Each year we wait patiently for our annual mango season which brings us an abundant crop of fruit. We share our mangoes with friends and family, many times lugging heavy bags of mangoes to work or wrapping them up carefully and taking them on the plane to Oahu. One of the most enjoyable ways to eat a mango is to chill it well, cut it into bite size chunks and serve. If you find yourself with too many mangoes you can also make mango salsa, bread, pie, smoothies, sorbet, and jam.
This little gadget works very well. Just cut off the top of the mango and place the center of the cutter over the seed of the mango and press down. In no time you will have your mango seeded and all you’ll need to do is remove the flesh of the mango from the skin by scooping it out with a spoon. It saves a lot of time when preparing mangoes for jam. There’s no need to peel and cut up the mango, just one quick swoop and you’re done.
Bring the mango mixture to a rolling boil that can’t be stirred down then add sugar. Return to a rolling boil that can’t be stirred down and boil for 1 minute. Use a very tall pot and long wooden spoon. Mixture can splatter as it cooks.
Canning jam is easier than you might think. You will need canning equipment which is basically the canner, a few helpful utensils and jars. These items are not expensive and the only downside is that they take up precious cupboard space. Once you have your little jars of homemade jam you can store them in the cupboard for up to a year. They probably won’t be around that long…
Yield: 7 Half pint jars
4 1/2 cups coarsely chopped mango
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
6 cups sugar
1 pkg. dry pectin
1/2 teaspoon butter
Wash fruit, peel, seed and cut into cubes. You can mash the fruit with a potato masher or run through a food processor in batches. I use the food processor (two batches to make 4 1/2 cups total) and pulse two times then I give it a stir with a large spoon and pulse two more times, mixing the fruit again, and one last pulse making sure not to puree the fruit leaving small pieces of mango for texture.
In a 8 – 10 quart pot, preferably with high sides, mix fruit, lemon juice, butter and pectin. The butter helps to prevent foaming. Place over high heat, stirring constantly with a long handled wooden spoon. Bring to a rolling boil that cannot be stirred down. Still stirring, add sugar. Return to a boil that cannot be stirred down, then boil for exactly 1 minute. Remove from the heat. Ladle hot jam into prepared half pint jars leaving just about 1/8 inch of space between the jam and top of the jar. Wipe rims clean. Place lids on jars and screw on the rings until a point of resistance is met – fingertip tight. Process in boiling water bath for 10 minutes.
Once cool, remove rings and wipe rims clean. Mark the date on the bottom of each jar and store for up to a year. Once opened, refrigerate leftovers. If any of the jars do not seal, store the jam in the refrigerator. For basic canning directions go here.
The jar on the left is mango jam with Hawaiian chili peppers. For this delicious option add to the above recipe 15 – 20 Hawaiian chili peppers which have been seeded and finely chopped. An exotic combination of sweet and hot it is especially delicious served on crackers with cream cheese.