Homemade Fresh Guava Jam

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Homemade Fresh Guava Jam

Last week, some friends gave us a bag of guavas from their backyard tree.  The guavas were perfectly ripe, and very fragrant… Great timing, as I was planning to make some fall jams and jellies to give away during the holidays!

While some guava jam recipes don’t call for added pectin… I think it’s a bit riskier to go that route because you can’t guarantee that the pectin level in your fruit is high enough to make the jam gel.  Store bought pectin speeds up the process and makes it more foolproof that your jam will gel.  I like to use “low sugar pectin” because I’m not a fan of super-sweet jam – the amount of sugar called for in this recipe is more than enough!

If you’ve never made jam at home before, it’s not hard to do… just a little bit time consuming.  (The worst part for me is waiting for my giant pot of water to boil to sterilize the jars and process the jam in the water-bath canning step!)  However, if you don’t intend on canning your jam, then it’s quite quick – either use the jam up quickly, or freeze your extra jam instead of going through the process of canning for pantry storage.  But if you do want to water bath can your jam – it really is easy – all you need is a deep stock pot with a metal rack in the bottom, and some canning jars.  Pack the hot jam into sterilized jars, seal, then boil the jars for 10 minutes – and voilà, you have home canned your jam!

Try this jam on some buttered sourdough toast… my new favorite breakfast!  This also makes a nice filling for crepes, or a delicious topping for pancakes.

Guava Jam (makes about 6-7 cups):

Sterilize your jars (and ladle) in a 10-15 minute boiling water bath

  • 4 c. diced guava (about 1.5 lb.)
  • 4 c. water
  • 3 c. sugar
  • 1 1/2 T. apple cider vinegar
  • 3 T. lime juice
  • 3 T. Low Sugar Pectin
  • 1 tsp. salt

1.  Wash the guavas under cold running water.  (While most of the guavas should be ripe for the best flavor, it’s best to have a few (green) un-ripened guavas in the mix for higher pectin content – which will help your jam to set.)

2.  Remove the stem and blossom ends, then cut the guavas into dice sized pieces.

3.  Add the guava, water, vinegar, lime juice, and salt to a large pot.

4.  Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to simmer (covered) for about 30 minutes.

5.  Cool the mixture (so that you can handle it without burning yourself), strain the liquid (reserve this liquid – do not throw it away!), then push the cooked fruit through a sieve to remove the seeds and skin (use the back of a wooden spoon).

6.  Measure strained guava puree and add the reserved strained liquid to make 4 cups of “guava liquid” total.  (If you have less than 4 cups total, then add water to make 4 c. total liquid).  The photo below shows the strained guava puree before adding the reserved strained liquid back in.

7.  Return the 4 c. of guava liquid back into the pot, add 3 T. low sugar pectin and simmer another about 5-10 minutes while stirring to dissolve all the pectin.

8.  Add 3 cups of sugar, turn up the heat and boil hard for 1 minute.

9.  Turn off the heat, and allow the jam to cool slightly.  Skim any foam off the top.  Carefully pour into sterilized jars.  (Sterilize jars in hot boiling water before filling).  If you plan to use up your jam quickly, or you don’t want to can your jam, you can refrigerate at this point (or freeze).

10.  If you want to water-bath can your jam for longer shelf life, wipe the rims of the jars, then seal the jars (finger tight only) with sterilized (new) lids and sterilized rings.  (Remember, these canning jars and rings are reusable, but you will need to use new jar lids every time!) Place the jars into a hot water bath (basically a tall stock pot with a rack in the bottom), making sure the hot water covers the jars by at least 1 inch.  Return to a boil (don’t be tricked by air bubbles escaping your jars), cover with a lid, and process (boil) for 10 minutes.  (You will need to process longer if you are at a higher elevation – adjust time depending on your elevation.)

11.  Remove from the hot water carefully using tongs or a jar lifter, and set aside to cool.  You will hear a popping sound as the jars form a vacuum seal.  When the jars are completely cool (12-24 hours later) you can test the seal by pressing on the top of the lids – (if they move, and you hear a clicking sound – your jar is not sealed properly).  Properly sealed jars can be stored in a pantry for up to a year  - but note that as the jam ages, it may discolor.  For more information on home canning jams and jellies, see the National Center for Home Food Preservation website.


  1. Limarie says:

    I love this recipe! it was quite easy. In the Caribbean (Puerto Rico) we can buy guava paste but its too sweet and not quite fresh. Also takes more time on the stove to get it right (It didn’t work!). On the contrary, this jam is lighter and better to perform with. Makes an excellent sauce and it goes perfectly on roasted pork. Thank you!

  2. Amy says:

    Hi Mika
    How much puree can you get out from the 4 cups cooked guava? Also , do you have a trick to strain the puree more easily. I can only squeeze out 2 cups of puree and add the whole 2 cups of strained liquid. Also it take forever to strain the puree because there are so many seeds. I even chop the cooked guava in the food processor to make it finer and it is still hard to strain the pulps out. Is the jam sweet because it seems to be a lot of sugar for 6-7 1/2 pint jars. Just curious, because I just finish my guava jam batch this evening. Since I don’t do the water bath canning ( because it is late in the evening) , should I let the jam cool completely before I close the lid and put in the refrig or can I close the lid and let it cool before put it in the refrig? I hope this turn out well because I was gifted with half a brown bag of guava and this batch only make a dent of a 1/4 of a amount in the bag. As usual, thank you for posting the recipe. Amy

    • Mika Mika says:

      Hi Amy! As far as extracting the guava puree, the amount of puree you get will depend on the guava… some will contain more/larger seeds, so it’s hard to predict. Try a coarse strainer to get the seeds out of the puree, push the puree through the strainer with the back of a spoon. Fine sieves will take much longer.
      As far as the sweetness goes, I don’t find the jam too sweet… but that’s my subjective opinion. (It’s definitely less sweet than store bought jam, if that helps!) If you are not planning to can your jam in a water bath – just pack the hot jam into the clean sterilized jars, put the lids on and seal, then refrigerate once the jars have cooled.

      If you have a ton of extra guavas, you can always make guava juice! (Puree the guavas, then mix with sugar and water to taste once you have strained out all the seeds).

      I also make guava syrup – cut up a bunch of guavas and put in a pot of water to boil (1:1 ratio, I usually eyeball it). Simmer for about 20-30 minutes covered, then strain the liquid and pulp through a coarse sieve. Measure the liquid extracted, add an equal amount of sugar, then boil briefly. You can cool the syrup and store in the refrigerator (or freezer). I use this syrup to make flavored martinis, but you could also use it on pancakes/waffles, as a dessert topping, or mix it with fizzy/carbonated water to make a sparkling guava “soda”.

    • Terry says:

      In every recipe for guava jam/jelly it seems that people struggle with removing the seeds. Here’s my tip…’use a food mill’. Mine is an OXO Food Mill that I bought on Amazon for $35. They’re probably more now, but I’ve also seen mills on Amazon for $20 that will probably also do the job. I can remove the seeds from 12 cups of guava pulp in less than 5 minutes. Here’s another tip…’don’t peel the guava’. Remove the stem and blossom part. Quarter the guava and then mix them in a blender until you have a puree. Run the puree through the food mill and then boil the ‘now-deseeded’ puree per the Mika’s recipe.

  3. Debendra says:

    I made Guava jam today lets see how it will be

  4. Elana says:

    I fudged up many times during the recipe process—added sugar way early and let it boil too long a couple of times—but the recipe seems pretty idiot-proof. My grocery store only carried the Pomona Pectin https://www.amazon.com/dp/B001IZICO2?psc=1&smid=ABUX1LH52S4Z6 which is a slightly confusing process because it comes with a calcium packet you have to mix, but I found just used the same 3 T pectin, 3 T calcium water per their instructions and it seems like it is jelling fine. Will report back if I’m wrong after it cools!


  5. heather says:

    Hi I made this jam today and the flavor is great but its really liquidy, is there anything i can do to make it thicker? do i have to re boil it?

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