Tuesday, May 01, 2012

mango jam

I think over the years I have made so many batches of freezer jam that I could probably do it in my sleep.  But yesterday was a first for me.  You see every batch of freezer jam I have ever made has been with fruit grown locally. Well sort of locally.  Strawberries and blueberries both within 10 miles of my house and peaches and cherries purchased at farmers market from a farm that is a few hours away. 

 Yesterday though, I decided to make mango jam. Mangos are not local to Michigan.  But I love mangos, particularly Ataulfo mangos (and actually didn't realize that all winter I've been looking for the champagne mangos I had last year and had been seeing them all along under a different name!).  They are for me, easier to tell when ripe, easier to peel, and easier to cut.

I've been buying them every time I go to the store, usually to use in lassis. Although at times they've been getting too ripe too fast and then I've been freezing them.  (cut and peeled) And they've been getting cheaper as the season wears on.  They are delicious in smoothies and lassis. 

If you've been reading a while, you know that I love Certo brand Pectin. And I happened to have some leftover from last fall's peach jam fest. The certo recipe book says mango jam should take 4 medium mangos, 6 cups sugar, 1/4 cup lemon juice and two pouches of certo.  So when I saw mangos at the store on sale for 2 for $1, I bought 6, hoping that would be enough and knowing if it was too much I could freeze the leftovers.  Well, Ataulfo mangos are smaller than the "normal" (Tommy adkins?) mangos and so, this jam really needed eight to get to the 3 cups mashed. Thankfully, I had enough in my freezer stash.

Mangos on the counter all lined up ready to be peeled and chopped.

I did one cup fully blended, as I do sometimes with peach and strawberry.  I like my jam chunky but blending 1/3 of it makes mashing manageable. (you could blend the whole thing, but then your jam won't be chunky)
Mashed up mangos

Six cups of sugar later...
Sugar added

Ok a note on sugar here.  I have friends who have literally gasped out loud and looked like they were going to fall over at the amount of sugar required.  I don't worry about the sugar because first it is jam and the definition of jam is sugar preserved in fruit and second I don't eat huge globs of it raw, I mean what do you put on a PBJ a tablespoon?  two maybe.  Ok, I do love me a huge glob of jam on greek yogurt but even then I think I max out at two tablespoons.  If the sugar thing bothers you, you can buy a different brand of pectin that calls for less sugar.  I know they are out there and a facebook friend posted a recipe that used some insanely tiny amount of sugar.  So go for it!  Personally I like the sugar, but if I ever started eating jam straight out of the container, I'd probably switch too.

I didn't photograph the pectin step, because I was getting my kids ready for bed and got distracted, but I added it and dealt with many many complaints about teeth having already been brushed as I was ladling jam into containers (mango jam and toothpaste not really being compatible tastes) preventing kid tasting.  


We had mango jam for breakfast this morning and the verdict is mixed, but basically everyone who likes mangos to eat plain liked the jam. And I thought it was especially tasty on my strawberries and greek yogurt. 

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