24 Apr2007

mango1

Think of this as TROPICAL FRUIT WEEK on Marketmanila. Guava jelly the other day, tree-fresh sineguelas yesterday, and another mango jam today. I have posts on langka, chico and saba bananas coming up in the next few days. I made a mango jam (Version 1.0) a few weeks ago that was really more like a mango preserve, with whole chunks of fruit in a sugar syrup. I wanted it that way, just barely cooked, and it was perfect on ice creams, cheesecakes or over thickly slathered cream cheese on a hearty wheat bagel. Some readers wondered if it was really a jam or more of a preserve and while I had planned to do a post that tried to clarify the differences of all those terms, I forgot to do it…hmmm, maybe soon. At any rate, I spotted some pretty good looking native carabao mangoes at the market that were about a day or two shy of full ripeness and I bought 3 kilos for this second attempt at mango jam…

The quality of your fruit will SO DETERMINE the quality of your jam. Contrary to logic that the vast amounts of sugar will mask the underlying fruit, it doesn’t work that way. mango2Use slightly overripe fruit and you will taste it in the jam. So I was thrilled that the mangoes were still a bit tart but mostly ripe and sweet. I cubed the meat, discarded the skins and seeds and ended up with about 1.2 kilos of flesh. I added an equivalent amount of white granulated sugar and let this steep for a couple of hours on the kitchen counter. Next I added the juice of half a lemon (no seeds) and put the mixture (now very soupy) on the stove on medium heat until it started to boil, then lowered the heat to a simmer. Skim off the scum that forms on the surface of the fruit mixture and cook, stirring often until it reaches the “soft-ball” stage or in my case, estimated at roughly 35-40 minutes before I shut off the heat. I also added a tablespoon of butter about halfway in to try and reduce the foaming (a trick I read about in Chef Chris’ article on jam)…

I didn’t make enough to put this away for months on end or give away as gifts so I just transferred the hot jam to a large glass jar and after it cooled stuck it in the fridge mango2where it should keep for several weeks/months. Total cost was roughly PHP220 for about the equivalent of 2-3 small jars of jam. No wonder there aren’t too many really good mango jams on the market…they are a bit pricey to make! At PHP70-80 a bottle cost, you’d have to sell it at PHP200 retail…still less than artisanal jams in the West but how many people would pay that price here in the Philippines? At any rate, the jam was really VERY GOOD. It was much mushier than my first version, but there were still distinct chunks of fruit in a now thicker syrup. The flavor of mango was intense and the sweetness was not cloying at all. It is perfect on toast with butter and while it seizes up a bit when cold, it relaxes when it comes to room temperature. I was thrilled with the results…

 

COMMENTS:

  1. Sailinghome says:

    I made a mango jam (made-up recipe!) a few years ago, and it sounds very similar to the one you’ve used here… and I can heartily recommend it… it’s one of the best jams I’ve ever made… if you wanted to make it a little less sweet, what would you recommend…???… just less sugar, or would that not work….??.. or maybe less sugar and a little gelatin instead…?

    Apr 24, 2007 | 3:50 pm

     
  2. TOPING says:

    That jam looks heavenly! You’re ruining my diet, MM… :-)

    Apr 24, 2007 | 5:14 pm

     
  3. bernadette says:

    My husband also makes mango jam and like you makes a fuss at mango quality and prices (of course.) Prices really wouldn’t matter to me. But once our mango tree really gave us an abundant supply of mangoes…gosh! we had to get them ourselves! It was so tough because the old mango tree had so many denizens and one such community was those big soldier ants that bite like anything! But we had to do what we had to and honor the mango tree’s gift to us and take them all. So, my husband had to choose (fast! before the flies get at them) and scoop the good meat from the bad. The thing though that I noticed is that he insists to use brown sugar saying that white sugar is not so healthy. Once he used white sugar and I noticed that the brown sugared mango jam enhanced the sweetness/tartness of the mangoes rather than the white sugared batch. He also tried gelatin (one stick for a huge pot) but prefers the pectin pack sent to to him from Germany—Dr Oetker’s yata is the brandname.

    Apr 24, 2007 | 6:58 pm

     
  4. dee says:

    hi marketman!!!!!

    i’d like to know if i can use a metal kaldero and a metal spoon. coz i remember from highschool home economics that we had to use a wooden spoon but i’m not sure what kind of kaldero we used.

    i hope you can answer back! :-)

    Apr 24, 2007 | 7:54 pm

     
  5. joey says:

    You are inspiring me to make another batch! This is so good! I like it on toast with melted gruyere (the older the better) cheese…best combination!

    Apr 24, 2007 | 8:00 pm

     
  6. Marketman says:

    sailinghome, maybe you can start with tarter less ripe mangoes to give it an edge? A little less white sugar, or as one of the commenters here suggests, use brown sugar instead for a darker jam with perhaps more flavor… TOPING, can you imagine what it did to MY diet? :) Bernadette, your brown sugar version sounds great, will try it next time. And yes, some pectin is good as I don’t think mangoes have a lot of natural pectin… dee, I am not sure if it matters in this case. I used an enameled heavy pot (Le Creuset) but I suspect this will work in a metal pot and yes, a wooden spoon (just make sure it doesn’t have garlicky or strong flavors from previous cooking). Joey, jam making is really hard core cook material…I think!

    Apr 24, 2007 | 9:11 pm

     
  7. Maria Clara says:

    Your mango jam looks terrific with good chunky pieces. I like your idea of steeping the mango and sugar before cooking them – giving them ample time to blend. Scum formation puts me off in making jam and I am glad you share the trick of adding butter to work my way around this. Mango jam is good with any aged cheese!

    Apr 25, 2007 | 12:26 am

     
  8. ching says:

    I happened by your website when I was surfing for ginataan or sampelot as we call it in Pampango. I work with a lot of Indonesians and they call it Kolak. I’m making it for a party this weekend with them. Anyway, I liked reading your articles. They remind me of my cousin’s (he writes for Phil. Star).
    Your ensaimada recipe is really a labor of love. And I love ensaimadas but I think I’ll wait till I go home in June.

    Apr 25, 2007 | 2:30 am

     
  9. Sailinghome says:

    Thanks for the reply… and I’ll also definately be trying brown sugar next time… I llike the sound of that…!

    Apr 26, 2007 | 9:26 am

     
  10. Joy Fernandez says:

    SOS. Where can I buy YOUR mango jam? Or where can I buy the best tasting mango jam in town? My friend from Canada is craving for mango jam and I want to send him a few bottles. Please help. Maraming salamat!

    Sincerely,

    Joy

    Feb 12, 2008 | 8:45 am

     
  11. Marketman says:

    Joy, I don’t sell mango jam. And frankly, I haven’t found a commercial version that is reasonably good, either… sorry.

    Feb 12, 2008 | 9:06 am

     
  12. jamgirl says:

    hi how do you know when the mangoes are ripe? or ready for use? or over ripe? i bought some to make this and they are grey near the stone and do not taste as good as i remember

    Nov 17, 2008 | 11:20 pm

     
 

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