How to make guava jam

My friend Margaret gave me a whopping big bag of pineapple guavas (Feijoa sellowiana or Acca sellowiana) from her tree last week. I turned them into jam, and I swear, it’s the best jam I’ve ever made. I tweaked her recipe a bit, so I’ll give you both versions. They both make a wonderful jam. You’ll need 7-10 lbs of guavas for this recipe.

This is what seven pounds of pineapple guavas look like.

Margaret’s Guava Spice Jam

4 C Guava pulp (scooped with lime juice added to prevent discoloration)

3 C Sugar

1-2 T grated fresh ginger root

3 T lemon or lime juice

1/2 tsp cinnamon

1/4 tsp allspice

Combine and cook slowly until thick, stirring often, about 30-45 minutes. Pour into hot, sterilized jars, and seal immediately. You can substitute finely chopped orange or lemon (including peel) for part of guava.

I had one ripe Meyer lemon and one ripe Valencia orange left on my trees, plus my Granny Smith apples are now ready to harvest, so I decided to use them. My gingerroot is just barely old enough to harvest, so I went sparingly on that. I wanted to keep the bright yellow pineapple color of the guava, so I used whole spices instead of ground. Here was what my recipe turned into.

Lou’s Pineapple Guava Spice Jam

4 C guava pulp

1 apple, quartered

1 orange, grated peel, pulp and juice only

1 lemon, grated peel, pulp and juice only

1 lime, juiced

2 sticks cinnamon

1 tsp whole allspice

2-3 tsp freshly grated gingerroot

3 C sugar

Scoop out enough gelatinous centers of guavas to fill 4 C and put into a pan. Quarter a tart apple and add to the pan. Tie 2 cinnamon sticks and 1 tsp allspice into a cheesecloth bag and add to pulp. Cook guava pulp and apple with a squeeze of lemon juice for 20 minutes. Remove bag of spices and reserve. Put pulp through a colander or strainer. Put strained pulp back into pan and add grated peel and juice of 1 Meyer lemon and 1 orange and the reserved spice bag. Squeeze lemon and orangeĀ juice into a measuring cup and add enough lime juice to equal 3/4 C. Add citrus juice to pulp along with 2 tsp of freshly grated gingerroot and 3 C of sugar. Cook for about 45-55 minutes or until jam sheets from a spoon instead of separating into two streams. Pour into clean, hot jars, seal, and process in a boiling water bath for 10 minutes. Yields five 8-oz. jars of jam.

I used whole allspice and whole cinnamon in my jam, plus my first harvest of ginger, a Meyer lemon, and a Valencia orange (not pictured).

I used a grapefruit spoon to scoop out the guava pulp.

I composted the thick, hard rinds.

This is the pan of guava pulp before addition of the apples and spices, and before cooking.

This is the jam after it has been strained and cooked down.

After processing the jam in a boiling water bath for 10 minutes, I put the jars onto a cloth towel to cool.

This jam was so good that I begged another bag of guavas from Margaret so I could make another batch. Since her tree produces about 10-15 lbs of guavas a day for several weeks, this was no problem. I’m off to the kitchen!

May 10, 2012

There has been a lot of discussion about the name of this fruit, with different people calling it different things. According to one source, the scientific name is Feijoa sellowiana. According to Wikipedia, the genus name is Acca, not Feijoa. Common names include pineapple guava, feijoa (apparently the most popular name for it in New Zealand) and guavasteen. But a fruit by any name tastes the same. ENJOY!

About Lou Murray, Ph.D.

I'm a retired medical researcher, retired professional writer/photographer, avid gardener, and active environmentalist living in southern California. I wrote a weekly newspaper column on environmental topics in the Huntington Beach Independent for many years. I also supervised environmental restoration projects and taught at the Orange County Conservation Corps before retiring in the summer of 2016. This blog chronicles my efforts to live a green life growing as much food as possible for my husband and myself on a 4,500 sq ft yard that is covered mainly by house, garage, driveway, and sidewalks. I am also dedicated to combatting global climate change.
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42 Responses to How to make guava jam

  1. Daphne Gould says:

    Yum. I’ve had guava jam, but I’ve never made it before. Yours sounds delicious.


  2. Brenda K says:

    How timely! The guava tree that came with the apartment we moved into almost 2 years ago looks like it’s about to inundate us with tonnages of guavas in another month or so, so now I have at least one idea of what to do with them – thanks! Any recommended adaptations of the recipe for white Indian guavas?


  3. LINDA EDMONDS says:

    For the past four years, these oval shaped green things dropped all over my side yard and hadn’t a clue what they were until my personal plant lady remarked one day, “oh, you have two Guava trees!” So, this year I was determined to scout out on-line what people do with them, although my plant lady did tell me she knows that some people make jam out of them. I just want to thank Margaret or whomever posted what sounds like a fabulous recipe to make “Guava Jam”—but I must add that it also sounds like an awfully time consuming task. It is late October here in Central California and they are just beginning to fall off my trees. How can you tell when they are actually ripe? Can they be removed from their trees before they actually fall and ripen indoors? I just need a little more knowledge before I undertake this task. I would so appreciate someone helping me with this information! All the best to all of you! Linda


    • Linda, when the guavas fall off the tree, they’re ripe. Margaret picks hers up off the ground every evening and makes jam or freezes the pulp the next day. They go bad pretty quickly, so clean up under the tree and collect the next day’s fruit fall for use. Don’t pick them off the tree.


    • Ed in Long Beach says:

      Pineapple Guavas are ripe when they drop to the ground. In Southern California they drop during the month of September. ….and Yes, pick them up daily as they do go bad in a few days without refrigeration. We are forced to make jam as we cannot eat or give away enough of the daily production!


  4. Laura says:

    Thanks for this great recipe! Very sweet and syrupy with a caramel note. I found that rather than scooping each guava (mine were small), I sliced them in half across the grain, like a lemon, and just squeezed out the pulp. Much easier and you can do it with two hands even. Here in Northern California, many people grow Pineapple Guava as a landscape shrub because it is heat and drought tolerant. The yummy fruit is an added bonus! Anyone have an idea how to get rid of the tiny little seeds?


  5. chris says:

    Pineapple guavas are yellow and have bigger seeds, which need to be scooped out before making into jam. The guavas pictured here are sometimes called fejoahs.


  6. faith says:

    I am not sure where you guys are posting from but this is the first time I have seen a ‘guava’ that looks like this. What we call ‘guava’ in the Caribbean is a completely different fruit, with no gelatinous middle.

    Anyway, our guavas make a pretty delicious jam, as well as jellies, fruit cheese and drink. So I will be using your recipe to test my fruit.


    • Hi Faith. I’m located in southern California. I didn’t know that the Caribbean guava was a different fruit. We have strawberry and pineapple guava trees here. The strawberry guava is red, while the pineapple guava is yellow-green and tastes a bit like pineapple.


    • Shanti says:

      I think the guavas we get in India are very similar to the Carribean ones.


  7. Linda Chapman says:

    Dr Murray!

    Can I have permission to copy this recipe for my personal recipe file? We have 3 guava trees and I never knew what to do with the fruit, or when it was ripe so I appreciate all your responses to the other viewers. The recipe sounds wonderful and I can’t wait to try it.


  8. Lisa says:

    I moved into an older home in Orange County about 6 months ago and am still discovering a bounty of goodness from the garden…. including 3 guava trees…. which are still bearing fruit… They are 3 different varieties and only one is pink. Instead of just bringing bags of them to work, I made your jam (the spiced one)….. Everyone thinks it’s the best jam they’ve ever tasted… even those who don’t care for guavas eaten straight off the tree. Oh… I’ve never even attempted jam before….needless to say, I’ll be making more!!!


  9. Faith Mulenga says:

    Thanks for that recipe šŸ˜€ Our guavas in Zambia are different too. If i could I’d post pics here.
    But all in all, I think this recipe will work just fine.
    Thank you again x


  10. Dalys says:

    These are not guavas. They are feijoas. In April in New Zealand we pick up buckets of them every day. they make delicious jam, feijoa crumble, feijoa cake and eat then cut in half with a teaspoon.


  11. This page has been an education for me. My neighbour has a pretty tree which overhangs my driveway. I always thought it was an Australian native plant. Our possums certainly love it and make a terrible mess. I bravely tried one of the fruit and it tasted a little like a passion fruit with a bit of pineapple thrown in. Very nice indeed.
    Just goes to show not all good things are Australian! I’m off to make some jam – thank you


  12. Sandra Sears says:

    Just like to let you know that the fruit that you call quarva are called feijoas, thats the name that they are given in my Country New Zealand.


  13. Susan says:

    The fruit in the picture is NOT guavas, they are a fruit called fejoas – a lovely delicate fruit grown and sold in New Zealand … thought you all should know


  14. delicio8 says:

    I’m glad I found this site because when I lived in California we had a tree that produced this fruit. My dad called it guava. Fast forward to now, many years later and definitely not in California, I’m in the Pacific Northwest, I was telling my husband how great guavas were. Well there were some quite large “guavas” at our ethnic grocery and the taste is not at all the same! I was so dissapointed and thought I had remembered incorectly. but what you have pictured here is what I remember. I have to find some again! Oh and thanks to everyone who knows their true name feijoas. I had no idea.


    • I made an update to this post because of the number of comments on the name of the pineapple guava. The genus name is Feijoa, and that is what the fruit is called in New Zealand. As far as I know, it is called pineapple guava here in the states. Wikipedia says that a third name for this fruit is guavasteen.


  15. I am an attorney whose first degree is in horticulture from LSU. Botanical debate as to its genus being Fejoia or Acco agreement as to is species being sellowiana these grow well on Gulf Coast where it’s jelly is legendary rivaled only by Mayhaws. These large shrubs are largely ignored by landscapers despite exfoliating, peeling bark, gorgeous showy red and white flowers and fruit loved by birds and squirrels alike who can’t eat them fast enough. A specimen shrub next to my screen porch is overhanging our hot tub and is easily 12 feet high and wide and annually produces 15-20 gallons of fruit! I also grow citrus in large containers and am going to try your recipe with some of my limes, lemons and a red navel orange! Regards!


    • Ogden, good luck with your jam.


    • Magdalen Romero says:

      hello,i live in south louisiana and have a guava tree thats dropping fruit like crazy. I have cooked and baked everything i know how to with them. Question is market will buy them but i don’t have a clue what they go for. Ive seen real expensive online for pineapple guava but just not sure. Can you ,or anyone help me figure out? thanks Magdalen


  16. kerry says:

    Thank You! My husband and I followed your recipe today. It was such a nice Sunday project. It was our first time making jam and our first time canning.


  17. Sheila says:

    Thank you for posting such great recipes. I made the jam yesterday and it is delicious. My daughter and her friend plan on making a large batch for Christmas gifts.


  18. ellen dayton says:

    what ever people want to call them!!! i grew up calling them pineapple guavas in los angeles. when i moved to san luis obispo, i had to plant a bush and have for the last 10 years gotten bumper crops. mostly i have eaten them fresh. this year i de pulped them and froze the pulp and am getting ready to make jam. my mother used to make guava jelly. but i like the idea of the spice addition. thank you. for the recipe. ps i grew up with my father working for mccormick schilling spices. so the spice addition will be a wonderful taste treat. thnks. ellen dayton


  19. Katherine Fishley says:

    Found this when trying to find out if stewed could leave skins on.
    anyone know?


  20. Anna says:

    I made this a couple weeks ago from pineapple guavas on a hedge we planted a couple years ago. When my husband tasted it, he said, “maybe we shouldn’t give too much of this away!” Today he told me it’s the best jam he’s ever tasted. I agree!


  21. Anita says:

    Looks like a great recipe. I’m making it tonight. Thought you might like to know the petals of feijoa flowers are delicious. They taste like a perfumy marshmallow. I have to get o them before the birds do, as they love them too.


  22. Karen says:

    Years ago, living in Long Beach, CA, I came home from work one evening to find my “pink-meat” fruit squashed all over the street. Neighbor kids had a “war” with them. What a sweet mess. Two little old ladies approached me and asked for the remainder of my crop to make jam. They called it guava and that was OK with me. Their jam was delicious! Now I live near Sacramento, CA and have a large shrub of the pale variety, that others have told me are called Pineapple Guava. My last year batch of jam disappeared off my garage shelves. This year, a bumper crop and I will keep a closer eye on my jarred jam. Thanks for your spice recipe, using it next batch.


  23. Michelle Crandall says:

    You say to “Put strained pulp back into pan”… What do I do with the liquid drained from the pulp? Toss it or have you figured out another use for it?


  24. Jane Dunmeyer says:

    I have trouble understanding the flow of your “Lou” recipe. You say to squeeze a little lemon juice on the pulp. Then you say to add the peel and juice of the lemon and orange back into the guava pulp. THEN you say to add lemon and orange juice into a measuring cup and add enough lime juice to equal 3/4 cup. Where is all this lemon and orange juice supposed to come from…. the one lemon and one orange or additional lemons and oranges that aren’t listed in the ingredient list?


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