I used to hear my elder sister blabber about how easy it is to make jam. Then when I recounted the many failed attempts I had experienced, I would just smile at her and change the topic.
I had tried plum jam so many times till I gave up. Plums in Kenya are rare, seasonal and not cheap. The last time, my sister and I had this conversation, she made mango jam for my mother. I was jealous and I wanted the same jam.
I live along the coastal strip where mangoes are plenty.
3 large, firm and ripe apple mangoes.
4 tablespoons sugar
1.5 tablespoons pectin/lemon juice and rind of a whole lemon.
Peel and slice your mangoes.
Blend to a smooth paste.
Place in a saucepan on medium-high heat for 20 minutes. Stir intermittently so that it does not stick at the bottom of the pan.
Add pectin or lemon rind and juice. Reduce heat to low heat and let it continue stirring once intermittently for the next 40 minutes.
While this is going on, place a small saucer in the freezer. No, we are not practicing witchcraft. Wait for the end.
The mango jam will reduce in quantity to at least half, the consistency will change to a paste and the color will darken a little.
At the end of 40 mins, remove your frozen plate from the freezer, then take a bit of the mango jam from the pan and run it on the plate. If it runs following the cooking stick, the jam is not ready. It should be as per the photo.
If not ready, return the plate to the freezer, continue stirring on low heat for another 10 or so minutes and repeat the cold plate test.
Once ready, turn off the heat and place the saucepan in an airy place to cool down.
Clean and sanitize your jar before placing your jam in the jar.
The lemon has a shorter life span compared to the pectin, therefore, use your jam quickly in that case.
How to sanitize your jam jar
- Wash the jar thoroughly with cold water and soap under a running tap. Meanwhile, heat some water.
- If the jar is made of glass, immerse the jar into the hot water and ensure both inside and out of the jar is filled with the hot water.
- Drain the hot water and dry with a lint-free kitchen towel and let it cool down for a few minutes before placing your cooled jam into it.
- If using a plastic jar, repeat the same process with lukewarm water.