It is often understated how easy making jam is. It really is. Once you get the technique right, you will be making jam out of any fruit you have available. Today I will be showing you how I make Mango- pineapple jam, a favourite. This recipe produces a lovely flavoured jam that you will like very much. I enjoy my jam on toast and on plain yoghurt.
- 2 cups ripe mangoes.
- 1 cup slightly ripe mangoes
- 1 cup ripe pineapple.
- 3 cups white sugar.
- 1 small lemon.
- 3 cardamom pods (optional)
- Medium-sized pot for cooking the jam.
- Measuring cup.
- Wooden spoon.
- Small ceramic plate, place it in the fridge
- Potato masher.
- 3 glass jam jars with new lids.
- 1 large pot filled with water for sterilizing the glass jars.
Making Jam, Let’s Go!
Wash and peel the mangoes. Measure 2 cups of ripe and 1 cup slightly ripe mangoes into a bowl. Wash and peel the ripe pineapple and add one cup to the bowl containing the mangoes.
Sugar Is Very Important in Jam Making
Next, mash the fruit to a palp using the potato masher. Add the 3 cups of white sugar and stir it in using the wooden spoon. Squeeze in the lemon juice and zest then add in the cardamon- slightly crushed. Leave aside this mixture for at least 40 minutes. This marinates the fruit, enhancing the flavours further.
After this, add the fruit to the pot and cook it on medium heat stirring occasionally. This prevents the cooking fruit from burning at the bottom and producing off flavours. Continue cooking the fruit on low heat to reduce it for about 40 minutes.
Sterilizing the jars
As the jam cooks, wash the glass jam jars with soap and rinse with clean water. Place the jars in the large pot and add water to submerge them. Then place on the cooker and boil the jars for 10 minutes to sterilize them.
Do not boil the lids with the jars. To sterilize the lids, take a little boiling water and place in a clean bowl. Then add the 3 lids and leave them there for use later. This will be enough to sterilize the lids and also soften the rubber on the lids that will make sealing possible.
Remove the boiling pot of jars from the cooker and set aside. Do not remove the hot jars from the boiling water immediately, as this will increase the risk of the glass jars breaking. When it’s safe to remove the jars from the water and place them upside down on a clean rack for the water to drain out. You will have sterile jars.
Jam is Set, How to Check
After about 40 minutes of cooking the jam on low heat, check to see if it ready and set. To do this- take out a spoonful of hot jam and place on the cold plate that was in the fridge. Wait for 2 minutes then slide your index on the jam over the plate.
If the jam separates in two and forms a clear path with wrinkled ridges on each side- the jam is set and ready. If it doesn’t separate or produces a watery jam -it is not ready. Continue cooking and test again after 10 minutes.
Filling Jars with Jam
If the Jam is ready remove it from the cooker and set it aside for about 10 minutes. This will allow the jam to be at a temperature that is safe for filling and will not break the glass jam jars.
Use a clean sterile spoon and fill the jars leaving a headspace of 1cm. Carefully run a sterile plastic knife over the jam in the jars to remove air bubbles, wipe the rim of the jars then close the lids on each jar.
Return the jars into the water in the big pot to sterilize the jars that now has jam. Add water to submerge the jars and bring the pot of water to a boil. Time the boiling jars for 40 minutes then remove from the cooker and set aside to cool.
When the jars are safe and cool, remove them from the water bath and set aside on the countertop on top of a dry towel or rack. Let them cool overnight. You finally have your very own mango- pineapple jam. You can store it on the cupboard when not opened for up to a year. If opened, store on the fridge. Enjoy on toast or flavour your yoghurt.