for a Phd student, another in an Eastern European Journal, several Filipino magazines in Europe and the Americas, campus magazines in local universities, several local publications, journals, blogs, etc. have all used my materials with permission first sought and always granted. I have current requests to come out in other publications as well and in all cases I have agreed as long as attribution is given. The only time I “lost it” was when a reader “stole” one of my yema photos, presented it with his own entry to a recipe contest of the Inquirer (along with another “stolen” photo), he won the contest and the Inquirer published the photo without attribution. The Inquirer quickly figured out that was a mistake and they provided attribution to marketmanila the following week. My guava jam is my recipe simply because I made it without following anyone else’s specific proportions or steps (except a now universally accepted 1:1 ratio for pulp and sugar)… I think your comment is ill-informed. Check my archives for the yema incident and its conclusion if you are curious.

    Mar 24, 2007 | 6:07 am

  16. Candygirl says:

    I also grew up with dark colored guava jelly but once a patient of a colleague of mine gave him a chunky reddish guava jam. It was great and much better than the dark jelly. Unfortunately, I don’t remember the brand and where it was bought.

    Mar 24, 2007 | 1:08 pm

  17. dolphinstate says:

    my lola in phils she used to make really yummy guava jelly too, and put them in jars that we used to spread in bread and yes skyflakes! But as far as i can remember, the color of our guava jelly is more like dark purple after letting it boil and thickens with sugar. I dont remember if she used white sugar or brown sugar? i would like to try making one myself, but theres no guava here..

    Mar 25, 2007 | 10:38 am

  18. pinay_mangatkatay says:

    Guava is Cuba and Cuba is guava, that’s what! I learned that from Havana at the Cebu Business Park near Ayala Center Cebu where they serve guava pie. how i wish there’s a fusion of guava mud pie …guava and chocolate go very well together just like peanut and chocolate.(*slurp!)

    Mar 28, 2007 | 5:56 pm

  19. sonia p, ner says:

    your blog is so engaging and addicting! the big bonus –your superb photos. and i agree with you, you have the intellectual property rights over the contents of your blog. that people who want to use them simply have to ask your permission is generous enough. i wish Filipinos were more respectful of copyright laws. a s an author and part of a small publishing outfit, i am dismayed at the nonchalance other writers have in simply helping themselves to photos in our books- photos for which we pay steep fees to museums and libraries abroad for permission to print.

    anyway . . . the best guava jellies locally made come from nueva vizcaya. when they have those regional trade fairs, pay them a visit and treat yourself to unusual native, very local, fare.

    Mar 29, 2007 | 6:14 pm

  20. Marketman says:

    aridelros, the only reason I was pissed that my photo was in the inquirer is because it was stolen, and used without permission. The recipe entered and which won the contest, was not mine. I had not ever made any yemas up until that point in the history of this blog. I wish you would simply read the posts more carefully before you let forth a stream of comments based on the wrong facts… then recoil and ignore your earlier blunders by letting go another string of accusations/observations/comments. Unless you patent your food discoveries, and I understand recipes are nearly impossible to patent, but easier to copyright if published, then there is always the risk that someone else will figure them out. In my case, I have not used any of my discoveries for a commercial gain. Unlike you, I am not in the food business. And if your products are good and you run your company well, there should be no threat from amateur food bloggers who have no desire to ruin anyone’s business…

    Mar 30, 2007 | 1:41 pm

  21. anne castro says:

    please, sell me some guava jelly…im a friend of mila tan :-)

    Apr 11, 2007 | 4:39 pm


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