09 Aug2016

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I think I like this (almost single-use) pot even better than our fish pans… This copper jam pot was the item I was holding in this old post on Dehillerin in Paris (my favorite cooking utensils store). At the time, I was a bit crestfallen, and this pan was my “consuelo de bobo” after a brief possibility of acquiring a brilliant large copper ham braiser, that turned out to be mispriced by a factor of 7x. :(


Copper is the material of choice because it conducts the heat better and more evenly, avoiding super hot spots on the bottom of the pot. The wider top of the pot allows the moisture from the jam to evaporate faster, and prevents boiling over that tends to happen in a straight sided pot. It also looks just stunningly beautiful when it just sits around and can double as a flower vessel, fruit bowl, Christmas goodies bowl, etc. Surprisingly, it doesn’t need much polishing if you use it fairly often. The inside is brilliantly polished after a batch of jam or jelly, and the outside looks properly used and you can use copper polish in case you want that looks like new feel all the time. I also raise my eyebrows when I see “show kitchens” with all gleaming copper pots. Absurd.


In these photos, is a batch of native guava jelly in the making. Prior to the photo up top, several kilos of native guavas were washed and sliced up and placed in a large pot with water and brought up to a boil. After say 15 minutes, we turned off the heat, let the pot cool and carefully strained the liquid through cheesecloth, taking care not to press the solids to a mush so that the jelly is the clearest it can be. The straining took several hours so that we collected all of the flavorful liquid.

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You then place that guava broth into the copper pan, turn on the heat, and reduce it by about 10-15%, to concentrate the intensity of the native guava. Add sugar (photo up top) and stir gently and some pectin mixed in with sugar as well. Stir every once in a while and bring to a boil, making sure you have a candy thermometer to keep track of the temperature of the mixture. Skim the scum off the surface. The color with turn a deep amber and the bubbles get much larger as it nears the ideal temperature around 220F. Do a freezer test on the jelly if you want to be sure.


Turn off the heat, let the bubbles all settle and after a few minutes, place in bottles and put the bottles in a pot of boiling water for say another 10 minutes to vacuum seal them and make them last well over a year in storage. We made several batches recently, to stock up of guava jelly for our new pasalubong outlet in Cebu. Here’s an insider tip. Every single bottle of guava jelly we sell is made in Marketman’s home kitchen, in this copper jam pot. Kalamansi marmalade and mango jam are now made in our commissary kitchens (still in small batches) but if you want a bit of this arte pot for your breakfast pan de sal, get the guava jelly that is only in stock for a couple of months a year. You’ll know I picked out each and every one of those guavas myself. :)


While I think the days of histrionic reactions to jam pans (or fish pans) are long over, here are the details for those of you raising your eyebrows. I bought this pan for roughly Euro110 or roughly USD130 at Dehillerin without VAT, as I was a tourist. You can order it online for just a tad more, here. It was hand carried on a train back to London, where it was safely packed into my luggage and hauled back to Manila. If you are in the U.S. and flush and impatient, you can order it here, for more than double the price at USD280++, and I’m sure other folks carry it as well.


So roughly PHP6,000 for the copper jam pot. If I make 600 bottles of jam in it, then roughly PHP10 per bottle is the amortized cost of the flashy copper pot. Hmmm, not bad at all. And I am pretty sure we make 500+ bottles of jam per year! Now if only I could say I would make 600 hams a year (instead of 2 or 3), that large copper ham braiser for nearly Euro800 that’s still on my bucket list might be easier to justify. :)



  1. ConnieC says:

    I raise my eyebrows not from the price of the copper pans but in a good way, the loving care that these precious guava jellies are prepared, from the copper vessel they were cooked in till they arrive at the pasalubong center. A real labor of love from MM.

    And BTW, if you noticed in the previous post, the pad thai did not get a similar treatment from the well used wok to the “dirty kitchen” where it was prepared:)

    Aug 9, 2016 | 8:00 am


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  3. Footloose says:

    Mother and my sisters did this at home throughout my childhood and this is what the smell of guava jelly invariably brings back for me. Our house was surrounded on three sides with guava trees that bear fruit not particularly good for eating out of hand so at peak season, turning them into jelly was the only way they would not go to waste. Clarity as I recall, was touted as of utmost importance and to achieve this, the boiled guava mash was gathered in a sling of flour sack tied and hung from a beam and allowed to drip slowly into a large bowl just like you do with ground rice for palitaw or bilobilo. A large untinned copper tacho borrowed from an aunt was used for gelling the sugared juice. This tacho was washed with calamansi juice first to get rid of the toxic patina that had formed on the inner surface from infrequent use. At first I assumed the word tacho derived from Chinese until dad told me it’s actually Spanish.

    At that time there was no candy or oven thermometer at home so all baking and cooking depended on observation alone to test stages of doneness. They discovered later on that adding the syrup left at the bottom of santol conserve jars made the guava jelly gel firmly and quicker. It was the action of santol’s high pectin content, mother explained.

    Btw, could it be “ham briner” you meant.

    Aug 9, 2016 | 8:01 am

  4. ConnieC says:

    Nothing like romancing old times and cooking traditions (the young of today don’t seem to appreciate anymore) and especially when recounted by a good storyteller like Footloose. They’d rather play….POKEMON!

    Aug 9, 2016 | 8:07 am

  5. Marketman says:

    ConnieC, the wok, lovingly seasoned in an old post, is mostly used OUTDOORS, over a higher heat/pressure single burner that I fear might blow up our kitchen if I placed it indoors… So most of our wok cooking is done in the laundry area (after the clothes have been removed!). We also keep an old oven out there now so I can have two ovens during the busy holiday period. And a small brick oven for pizzas, etc. So yes, I guess you could call that area our “dirty kitchen”. :) Footloose, yes, dripping through cheesecloth on a large colander over a bowl for at least 5-6 hours for the clearest jelly. Some folks look at me like I’m crazy when I deride grocery guava jelly that is made with brown sugar and is a near chocolate brown gunk… at the pasalubong center yesterday our Manager said a more “mature lady asked if our guava jelly was “real” and when the cooking process was explained to her, she purchased 4 bottles… I hope she enjoys them.” Btw, that trick of adding some syrup from the santol is BRILLIANT. I have some santol preserves in the fridge now, will have to try that one day. Pectin is sometimes hard to find here, so that little trick is a gem. Mrs. MM abhors the smell of guava jelly being cooked in the house, so we try to do it only 4-5 times a year, when she’s out most of the day…

    Aug 9, 2016 | 8:17 am

  6. Natie says:

    Real guava jelly.. Chuckle…

    Aug 9, 2016 | 9:15 am

  7. Ley says:

    Thank you for posting the process MM. I will try making this one of these days just so the husband can revisit his childhood. But knowing the process and the copper pot makes your guava jelly more appetizing.:)

    Aug 9, 2016 | 10:54 am

  8. ConnieC says:

    Yes, MM. Higher BTU’s are harder to achieve with the usual stoves for stir frying so it is prudent for safety reasons to use your “dirty kitchen” for such cooking.

    Lately I am trying the induction stove. It cooks fast but not sure it has the same BTU as the gas stove nor would it give the same result or quality. Although induction is indeed efficient, convenient and faster, my bias that a better taste for most of our slow cooked braised dishes or even stir frying is better achieved with the traditional gas cooking. Your use of the palayok and charcoal cooking for slow cooked adobo seem to be supportive of this observation. I will try the pad thai on the induction stove next time, mise en place , so my dish does not dry out during the very quick cooking process.

    Aug 9, 2016 | 12:19 pm

  9. Khew says:

    What happens to the guava solids?

    Aug 9, 2016 | 1:15 pm

  10. nacho says:

    MM, May I Beg, Barter, or Buy a bottle or two of your guava Jelly the next time you make a batch in Manila?

    Aug 9, 2016 | 5:07 pm

  11. Marketman says:

    nacho, will set aside a couple of bottles the next time we make it. Khew, you can also make guava cheese, almost like quince paste or membrillo, I have a recipe in the archives that worked really nicely many years ago, served with manchego and crackers. Ley, there are better instructions in an old post on guava jelly in the archives.

    Aug 9, 2016 | 5:58 pm

  12. Footloose says:

    Oh, Connie C you sound just like a sister when alleging that mother’s cooking was good because she used wood fire conveniently forgetting that halfway through mom’s cooking life, she was cooking on rice husk (ipa) fuelled stove. I suspect that short of cooking directly on fire as when grilling barbecue, the heat source does not much come into play in the flavour development of food. It depends mostly on how the cook attends to and controls the source of heat. I admire the efficiency and cleanliness of convection hubs but grateful it became a reality for home cooks only in the last two decades because by that time I have amassed my battery of pots and pans mostly from either Bourgeat or Alessi’s Citura di Orione collections. http://goo.gl/9gbUBb

    Aug 9, 2016 | 7:31 pm

  13. ConnieC says:

    Footloose, those elegant cookware will never have a place in my kitchen unless I declare my kitchen off limits to my hubby whose tendency it is to forget what he started on the stove top. I have had to scrub the ceiling from popped eggs after the boiling water has completely evaporated and the copper bottom of a stainless steel pot turned fiery red and heated to a point like forging metal.

    Aug 9, 2016 | 10:06 pm

  14. artisan chocolatier says:

    Got any pectin for pate de fruit?

    Aug 9, 2016 | 11:00 pm

  15. Footloose says:

    @Connie C, Though I use them with care, I don’t guard them with my life like I do my woodworking tools and my knives. We were advised to bring a knife once in a baking class and a classmate who forgot to bring hers borrowed mine. I almost died when I saw her scraped the work table with it.

    Aug 9, 2016 | 11:08 pm

  16. Marketman says:

    artisan, I think we have some powdered pectin in Cebu, want me to check?

    Aug 10, 2016 | 7:26 am

  17. EbbaBlue says:

    I just have to read this post over n over. It is like a dance, like a love song, like opera …and I am in it.

    Aug 10, 2016 | 10:05 am

  18. sophie says:

    oh my oh my! am salivating by just looking at the bottles of guava jelly. i was not able to buy a bottle or two last May :( during the PMA Convention… hopefully MM if you’ll make a batch here in Manila please please please….remember a bottle or 2 for me. thank you so much!

    Aug 10, 2016 | 12:41 pm

  19. millet says:

    Love the pot. My mom and grandma insisted on using a copper “tacho” for making jams, especially tamarindo (ripe tamarind jam) and matamis na bao (coconut jam), and even haleyang ube. i miss tamarindo and i haven’t found any for sale.

    Aug 10, 2016 | 6:27 pm

  20. cumin says:

    Sige na, MM, while waiting for the Zubuchon in Manila, sell your guava jelly and kalamansi jam somewhere here — Salcedo/Legaspi Village Markets or Centris? I need something sweet to balance the bile after reading the news these days.

    Aug 10, 2016 | 9:20 pm

  21. madgwenny says:

    I got one bottle of guava jelly today from a friend returning from his Singapore trip and who stayed in Cebu for a few days. He didn’t want to buy from the pasalubong center in Mactan; his brother brought him to IT Park in Lahug and bought it there and it was the last bottle. He said it was meant for me — went to University of Southeastern Philippines campus to claim it, yey! I promised to treat him to lunch after the Kadayawan Festival week here in Davao because I’m so happy with my stash. :)

    Aug 17, 2016 | 7:20 pm

  22. nacho says:

    Thank you very much MM!

    Aug 20, 2016 | 2:26 pm


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