Mangoes are one of nature’s most delicious fruits. Most of us get our mangoes from the store. But some, like those who live in FL, get fresh mangoes from trees right in their yard. Lucky!
We’ve found making jam to be an effective way to use up a lot of mangoes. As native Floridians, we are given mangoes during the season by numerous friends. And while we wish we could eat them all, we simply can’t. I’m not kidding when I say we are given boxes and boxes of the delectable fruits throughout the season. Jealous?
Needless to say, we’ve done a lot of experimenting. Mango is a low-pectin fruit. Some recipes we found early on, don’t use Pectin. The result is a sort of mushy spread. It’s the consistency of apple butter. This recipe, however, gives you a jam that stands up. It is spreadable, and doesn’t suffer from the wetness of what you might call a mango butter. We’ve also seen some that use only a half cup of sugar. While mango has a lot of sugar in it, we’ve found that mango jams require a bit more sugar. Otherwise, the taste will lean toward starchy, like a slightly over-ripened fruit.
In any case, this works great. The recipe calls for a lot of pectin of a specific brand. We’ve been using ball pectin, and we love it. 3 tbsps is too few. We’ve tested it. 4 tbsps is just right. And the lemon is a necessary component for two reasons. 1) Lemon is like a natural salt. It helps bring out flavors in the fruit. But 2) lemon has a lot of pectin. So squeezing the lemon works in two ways, making the jam set better as well as enhancing the taste.
First thing you need to do is prepare the mango. Cut the mango in two halves. Use a paring knife to cut small 1/2 inch squares into the half. Then, turn the skin out. The mango will pop up like the back of a porcupine.
Add the mango to a big pan, sprinkle sugar all over it, add the lemon. Begin heating it up on low heat. The mango will soon disintegrate into a mushy mess. Meanwhile, add water to a separate saucepan. Throw the Ball Pectin into the water. Heat it to a roiling boil. Mix it all together, crank up the heat, and voilla after a little bit of patience, you will end up with about 32 ounces of absolutely delicious jam. Stick it in a jar, close it up, and put it in your fridge until it cools.
Then pray. Pray that the gods of setting will jellify your spread. Hope and hope and hope that you didn’t just waste a bunch of the most divine tasting fruit in the world. But here’s the thing, even if it doesn’t set (and it will), the honest to God’s truth is that the sort of mushy, semi-jelled concoction that will otherwise ensue, is still pretty darned good on your toast. Just eat it before it goes bad.