Mango jam (with spiced rum and lime)

Although mangos aren’t in season in the winter, you can get them incredibly cheap on the markets these days. We got 18 for 2 £ and a friend of mine got 8 for 1 € in Brussels. I guess the dealers have to get rid of their stock before they go bad completely or something like that. They are not really that good while raw, but they make great jams and chutneys. I know, because I made both- what else was I to do with that ridiculous amount? I haven’t really tasted the chutney yet (you know, it has to mature or something for 8 weeks), but I have eaten quite a lot of the jam. Mainly because we ran out of jars, so about a ton had to be eaten fast:). But that wasn’t hard, the jam tastes amazing! So if you come across really cheap mangos that you just have to buy, but don’t really know what to make out of them, here’s my recipe. You should really give it a try.

You’ll need:

  • 10 mangos (around 2.5 kg when peeled and destoned)
  • 1 kg of sugar for making jams in 2:1 ratio (alternatively, buy enough pektin for 2 kg of fruit)
  • 1 kg of brown sugar
  • 1 dcl of spiced white rum (like Captain Morgan) – don’t worry, the alcohol evaporates completely
  • 4 limes

1. Peel the mangos and cut them in small even cubes. The pieces should be around half a cm wide and pretty much the same size. It took me 3 hours to do that, so I recommend you do it while watching a film or two (it might have taken me only 2 if I didn’t watch the films, but at least I was entertained).

cutting

2. Transfer to a very large pot, add the zest of 2 limes, the juice of all four, the rum and both sugars. If you’re using pektin, read the instruction on when to add it to the jam, it’s usually meant to be added at the end (I think.)

3. Cook on low heat for around an hour or until it reduces by around a quarter. Then turn the heat up, so it boils and it starts to gel. When weired little foam appears on top, it usaly means it’s ready. The best way to test if a jam or jelly will solidify when cold is to do the plate test. Take a small ceramic plate and put half of a teaspoon of the jam on it. The cold plate will cool it immediately and if the jam hardness it’s time to jar it. (Use clean, disinfected jars for that). Let cool over night, store in a cool place.

jaring

Ari is helping

This jam taste pretty great, it has quite an exotic touch (for me, I’m used to all kinds of berry jams) and goes perfect with a wide variety of things. Like cake.

Or wholegrain crepes.

Or in some oatmeal in the morning.  

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Quince jam with rose water and cardamom

It’s been quiet around here, but I have a good excuse. I had to finish my graduate thesis and then go home to present it to a committee and you know stuff like that. I’m now officially a media communicologist and (as my supervisor lovingly put it) an expert on Disney Princesses (my thesis was about the representation of women in the series). I also made a dress for the occasion and can’t wait to show it off, but I have to have a photo shutting first because I wore a blazer over it on the day of the presentation so you can’t really see it.

I was home for 8 days before the presentation and had to occupy my mind with something. A lot of the time was spent with sewing the dress, some was spent meeting family and friends (though most of them have moved out of the country…) and the rest with cooking…. random things… When I saw a bunch of quince fruits in our garden, I knew I had to try my hand at making jam.  My family, mostly my father and sister, are experts in that area and make approximately a billion jars a year, so I never really tried making it myself. But quinces are supper expensive in the UK, it seemed such a waste not using these up. (My sister is studying in Dublin and my father was just fed up with all the jams he already made, so there was noone else who’d do it:))

After just bit of googling I found the perfect recipe. Persian quince jam, made with rose water (my most favorite flvaour in the world) and cardamom (i have no feelings about this one:)). I didn’t really follow the recipe since it’s product is not meant to be a kept for a long time, and contained too much sugar for my taste, so with the help of my father, I made a new one. And here it is:

  • 1 kg of quinces (after you have peeled and cut all of the brown areas away)
  • 500g light brown sugar
  • 1 tbsp rose water
  • 1 tsp cardamom
  • juice and peel of 1 lemon
  • 1 packet of pectin or something similar (use whichever product you like best, it just has to say for 1000g of fruit on the pack. I used gel fix from dr. Oetkar, because that’s what we had at home)

1. Cut the fruits into approximately equal pieces. Pour some lemon juice over them every now and again to stop the oxidation.

2. Mix the fruits with sugar, cover with a lid and leave over night, so the fruit juices (is that the right word? juice has to come out of it by itself thorough the amazing process of osmosis).

3. Cook on medium heat for about an hour. Add the rose water, cardamom and lemon peel, cook for 10 more minutes. Follow instruction on the packaging of your pectin- mine said you have to add it at the end and then cook for 3 more minutes.

4. Jar

It has a delicious oriental flavour and compliments cheese perfectly. We had a small cheese celebration in honour of my graduation with some Brie and Stilton from our local market (Chatsworth) and some fancy sour dough bread and it was amazing. (We, and by we I mean me &Norb ate almost a whole jar of the jam, half of the loaf of the bread and a ridiculous amount of cheese in one sitting:))