Guava Jelly a la Marketman


Gosh is it HOT outside or what? It must be over 100 degrees F around these parts… That must mean the start of peak tropical fruit harvests and jelly2all the great things you can do with them. I was thrilled with my success with the guava jam/cheese that I made a few weeks ago so when I came across some more nice small “native” guavas at the market and I decided to give guava jelly a go. I know guava jelly is readily available in the grocery, so why bother trying to make it from scratch, you ask? Simply because I want to, I guess. And the first time results were impressive, if I may say so myself. It takes some elapsed time to do this recipe, but it is actually VERY easy to make. I made a fairly large batch of jam (several jars) which is more than enough for a year in our home so if you want to do this on a smaller scale, feel free to cut this recipe in half…it should work just fine.

Take 3 kilos of “native” guavas that are ripe and pungent. If they aren’t that ripe yet, let them sit on your kitchen counter for another day of two until the kitchen reeks of guava fragrance. The large crisp pale and beautiful “on steroids” type jelly3of guava is not the right choice. Wash the fruit, cut it into small pieces or disks, and place it all in a large pot with about 10-11 cups of water, making sure all of the guava is under water. Make sure you remove any rotten parts of the fruit and don’t worry if some of the fruit isn’t fully ripened yet. Next turn on the stove, bring pot to a boil then lower flame and simmer the guava until tender and even more fragrant, roughly 20 minutes simmering should be fine. Do NOT mash up the guavas by overstirring. Just leave them be. You want to keep your liquid as clear as possible Take this off the flame and let the guava sit in the hot water for another 20 minutes. Place all of this in a jelly bag to strain out the guava juice or essence. I didn’t have a jelly bag so I crafted my own contraption. I suspended a stainless steel colander over a glass bowl, lined it with three layers of cheesecloth and carefully put all of the guavas and liquid there. Let this drip overnight or roughly 9-10 hours. Do not disturb it, just let it drip on its own. 90% of the liquid will filter into the bowl in the first few seconds, but it is the last 10% of the liquid that is just redolent with guava essence…

What you will end up with is roughly 10-11 cups of rather fragrant guava juice. While it may be a bit cloudy it shouldn’t be too opaque. I decided to divide my guava jelly4juice into two portions to experiment with different versions of guava jelly. In the first attempt, I used roughly 5 cups of guava juice and added 7 cups of white granulated sugar and the juice of half a small lemon. Stir this over medium heat until the “soft ball stage” or where a little drop into a glass of cool water turns into a soft ball… I winged it and went roughly 50 minutes which turned out to be a little too long… resulting in a thick, flavorful and beautifully colored jelly; it looked brilliant, it was just a tad overcooked. I thought this was a pretty good guava jelly but I wanted the guava flavor to be more intense. So I immediately attempted a second batch, this time first boiling down the 6 cups of remaining guava juice until it was about 4.5 to 5 cups of more concentrated flavored liquid. I then added 7 cups of sugar and the juice of 3 kalamansi and cooked this for roughly 30-35 minutes over medium-low flame. This version was superb. Perhaps a touch shy of perfectly cooked, it flowed more readily, had an incredible guava flavor and was perfect with yogurt, crackers or on toast. I really like the flavor of kalamansi and I would definitely recommend this latter version if you can only try one.

Place the guava jelly in sterilized jars and keep it in the fridge for several months. If you want to store it for longer, fill the sterilized jars and cap them then put them in a boiling jelly5bath for say 10 minutes to sterilize it all. This should keep for several months in a cool pantry. It is amazing how guava, water, sugar and a touch of kalamansi can result in such a wonderful jelly. Not only would this taste brilliant in freshly baked pan de sals with sweet butter, they would pair well with salty cheeses on crackers and as I found out a day after I made the jam, it goes well with greek style yoghurt for breakfast. Can I tell the difference between homemade and store bought… I suspect I can. The homemade is fresher, lighter, cleaner tasting. It is sweet but not cloying and the FLAVOR of guava is a knock-out punch for sure…


30 Responses

  1. Looks superb and putting the guava jelly in the spotlight! It is amazing how things we overlook come up great the unassuming native guavas and calamansi. Why bother with lime and lemon where calamansi is abundant and it is our very own! You’re absolutely right guava jelly is great with cheese and yogurt.

  2. Nothing beats homemade and you know what is in there. I have serious sugar and hygiene issues too. One reason I do it myself.

  3. Where can I buy mason jars or can I reuse glass jars say of mayo or empty jam jars? I seem to remember that there is a machine to sterilise and seal jars.

  4. Guava jelly and Kraft cheese is my favorite palaman for pan de sal or any other kind of bread. It is so delicious pero … very fattening. Yes, I’ve heard that native guavas make the best jam/jelly.

    What is the difference between jam and jelly? The pectin?

  5. yum yum. had store bought guave jelly and chesse on crackers yesterday, it was lovely, can just imagine what homemade jelly would taste like. hopefully when we’re in Davao mid may there will be lots of guavas so i can try this recipe and the jam and bring it back to beijing

  6. I miss my dad’s guava jelly… he used to make bottles of it when I was a kid. Dun pa yun sa aming lumang bahay na madaming fruit trees. Binebenta din nya sa mga kaopisina nya.

  7. MM, i used to buy lady’s choice peanut butter with guava strips… too bad hindi na siya available sa market. I envy you! ang galeng mong gumawa nito. Thanks sa recipe.

  8. Maria Clara, this along with mangosteen jam and mango jam make the Philippine jam/jelly offerings really quite superb! Corrine, there are expensivish mason/italian bottling jars at the housewares section of Landmark. Alternatively, I understand there are places in Quiapo…but I haven’t found them yet. Do not reuse mayo jars if you are going to sterilise the jam by boiling it with a top on for long term storage. You CAN probably re-use a mayo jar recycled if you are just going to store the guava jelly for a few weeks IN THE FRIDGE, and you don’t boil the jam in the jar. Just clean the mayo jar well and use scalding water to sterilize it before hand. However, for sanitary and bacterial reasons, I would go with a new jar… MM del Rosario, these were plain soda crackers…kinda like saltines, but skyflakes work well too! Sandra, jelly is typically clear without whole fruit…jam includes whole fruit. Grace, if the seasons in Davao follow just a little behind, guavas should be at their peak in a few weeks… iska, homemade and by dad must be the best (after all, I hope that’s what I hope The Kid thinks!), Mel, just buy good peanut butter and swirl with homemade guava jelly…it’ll be better than you remember!

  9. ooohhh…you’re turning into a top-notch jam- and jelly-maker, MM! the first picture is calling out to me! that would be wonderful with oatmeal, or in crackers paired with kesong puti or on top of some brie that’s been microwaved a few seconds.

    when i was growing up, we had a helper who made jam out of everything : guavas, tamarind, tomato, kalamansi, etc., but i always had the impression that jam-making involved lots of stirring over a hot stove, so i’d always been afraid to try. your mangosteen and guava jam posts make it seem so doable!

  10. sorry, but what’s the difference between a jelly and jam? i’m confused. thanks! :)

    MM, your guava jelly looks like honey :) looks yummy.

  11. This looks fantastic Marketman! I love guava jelly…with yogurt it’s delicious…or with toast and butter (my favorite way from childhood) :) Hooray for you for making it! I’m inspried now to make my own :) I’ve done mangosteen and mango so I guess this is just a natural progression right? ;)

    I buy jam jars from SM or landmark (you featured them before)…but where did you get the mason jar?

  12. I found a whole jam making kit complete with mason jars, rubber rimmed lids and even a few envelopes of pectin at True Value Power Plant.

  13. I think if you add pectin, the consistency becomes jello like, which i don’t like. I love the consistency of honey for my jellies, au’naturelle.

  14. Guava Jelly looks delicious… and especially delicious because it reminded me of the sandwiches my dad would make for our baon! Guava Jelly and Cheese on toasted white bread! Thanks for this entry. Is the procedure the same for mangosteen and mango jelly? I would love to try it here in the states, I just have to find guavas. :)

  15. Traci, thanks for that link… and yes, nice of Serious Eats to pick up the guava posts… I think they have picked up one or two items before…

  16. MM:

    Jelly is so named because it is not a liquid, like syrup,
    but a semisolid technically called a “gel”, thus the name.
    I grew up with my mother and grandmother making both guava
    jelly as well as guava paste and guava shells every year…
    We ate guava products all year long and loved them all!
    I learned that the difference between jelly and jam is that
    jelly is clear and has a gel consistency. Jam may contain
    solid matter such as fruit pieces and the consistency may be
    jam-like or jelly-like… Mainly jelly is clear and jam is not. I know there are technical terms for consistency of most
    foods, but I don’t know them all…I’m not a cook. I’m just
    another consumer!

    Keep up the good work.


  17. I suddenly felt sad, because we used to have 2 guava trees (one in front, one at the back) in our house, but eventually the other one died and the other was uprooted due to a very strong typhoon one time.. I remember as a kid, our house maid would climb the tree and get those small, sweet with just the right sourness guavas, and we would eat them as is or my grandma would use them making sinigang..

    I wish those trees would still be around so that I could make the fruits into jam/jelly.. Guavas are such a comfort food for me..

  18. Komusta (hubby)
    filipina here we have alarge guava tree and we had started making jam last year much more this year..interested in other recepies and varietis please let us know whats onyour mind we are in florida

  19. started canning guava last year interested in recepies or varietys of flavors…filipina here in florida

  20. I live in London and where there is a culture of commercializing everything like adding pectin to jam (their great grandmothers for sure haven’t heard of pectin and mind you it was the English puritans that brought jam making to North America). Your recipe is very simple and I am going to try it today. I have bought 4 average size guavas at the local store and they cost me £0.56 each! I was shocked because I have just been to the Philippines and we have a large guava tree in our backyard. But did you know that the fruit with the highest concentration of vitamin C is THE GUAVA? So I guess, at £0.56 the fruit is worth the trouble here in London where we commute in crowded trains and likely to catch the common cold. Bobi, your typical rat-racetrack driver

  21. hi marketman. where do you get these ball mason jars? i’ve been looking for them for a while now because i was planning to jar stuff and hopefully get into business with it. i was thinking maybe the last resort would just to order from abroad, ask relatives who are there to bring them over, but it owuld be a hassle already dont you think? i was hoping you could tell me and guide me with this ‘endeavor’ haha. i love your blog :) keep on going! please do message me if you have time! thanks!

  22. my lola used to make this but she would cook it to hard ball stage, put it in square molds and we used it like a gooey cranberry jelly, it looked like small fat tiles.



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