Friday, 13 April 2018

THE BEST MANGO JAM

The mango season is finally here and it is time to preserve as much of the fruit as possible, so we can enjoy the taste not only now but during the rest of the year when mangoes are not available. Juices, jellies, preserves and jams can all be made and when prepared and stored correctly will not spoil for at least a year. To start I made a batch of mango jam which my family enjoy.


First batch of homemade mango jam

Maybe you think that jam-making is too difficult but it is not, I promise. The equipment needed can usually be found in any kitchen:
weighing scales
food processor or blender
a fairly large cooking pot, preferably stainless steel
a sharp knife and cutting board
cooking spoon (I prefer the wooden type)
a few saucers (for jam testing)
a funnel
a jug or ladle
a sugar thermometer is a bonus but it is NOT essential
jam jars
dishcloths, potholders or oven mitts
a deep roasting tray or similar for sterilizing the jars
a pair of tongs with a good grip


Jam jars can be bought or collected. I prefer to collect them, thereby saving quite a bit and since I only make jam for family and friends nobody minds what jar the jam comes in. Any jar from purchased items is safe to use as long as both jar and lid are free of any damage. And the lids should all have the pop-button which is very important for my way of bottling the jam.

If you have not made any jam or preserves before you might not be familiar with sterilizing the jars and other items like funnel, jug or ladle. So let me tell you the easiest method I know of. Wash jars and lids in hot soapy water until thoroughly clean. Then rinse in hot water to remove any trace of soap. Line a roasting tray with a clean dishcloth and place jars and lids as shown in the picture.

Ready to be sterilized, except the lid on the left which is damaged.
Heat your oven to 180℃, add water into the pan for about 1 cm and a few drops into each lid but not the jars. Allow 1/2 hour in the oven at the given temperature, then switch off. Keep the jars in the oven until the jam is done. It is best to sterilize the jars while the jam is cooking, so they will still be hot when the jam is ready to be bottled.

To sterilize jug, funnel and ladle wash as you did the jars, then place into a large pot, cover with cold water, bring to boil and continue boiling for three minutes. Cover pot and turn off the heat. This should be done before you start the jam, else you'll find that you don't have enough hands to do everything at the same time!

Now we can proceed to the jam making. Choose firm, slightly underripe mangoes without bruises or other signs of damage.

No damage, the specks are the dried tree juices from plucking the fruit
which will be washed off before processing.
It is impossible to say how many mangoes to buy for a given weight because the size of the stone varies as does the amount of juice. For this session I used 12 fairly large mangoes which yielded 900 g of prepared fruit. The ratio of sugar to fruit should be 2/3 i.e. 600 g. Water should be 900 ml. Process to a puree in  your food processor. If not available use a blender with  the addition of some of the measured water. Then place in your pot and proceed with the recipe below.
Fruit pulp with sugar added

Fruit pulp









Fresh lemon juice

Citric acid











RECIPE


Mango Jam























Tip



One does not have to purchase new jars for jam making. I firmly believe in recycling, so I collect
jars from commercial preserves as long as jars and lids are free from any damage. The lids should
all have a pop-up button and a kind of rubbery coating on the inside to ensure a firm seal.

Ingredients

1 kg fresh mangoes, chopped
700 g sugar
1 l water
2 Tbsp citric acid
Juice of one lemon

How To

Place all ingredients in a large stainless steel pot and bring to boil on high heat.
When boiling reduce heat to medium for about 20 minutes.
In the meantime place your chosen jam jars in the oven to sterilize.
After 20 minutes remove any scum which has formed on top of the jam. Increase heat to bring jam
to a rolling boil. If you have a sugar thermometer it should read 120℃. If no thermometer is
available, place a little jam on a cold plate and allow to cool.
Pushing it with your finger should make it wrinkly. That shows the jam is ready and needs to be
taken off the heat.
Remove jars from the oven , then fill with jam using a sterilized funnel and jug. Make sure the rims
of the jars are clean, then put on the lids tightly. When cool the jars should be sealed with the pop-
buttons down.
This way the jam can be stored in a cool, dark place for at least one year.


10 comments:

  1. And so delicious on bread with a spreading of butter..

    ReplyDelete
  2. What if I replace sugar with honey?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Honey is not suitable to produce a well-setting jam. Also the taste of honey will override the taste of the fruit whereas ordinary sugar is completely neutral in taste. The interaction of sugar and acid together with the high heat are necessary for a successful jam.

      Delete
  3. Based on the honey question, how about brown sugar or different types sweeteners like dates which now comes in powder form?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Brown sugar will affect the taste as well as the colour of the finished jam, making it unappealing. The same can be said for dates. But with other sweeteners I have no experience. I know artificial ones are used to produce jams for diabetics, but those are not homemade, only produced commercially.

      Delete
  4. This jam sounds delicious! Thank you. It just got onto my "to try" list

    ReplyDelete
  5. When you make it let me know how you like it, please!

    ReplyDelete

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