Quince & Pineapple Guava Jam

quince pineapple guava

Harvesting your backyard garden can be a challenge. It’s like an episode of Chopped each week as my harvest basket brings a new combination of produce to magically morph into dinner.

pineapple guava tree

My pineapple guava tree and fruit.

This round brought some rather ripe quince and a mountain of pineapple guavas that are dropping like mini-grenades from our two trees. Pineapple guavas are abundant in Santa Barbara, similar in color and texture to an olive tree, they have rounder, slightly variegated trees and delicious tropical-flavored fruit.


These quince were close to being past their prime, perfect contenders for jam.

In the past, I’ve made Pineapple Guava Sorbet, but with that quince staring me down along with a surge of creative energy, I thought I’d try making a jam/sauce of sorts. Quince is high in pectin, making it a great natural addition to fruit jam in lieu of another thickening agent.

The result of my experiment was a success, but I just don’t know what in the hell to call it, exactly. It’s not quite a jam, more like a (delicious) replacement for cranberry sauce- it would be great with turkey or duck. It received high praise from my family served alongside Cornish game hens. It would also taste incredible with triple cream, toasted nuts and rustic bread for a cheese course—think of it as a more modern version to the ubiquitous 90’s craze of baked brie with apricot jam.

pineapple guava sliced

Quince and Pineapple Guava Jam

Yields about 2 cups (depending on the size of your quince- there’s a joke in there somewhere…)


In the “wild” we just pick the soften pineapple guavas off the tree, rather aggressively bite off one side and suck the fruit out (ladylike, isn’t it?). Back in the kitchen with a pairing knife, I slice off each of the ends, stand up the fruit on one end, then carve off the skin – like you would to remove the peel of an orange. Then, slice in quarters lengthwise and slice and dice.


1 large quince, skinned, cored and thinly sliced

1 ½ pounds of pineapple guava, skin removed and diced—you want to end up with around three cups of sliced fruit

1 lemon, divided

1/2 cup sugar, divided

1 cinnamon stick

Splash of port


Poach the quince in the juice of ½ a lemon, 1/2 cup water and 1/4 cup sugar by bringing to a boil on high heat. Reduce to simmer for about 10 minutes, until the quince begins to soften.


Add to the quince, the pineapple guava, ¼ sugar, one glug of port and stir to incorporate.  Bring to boil and reduce to simmer – taste for sweetness adding up to ¼ more sugar if necessary.  Cook for an additional 10 minutes on medium/low heat.


Store in a glass airtight container. It will keep up to 2 weeks in the fridge.

quince jam

quince jam

Share This

Facebook Google+ Twitter Pinterest E-mail

4 thoughts on “Quince & Pineapple Guava Jam”

Love your description of guavas cascading like mini-grenades!

I also live in Santa Barbara and my two pineapple guava trees are loaded too. I’m up to my eyeballs in guavas! I’m actually glad the squirrels are hoarding and eating some of them. Last year I made jam; but this time I’ll try your quince-guava version.

Incredibly, I’m still harvesting delicious figs (!) and last week made my last (?) fig galette of the year. Oh well, I’m not complaining…!

my favorite part of pineapple guavas is the blossoms–they taste like spicy candy! eating the flowers as garnish on a dessert plate, or on salads (or just stand under the tree and gorge, like the birds do) reduces the fruit supply to a manageable minimum. honestly, i am not fond of the fruit 🙂

I just tasted my first pineapple guava thanks to you! Someone told me the random bush growing in my hedge was a pineapple guava, but being new to this area’s ag cycle, I didn’t know when it would bear fruit, etc.

After reading your post, I walked out there and found some green grenades. I tried to bite off the end and suck out the fruit as one does in the wild, but the skin was too bitter, yuck. I didn’t know to expect heaven when I sliced off the skin and tried my very first taste! Wow!! Sooooo delicious! I don’t have any quince so I’ll just enjoy these fresh. Thanks for your delicious gift today:)!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *