Mangoes are everywhere over here. It’s one of those fruits in which wherever I go, I just find them. They are widely available from November to April. So, turning all this nice fruit into mango jam comes naturally. Look for the ngoe variety or the apple mango. Use ripe fruit and always include one slightly under-ripe mango for the best set.
To make this lovely jam, we will need
- 3 large ripe mangoes peeled, cored and diced to measure 3 cups.
- Juice of 1 lemon.
- Zest of above lemon.
- 2 cups sugar.
- Half a teaspoon of ground cardamon powder (optional).
We will keep our jam making as simple as possible. Therefore, the equipment you will use are:
- Three 400 ml glass jam jars with lids.
- A pan large enough to contain our jam during cooking. Preferably-a nice stainless steel pot.
- A ladle/ serving spoon
- Paper towels/ serviettes.
- A towel/ wire rack for cooling jars.
Using a large pan/ sufuria that submerges the glass jars wholly, Sterilize the glassware and ladle/ spoons (see HOW TO on the link).
Next, place a small plate with a spoon in the freezer for testing the setpoint later.
Combine the diced mango, sugar, lemon juice, zest, (the cardamon powder if needed) and let it sit in the fridge for at least 2 hours. This will help dissolve the sugar into the fruit organically, making a better tasting jam with fantastic flavours. You will notice that the sugar draws out the juices of the mango, a good thing.
Place this lovely mixture of fruit and sugar in a stainless steel pot. Slowly increase the heat to high, bringing the mixture to a vigorous boil. Stir regularly to keep the mixture from sticking or burning and producing off flavours that will make your mango jam not so good. After about 35- 40 minutes, it will thicken. Check the set using the cold-plate test. If the jam is not set to your liking, continue to cook for 3 – 4 minutes and test again. Repeat until the mango jam is set.
Checking for the set: Remove the jam from the stove so that it does not overcook. Remove a plate and spoon from the freezer. Scoop a small amount of jam onto the cold plate. Push against the already cold jam on the plate. It should give slightly and not be runny.
Using a sterile spoon, scoop out the foam at the top then ladle the mango jam into the sterile jars, leaving 1 cm of headspace. Make sure there are no air bubbles after ladling. Do this by running a small sterile knife around the jar. This drives out air bubbles which if present in the jar will reduce the jam’s shelf life. Wipe the rims and threads of the jar with a serviette then place the lids and tighten (finger tight).
Lower the mango jam jars into the boiling water bath. Process for 10 minutes, starting the timer from the moment the water returns to a boil. After processing, remove the jars from the water bath and set them upright on a towel or wire rack to cool naturally over 12 hours.
Test the seal on all jars by pressing the top part of the lids. If it springs back or the lid has an upward dent, a vacuum seal was not formed. Use these jars and place in the fridge for your own consumption. Finally, clean and Label the mango jam jars that are alright. The mango jam can be stored at a cool room temperature for up to 1 year. Most of all, refrigerate after opening.