27 Aug2010


The last time I made guava jam about a year ago, here, I was trying to replicate a superb bottle of guava jam from La Maison du Chocolat, apparently made in France from African pink guavas. I used a food mill last year, and ended up with a slightly gritty jam, nice texture, but a bit distracting. The first time I made a guava jam, it was a bit more solid than expected, hence I called it a guava “cheese” and it was a great substitute for membrillo or Spanish quince paste, particularly when served with some good Manchego cheese. But I was still trying to figure out how to get a smoother, flavorful jam and a couple of weeks ago, I got a couple of kilos of small guavas and tried my luck a third time… It was third time lucky, and the results were as close to my ideal homemade guava jam as I think I will ever get…


Looking back at previous attempts, I decided to make just a couple of changes to the techniques used, not so much the proportion of fruit and sugar. I peeled all of the guavas carefully, as I figured the rather tough peel must affect the smoothness of the final product. I also carefully scooped out the seeds and pulp and placed them in a cheese cloth and tied that up. Next, I boiled the guavas in water, together with the pulp in cheesecloth (the latter for flavor but no grittiness) and I used a food processor to puree the guavas, throwing out the seeds and pulp. I added just a bit of apple pectin to the sugar and the guava puree and cooked the mixture for some 12-15 minutes until I got the desired consistency. I bottled most of the jam and sterilized the bottles in a boiling water bath. The results? A noticeable improvement in the smoothness of the jam. I liked the consistency that was very spreadable, but still substantial. The flavor was still GUAVA in capital letters, but I added some kalamansi to balance the sweetness. I am happy with this version. I should warn folks that are novice jam makers that you may need to try several batches to get it just right. Fruit have varying levels of water content, natural sweetness, pectins, etc. so while you might measure the same amounts of ingredients for two different batches, they may turn out slightly differently. Don’t let that discourage you, when you get it right it feels extremely satisfying… And there are few things as delicious as homemade jams and jellies. They are a far, far cry from commercial grocery jams.



  1. atbnorge says:

    They don’t get to be jam with me ^.^
    I am also in jam-making mode with redcurrants and blueberries.
    I suddenly missed the guavas at home when we ambushed every
    small farmer on his way to the market with a basket full of organic

    Aug 27, 2010 | 6:42 am


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  3. millet says:

    and nice color, too. i find that commercial guava jams vary in color from pale gold to dark brown to almost blackberry-like (must have been overcooked!). i miss the honey-colored guava jelly that is translucent and almost “chewy” (for want of a better word). i miss a former helper who made excellent guava jelly from her mom’s native guavas.

    Aug 27, 2010 | 8:51 am

  4. viva says:

    Thank you for the post on guava jam. Our yard had several guava trees and our maternal grandmother would make the ripened guavas to perfect jam… i miss that…

    Aug 27, 2010 | 9:33 am

  5. present tense says:

    Same thing when we have too many plums and apricots come harvest. They dont keep well. But this is in rural Sicily

    Aug 27, 2010 | 10:38 am

  6. Toping says:

    You didn’t use the peel and discarded the boiled pulp and seeds; does that mean you were left with guava juice/broth?

    Aug 27, 2010 | 10:57 am

  7. Marketman says:

    Toping, yes, that wasn’t clear, I took the coiled guava and put it in a food processor, added some hot guava water and pureed it. Then added the sugar/pectin and returned this to the stove and cooked until the right consistency…

    Aug 27, 2010 | 12:37 pm

  8. joey says:

    Thanks for sharing this MM…I agree with you 100% that homemade is so much better than store bought. I am not an expert nor experienced jam maker, but even with my minimal experience in jam-making I already balk at buying commercial grocery jams as the flavor is truly so different. What I do a lot when I don’t have time is make just a bottle or two of “refrigerator jam” (not sealed nor strerilized for long term storage) and it doesn’t seem so daunting for a beginner :)

    People, make your own jam! It’s easy and so worth it!

    Aug 27, 2010 | 3:33 pm

  9. Maricel says:

    I agree with Joey – it is so easy. I recently tried to make a small batch of MM’s mangosteen jam. It was my first time to ever make jam and it turned out perfect. My son and husband who are not jam persons love it. Next time I will try to bottle it properly .

    Aug 27, 2010 | 4:08 pm

  10. sister says:

    That guave jam looks amazing!

    Aug 27, 2010 | 5:41 pm

  11. Mahar says:

    Looks good! I’d just like to know where you buy your pectin. Most jam recipes I stumble across mention it, I just don’t know where it’s sold.

    Thanks, and love the food experiments.

    Aug 27, 2010 | 5:56 pm

  12. Artisan Chocolatier says:

    MM, Please text me as to when you will be back in Cebu, I have something that will match perfectly with the guava jam. ;->

    Aug 27, 2010 | 6:38 pm

  13. jannah says:

    I suddenly remember my Auntie Maria (actually a lola but we call her auntie) who was a Home Economics teacher in our province. She had a lot of guava trees in her backyard which we used to raid in 1980s. During guava seasons she used to make guava jelly from scratch, cooking it in her kalan made of clay and woods. Your article surely brings back memories long buried. Thanks MM

    Aug 27, 2010 | 10:37 pm

  14. Mary Lee says:

    I remember Mom making the jam in Cebu from the tree that never seemed to stop blooming. If my memory serves me right, she didn’t bother peeling the guavas — she may have quartered them and boiled them, seeds and all, then strained the whole mess through cheesecloth. Your result looks more like the apple butter (guava butter?) that they sell here.
    Last year’s product was definitely tasty but our sample’s become almost semi-solid and difficult to spread. This batch looks very yummy. Ms. Gtown would probably love some of that.

    Aug 27, 2010 | 11:39 pm

  15. corrine says:

    MM, I hope you are in a contest mood? I would surely want to win. Game na game for that exquisite guava jam.

    Aug 27, 2010 | 11:50 pm

  16. Joy says:

    That looks great. My grandmother used to make guava jam all the time when I was a child. I miss the homemade version.

    Aug 28, 2010 | 2:26 am

  17. sister says:

    FYI bulk pectin is available at http://www.pacificpectin.com including low sugar jam pectin. Guava has a lot of pectin so it needs very little help. Make sure you use cane sugar for jams, beet sugar makes a cloudy jam.

    I made over 300 pints of jam this summer in 15 different fruit flavours-wild strawberry, rhubarb, wild blueberry, peach, apricot/kernels, apricot/honey, damson plum, spiced quetsch, blackberry, red raspberry, mango, mango/orange marmalade, blueberry/lemon marmalade, sour cherry, black cherry/kirsch, peach/thyme honey, etc. but no guava or mangosteen, I have to depend on MM for those. Amazing what one can do with fruit from Union Square market.

    Off to Paris, will bring back Christine Ferber’s jams for MM from the Epicerie for comparison.

    Aug 28, 2010 | 5:34 am

  18. Pilar says:

    contest! contest! contest!!!!!:-)

    Aug 28, 2010 | 7:46 am

  19. Rob says:

    Mmmmmm. Your guava & cheese pairing reminds me of Cuban pastelitos de guayaba y queso.

    MM, time permitting, you should attempt this one of these days. In a nutshell, it’s guava paste/jam (?) with cream cheese baked in puff pastry (more or less like a turnover) then brushed with simple syrup. ¡Qué rrrrrriiiico!

    Aug 28, 2010 | 11:21 am

  20. millet says:

    oh, sister!

    (just jealous)

    Aug 28, 2010 | 11:29 am

  21. kasseopeia says:

    Jam! I love jam… and my favorite happens to be guava! As a kid, we had a native guava tree – the ones with tiny fruit. My mom made jams and marmalades of all sorts (most common was pineapple) but never guava. Commercial “jams” I’ve tried tend to be pink and seem more like guava-flavored pink Jello than anything else.

    A warm croissant that shatters with every bite slathered with guava jam and thick unsalted butter. A cup of mint tea and I call it breakfast! Y-U-M!

    Aug 28, 2010 | 10:26 pm

  22. denise says:

    ah memories of home economics classes…i forgot what kind of fruit it was that we used, but it came out sour and sweet, and it was good with very salty crackers

    Aug 28, 2010 | 11:53 pm

  23. pierre Marmonier says:

    When is the Guava season, everytime I ask around I get different answers? and where in Manila to find those native guava? Thanks for anyone who can help

    Sep 24, 2010 | 9:58 pm

  24. pierre Marmonier says:

    When is the Guava season, everytime I ask around I get different answers? and where in Manila to find those native guava? Thanks.

    Sep 24, 2010 | 9:58 pm

  25. Marketman says:

    pierre, you are most likely to find the small native guavas from around June to August or at the end of the summer/beginning of the rainy season. The trees bear fruit all year round however, hence the ambiguity of answers you may have received about the season for them. The native guavas are almost always only found at the large wet markets or weekend markets such as FTI in Taguig or the Lung Center Sunday market. They are a bit more common in provincial markets.

    Sep 25, 2010 | 1:15 pm

  26. Shashemama says:

    Who likes to buy a homemade Guava Jelly – 8oz made with natural fruit extract, no preservatives, no artificial color made with passion. Maximum order 3 bottles only, 150PHP per bottle, Near by Alabang Area Only. shashemama@yahoo.com Thankyou, Marketman! :)

    Sep 27, 2010 | 9:38 pm

  27. Judy says:

    Saw this on multiply site. I thought this might help people who are interested in making their own jams.
    They sell retail and bulk pectin and located in Manila.


    Nov 29, 2010 | 1:59 pm


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