Santol Jam a la Marketman

So here is the step-by-step instructions for the santol jam that I posted on my instagram account @therealmarketman that elicited so many private messages/requests for the recipe. It’s outrageously simple to make for anyone with basic kitchen skills…

Start by peeling santol, discarding the cottony seeds and soaking the flesh or santol “meat” in water in the fridge at least overnight or better yet, a full 24 hours. Change the water at least once or twice. Do not fret if the flesh turns amber or even dark brown. If you skip this step, you will regret it and don’t send me accusatory emails that I don’t know what I am doing, simply follow the instructions or keep your fingers steady and mouth shut. So bitchy, you think, but I do get many unfortunate emails from people whose sole purpose in life is to make themselves sound stupider than they are, and they are tiresome.

After soaking, drain and bring a pot of water to a boil. Add the santol meat and let this simmer for about 8-12 minutes until softened by not mushy. Time will vary depending on the size of santol and number of slices you used. Drain the santol again, but keep some 4-6 cups of the boiling water (it has flavor) set aside.

Next, pass the santol through a GOOD food mill…

…or if that doesn’t work, use a food processor as I eventually did to make quick work of the pureeing step.

You should have a nice grainy puree which oftentimes gets lighter in color as a result of the boiling. If the puree seems a bit dry, add back 2-3 cups of reserved santol water.

Weigh this mixture and add an EQUIVALENT amount of white sugar. So if you have a kilo of puree, add a kilo of white sugar. Then I added 1/2-3/4 cup of good dark muscovado sugar. Not light brown or brown sugar, muscovado sugar. We happened to have fresh limes from our garden, so I added a tablespoon or less of lime juice. You could add 1/2 a tablespoon of kalamansi juice if you prefer.

I used a copper jam pot that distributes the heat evenly, but any heavy bottomed enameled cast iron pot would work well as well. A thin aluminum/stainless pot is your last choice and you must watch for scorching due to the uneven heat on the bottom of the pan. Place over high heat and stir occasionally until all the ingredients have blended and melted into each other. If you have a sweet tooth, an additional cup of white sugar earlier on might be more to your liking. I like the jam to be sweet, but also have that natural tartness and strong santol flavor.

Meanwhile, get some jars and place them in boiling water to sterilize. Dry the bottles off. And when the jam is ready (after say 12-15 minutes of bubbling), add the hot jam to the dry bottles, seal and boil in a pot of water for another 12 minutes or so if you plan to preserve your preserves for several months. If you are going to eat the jam within a month’s time there is no need to heat treat the bottles, just refrigerate once cooled.

And voila! santol jam pouring into the bottles. Makes for great presents. Terrific with cheese an crackers. Delicious in pan de sal with butter. Enjoy!


21 Responses

  1. Thanks, MM. Life is crazy right now but I will try this in the next santol season.

    Re “2-3 cups of reserved santol water” — perhaps you mean tablespoon instead of cup?

  2. Our childhood source of santol bore large fruits with small seeds and were thick- skinned (a highly undesirable trait in a president, a constantly outraged moi might venture to inject) mother simply peeled, quartered and boiled them in progressive concentrations of sugar to soft ball stage, then jarred and eaten as dessert almost like a chewy compote. Only because santol must be one of the most tannin laden fruits we had free access to, they jelled so easily with so little expenditure of time, money and attention.

  3. Bitchy comment – the dragon breathes! ???

    Now…mortals do not discard the seeds. It’s what they “eat” then discard the flesh. Hahaha.

  4. fried neurons, it is surprisingly good with a sharp salty cheese. Dragon, hahaha, yes, I am not a huge fan of the seeds, but the crew just looked at me funny when I said discard, they kept them for themselves to enjoy with an afternoon tv show. Footloose, yes, until recently, dulce de santol was all I did with them, I really like the chewy texture of the sliced santol, but this jam was definitely a variation I would do again. cumin, sorry, I didn’t give proportions, I started with 10 kilos of fruit, got roughly 6 kilos of rind and for that amount, I did add 2-3 cups of liquid… you don’t want it soupy, but you don’t want it overly dry either…

  5. marketman,

    Ang bilis ah mag ka zubuchon na sa megamall.

    Mas malapit sa mga taga quezon city…..

  6. Our ancestors appreciated the unending parade of seasonal fruits and grasped the necessity of learning to conserve them. That’s why jam, jellies and pickles proliferated in the pantries of our childhood. Unfortunately, modern living got in the way although it was not only social media and the internet that soaked up our time and attention. Marketing shortcuts and loss of memory was well on its way in killing the quaint tradition of putting up seasonal fruit and vegetable glut before we caught ourselves no longer rounding up and sterilizing canning jars. Nowadays, the same internet we were quick to blame for taking up most of our free time brings us scientifically reasoned knowhow to regain mastery of this seemingly lost art. Here is Serious Eat’s recent treatise on Jam, Jellies and Jerkies: httpss://

  7. have often wondered why nobody does these on a commercial scale. maybe the dearth of raw materials, as there are no santol plantations that i know of? so many of our conservas have been lost when the cooks died. i still cannot forget candied halved dayap shells filled with carabao’s milk pastillas served in a small restaurant beside sampaloc lake in laguna a long time ago, the rind etched with fanciful designs -“bordado” (emrboidered), they were called.

  8. Jelo, yes, you definitely can, just a few minutes longer and the addition of less liquid to the mixture would definitely result in a cheese, I have a version from several years ago with guava that is similar in texture… really like a membrillo or Spanish quince preserve. millet, I think there is one famous lady left that still does the dayap etchings, but it is indeed a dying craft, I once tried to do it and nearly sliced of bits of my fingers with the exacto knife! :)

  9. hahaha…MM, same thing happened to me, so i swore I’d leave fruit carving to the pros.

  10. You guys should probably consider a broader canvas (such as say, winter melon “kundol”) for your carving talents. The miniaturist’s art is no puny thing as one discovers painfully.

    Winter melon is centre on my mind this week, I just picked up a humongous one for experimental candying after securing first a pound of slaked lime through ebay. Practically given away free, this apog’s shipping is Can$8. When I got the shipment, I noticed the return address as ten minutes drive from where I live. I shall cut up the kundol like French fries, no artistic carving at all. Nil talent for that.

  11. MM, if you’re still in Kyoto, try the sukiyaki at Mishimatei at the basement level of Daimaru department store in downtown. Another storied establishment is Honke Owariya which has been serving soba since 1465.



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