10 Sep2006


Mangosteen jam is a truly superb Filipino delicacy… I have always liked mangosteen jam man2and most often eat it with coffee ice cream or with a ripe banana, but I have neither made it myself nor seen anyone else make it. As a kid, we used to get some jars of Lorenzo Farms mangosteen jam every year and it was always considered a special treat. When I lived abroad, I never got any mangosteen jam and it slowly disappeared into my subconscious until I found some Kablon Farms jam recently. But it is almost NEVER in stock and finding it is like a minor burst of unbridled joy in a grocery or food store. That is, until today. Marketman has discovered mangosteen jam nirvana. I made a wickedly good jam. But wickedly good…

I was so pleased with myself that I briefly (say 2 minutes) toyed with the idea man3of cornering the local mangosteen market and making thousands of bottles of jam under a Marketman label. Artisanal mangosteen jam. A limited edition. A numbered bottle. A waitlist from global jam connoisseurs. An outrageous price of USD10 for a tiny bottle; FEDEX delivery additional. A side mention in Australian Vogue Entertaining, a plug by Ruth Reichl at Gourmet, a pyramid display of bottles at the Harrod’s Food Halls in London or perhaps Fauchon in Paris instead… WAKE UP, Marketman! Hmmm, daydreaming is healthy, I think.

After a brief call to my sister last night to ask what proportion of fruit to sugar might be appropriate, man4I decided to forge ahead today without any previous experience or even a recipe. I peeled about 5 kilos of mangosteen for a highly costly (PHP950+ if it failed) experiment. That huge amount of fruit yielded only a bit more than a kilo worth of fruit, with seeds and all. I then added 1.2 kilos of sugar to the fruit sections and let it steep for two hours or so. The most amazing thing happens, the sugar draws the liquid and flavor out of the pulp and the whole thing turns to a glorious, expensive, soupy mess. So far so good.

Next, I placed the mangosteen and sugar mixture in a heavy enameled pot, I used my Le Creuset, man5and place over medium low heat and stir occasionally until it reaches the right color and consistency. Mine took about 2 hours to make (addendum: do not cook this more than an 60-80minutes, it will solidify after cooling; try 60-70 minutes on your first attempt)! The pale off-white mess turned into a glorious pot of reddish brown jam. It looked, smelled and tasted utterly fantastic. I was chasing after the dark color of the bottled jam so I think if there is one thing I did wrong on this maiden attempt, it was to cook it until it was just a bit too thick. I would stop when it was more syrupy next time. After a night in the refrigerator, it is a bit harder than I would like. But a bit of a thaw still yields a wonderful jam.

That’s it. It’s that simple! Pulp and sugar. The fruit seems to have a lot of pectin so it reaches a nice jamminess. The seeds get totally cooked and the pulp melds with the sugar to make the most amazingly flavored jam. I have always said damson plum was my all-time favorite jam on the planet. But I think mangosteen is my second most favorite ever. I was quite nervous about such a costly experiment. Plus my lack of jam making experience. But this was a snap. Practically anyone can do this. And I got nearly 1.5 kilos of jam as a result. Enough to last until the next time I buy a basket full of mangosteens…perhaps next month??? Know of anyone selling a mangosteen orchard?



  1. Sandra says:

    The mangosteen seed in a jam or in the Magnolia coffee mangosteen ice cream is truly delicious!

    Sep 10, 2006 | 7:27 am


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  3. oggi says:

    I am so inggit MM, just looking at the fresh mangosteen and the wonderful preserves makes me want to go home for a visit and pig out on a kaing of fresh mangosteen.
    After reading your previous post on discontinued Magnolia coffee mangosteen ice cream a while back I made preserves with canned Thai mangosteen and topped my coffee ice cream like you do, it is truly the best flavor pairing ever and biting/chewing on the seed is just heavenly.
    I’m sure the taste of preserves from fresh pulp is way superior to canned. So, when are you going to export your preserves?

    Sep 10, 2006 | 7:59 am

  4. fried-neurons says:

    I volunteer to be your sales rep here in Northern CA. I’ll pester Whole Foods, Draeger’s, and Andronicos to carry your artisanal jam. All I will require in the form of payment is a steady supply of the jam (and maybe some fresh ones too if you know how to smuggle them into the USA).

    Sep 10, 2006 | 8:38 am

  5. Marketman says:

    fried neurons, I understand mangosteens are raised in Hawaii, though they are still rare in the mainland. Even better, I read recently (possibly through a link a reader sent) that there is a gentleman growing them in Puerto Rico or the U.S. Virgin Islands on a small plantation and he expects to be exporting them to the East Coast soon. I suspect you are just months away from a sudden PR blitz on the next best thing in the fruit kingdom. Maybe Saveur will have to get their research material from Marketmanila…heeheehee. Oggi, I didn’t even know they had canned thai mangosteens… And yes, the fresh jam is great. And yes, my current diet is totally screwed with this jam success…

    Sep 10, 2006 | 8:42 am

  6. Apicio says:

    There you go MM, you’ve found the secret of youth and it’s not in the combination of gin and vermouth.

    Sep 10, 2006 | 8:49 am

  7. Sandra says:

    I just remembered that a few weeks ago, New York Times ran a story about mangosteen and how this man (I forgot his name) was trying to grow mangosteen either in California or Florida but with no success. Now, he seems to have gotten the right climate in Puerto Rico!

    It seems that fruits and vegetables from the East are not allowed entry into the US because of the “sapat” but those from Chile, Ecuador etc. are allowed.

    Mangosteen apparently thrives in very hot and humid climate like Indonesia and Malaysia who are closer to the equator.

    Sep 10, 2006 | 8:51 am

  8. Alicia says:

    And why shouldn’t you dream?! Actually, I am certain that any jam you make can probably hold its own next to the best of the best. My two personal favorite commercial jams are Christine Ferber and Sarabeth’s(Kitchen). Lately i’ve been a fan of the mangosteen jam from Kablon farm, hehe! Sorry MM, I did hoard three bottles after your post a few months back and have contributed to its being really difficult to find! Would you like to trade? Sounds like a raw deal for you though!

    Sep 10, 2006 | 9:30 am

  9. millet says:

    come, come, come to davao next month, everyone! although the mangosteen crop this year does not look as good as the two previous years’, when 5 kilos could be had for P100. much earlier than the lorenzo jam was an excellent jolo-made brand whose name i don’t recall. yes, i admit, albeit a bit grudgingly, that jolo has the best mangosteen and the best durian, and they’re all wild and uncultivated.

    MM, i didn’t know the jam was that simple! thanks for blazing the trail for many of us who are just too scared to try. (or thanks for being more obsessed than most of us? hehe..) am so excited to try, and i look forward to having a stash of jam until the new year at least. MM, did the seeds in your jam also turn nutty and a bit toasty? that’s the best part of the jam for me. by the way, there are people now who go around buying mangosteen peel for their supposed health benefits.

    Sep 10, 2006 | 11:09 am

  10. tulip says:

    Mangosteen is an amazing fruit..and pricey too!!!I love tropical fruits, so it is on my list.
    Expect it to get more and more expensive in the near future cause it is used now as a supplement. A local food supplement company has been demanding a lot of produce from Davao thus even mangosteen in Davao is getting expensive. Millet, is absolutely right, 2 years ago when I was in Davao mangosteens were in abundance and 20-25 pesos per kilo!!
    I know some cancer patient uses its fruit bark to make juice because it’s very rich in antioxidants. I tried once to make a juice out of it(out of curiousity),”mapakla” and had to add some honey.

    Sep 10, 2006 | 3:09 pm

  11. corrine says:

    Millet, are mangosteens from the Davao the sweet variety? Previously, you said there are two varieties, the sweet and the sour ones. I like the sweet!

    Sep 10, 2006 | 10:46 pm

  12. Bay_leaf says:

    give me sweet mangosteen fruits anytime, i’ll happily devour it with gusto. the jam version looks good, too! must try it once.

    Sep 11, 2006 | 1:09 am

  13. kaye says:

    aaah.. sarap!!! yum! hope to have a taste of that.. i soo miss mangosteen… one of the few things i was craving for when i was pregnant…

    Sep 11, 2006 | 3:36 am

  14. angela says:

    i bought several jars of Kablon mangoosten jam during my recent travel to Gen.San. yum!

    Sep 11, 2006 | 10:11 am

  15. math says:

    I like, I like!!! Marketman that jam looks yummy! I myself prefer the jam to the fruit since I can’t eat the seeds when its fresh since it tastes ‘mapakla’. And do you also remember that aside from the mangosteen ice cream, Magnolia or is it Nestle used to have a mangosteen yoghurt too?! Really loved that yoghurt!

    Wonder if the jam will taste even better if you use muscovado sugar? MM how many cups of sugar would you need if you only have say about 1/2k of peeled mangosteen?

    Sep 11, 2006 | 10:12 am

  16. Ria says:

    Hi MM,

    Some questions. You did not add any part of the red flesh to the jam? How did it turn so red?

    What did you do about the seeds? Did you strain the jam?

    I also wax poetic about Magnolia’s coffee mangosteen. Mmmm.

    Sep 11, 2006 | 12:00 pm

  17. Marketman says:

    Ria, no, don’t add the rind, the jam naturally turns a deep red/brown color. And yes, I incuded the seeds, and they get cooked and are edible. My sister suggest cooking the seeds separately then adding the sugar and pulp mixture so that it doesn’t overcook, it sounds good to me. However, I was amazed how easy this was to do.

    Sep 11, 2006 | 12:53 pm

  18. CecileJ says:

    Alicia, how could you hoard and not leave any for us??!!! Am so inggit!

    Anyway, will try MM’s recipe sooner than soon! BTW, MM, did you use white or brown sugar? Does it have to be a Le Creuset enamel pot? Can I use a fish pan? (Wink!) But seriously, can an ordinary aluminum pot work as well? Thanks for making it possible to satisfy our cravings by making it ourselves! If you can’t buy ’em, make ’em!!!

    Sep 11, 2006 | 3:02 pm

  19. Marketman says:

    CecileJ, use white sugar though I threw in two tablespoons of muscovado for flavor but I think it would have been fine without. Don’t overdo the cooking, the longer my jam sits, the thicker it gets. I think an hour and change might be enough time. A heavier pot is good because the jam won’t burn as easily but yes, it will work with aluminum. Good luck and let me know if it was successful…

    Sep 11, 2006 | 4:47 pm

  20. Lani says:

    Pa-order MM!!! Yum… yum… yum…

    Sep 11, 2006 | 6:52 pm

  21. Lightheaded says:

    looks lovely! am one of the kids who grew up eating coffee mangosteen ice cream. good thing i have friends in davao who regularly visit manila so the bottled version of kablon as pasalubong is enough for me to revisit my childhood. and i have you to thank for that when i first read your post about memories of summer (that coffee mangosteen post).

    Sep 13, 2006 | 1:28 am

  22. Marketman says:

    Lightheaded et al…from the votes on my jam poll, it seems mangosteen is the least favored, perhaps because folks haven’t had much opportunity to taste it…but in my book, it is far and way the best jam we make locally, though I agree ube jam is up there right along with it!

    Sep 13, 2006 | 5:34 am

  23. Marketman says:

    aridelros, I usually share just about any recipe I have, I figure the better folks eat the happier we all are…but I am sure that I have kept a few things to myself…

    Sep 13, 2006 | 6:04 pm

  24. izang says:

    never was a big fan of mangosteen because the first time i tasted one was so sour…never tried another….your post made me rethink….i work near market!market! and every time i walk past the fruit stalls, they never seem to run out of mangosteen…will try your recipe very soon….thanks..

    Sep 13, 2006 | 7:39 pm

  25. sister says:

    Looks good. Suggest you use only white sugar for a purer mangosteen flavour. Cook for a much shorter period of time otherwise the sugar caramelizes and gives a slightly burned taste, put seeds in a little water first for 15 minutes and cook through then combine with pulp and sugar mixture, cook for only about 5 minutes after it comes to a boil. DO NOT cook in alunminum pot, acid will react with the aluminum. Stainless steel, enamel or the classic, tin lined copper is first choice (I passed a fabulous one at auction last year and am still kicking myself).
    Lola used to make mangosteen jam, Princess Tarhata Kiram brought a jeepney load from Mindanao on her occasional visits to Cebu and that’s where I remember making the jam from.
    And yes mangosteen extract is latest holistic panacea.

    Sep 13, 2006 | 10:01 pm

  26. jerry mac manus says:

    I could not help chuckling when I read about your jam making experience, I was there!. We lived in Zambo, and our farm had three large mangosteen trees. My first attempt was dismal, but everybody declared that it was the best tasting jam they had ever tasted. Encouraged, I pressed on, and hit the jackpot!, what a jam!!!.My wife actually had to hide the jars from relatives, and I mean relatives, like her Mother and Father!. Anyway,I am going downstairs now to cook up a batch.
    Good luck,we enjoy your writing, and especially your readers comments, priceless!. Salamat.

    Sep 14, 2006 | 8:58 am

  27. sister says:

    Safety tips: Always sterilize jars for 5 min. and lids separately for 2 min in boiling water, remove with sterile tongs and fill immediately with very hot jam almost to the top of the jar. Do not be tempted to reuse lids or rings. Seal immediately. Place rack or clean dishtowel in bottom of large stockpot and heat 1/4 full of water, place filled jars on top of rack or towel and make sure water is at least an inch over the top of jars. Bring to a boil, boil for at least 5 min. Or use canner.
    Remove jars and check seal, place upside down on a cookie sheet. Top of lid should not pop when pressed lightly. After 30 min place upright to allow jam to jell. Do not shake for 24 hours.

    Sep 14, 2006 | 9:09 am

  28. Katrina says:

    I didn’t know you could eat the seeds in mangosteen jam! When Coffee Mangosteen ice cream was still around, we’d suck the flesh off the seed then discard it. Really, I can just chew it and swallow?

    Sep 14, 2006 | 7:39 pm

  29. Marketman says:

    sister, yes, I didn’t sterilize jars with jam in them as I just stored this jam in the fridge for consumption over the next few weeks…I wasn’t putting them away for months in the pantry…got to get some new jam jars… Katrina, the seeds are sometimes considered the best part! Yum. Chew and swallow… a bit like an almond, I would say.

    Sep 14, 2006 | 8:09 pm

  30. arlene says:

    I tried making mangosteen jam today. The result was mapakla.This is anexperiment though. I just used a kilo of the fruit which I bought from Kidapawan City, Cotabato. I washed the fruits well then opened them. Got the seeds and scope out the pulp too. Then I tried to cook them together. First I cooked it in medium heat with calamansi juice and a little water till it was thick then added the sugar in the last stage. I thought the mapakla taste would just go away.
    Unfortunately, it was still there. So I just stopped and throw what I did. Cant eat a mapakla jam. So what is your technique that is not mapakla? Do you boil it in water or soak with water overnight? Help me, I need advise……

    Oct 12, 2006 | 6:02 pm

  31. Marketman says:

    Arlene, what pulp did you use, the inside of the skin? If so, that is the problem. Use only the seeds and the white part in the middle of the fruit, do not include any part of the skin or lining. Refer to the photo above and you will see it is only the whitish segments of fruit. Follow the proportions given, or reduce proportionately. Soak the seeds in the sugar first. Then cook. There is no secret, I did it exactly as described above… I hear mangosteens are down to PHP40 a kilo and I plan to make many jars in Cebu in a few days time… Oh, and don’t cook it as long as I did in the post above, maybe 30-45 minutes is enough, instead of over an hour… You must soak the seeds int he sugar to draw the water and flavor out of the fruit. Just follow the instructions in the post above and you will have edible delicious jam. For one kilo of fruit unpeeled, I would use just 250 grams of sugar.

    Oct 12, 2006 | 6:08 pm

  32. Vanessa says:

    Is it Lorenzo Farms or GA-LOR FARMS of Kidapawan City,Cotabato?The owners are Chito Galay and his wife Aida Lorenzo.They produce the very best mangosteen jam i had ever tasted in my life,and you should also try their homemade durian jam….so heavenly delicious,and their durian pastillas too!!!!Really the best in the region said ENTREPRENEUR MAGAZINE.It is not commercially done,so you’ll really taste the real durian in it.

    May 22, 2007 | 8:50 pm

  33. Zach says:


    does anyone know where i could order some mangosteen jam/preserves from. Preferably somewhere in Europe that sells mangosteen jam.


    Jul 13, 2007 | 1:57 am

  34. Sam says:

    Hi Marketman and fellow readers,

    Found this post and thought you and your readers might want to know that we’re selling home made mangosteen jam. It comes in 225ml bottles and are priced at P130 each. We are located in Davao and am willing to deliver for free within the downtown area. We can also ship the jam for interested buyers outside of Davao.

    Thanks so much!

    Sep 10, 2009 | 9:32 pm


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