By now you’ll have seen all manner of delicious treats and handy gifts for Christmas here on The High Tea Cast. But there’s always room for one more, right?
This year, I knew I wanted to make jam but didn’t want to go for the usual strawberry or raspberry. After looking through what felt like hundreds of recipes, I found something that made even me, the notorious fruit-hater, drool instantly. Mango and passion fruit jam. Even just typing those words makes me think of palm trees, cocktails and sunshine. It’s not difficult to make, you don’t need loads of fancy equipment and it looks absolutely amazing. Add a taste of the tropical to your Christmas hamper this year!
- 6(ish) jam jars, washed in hot water and placed in the oven on a low heat to sterilise until needed
- A very large saucepan, preferably with high sides
- 2kg mango, either fresh (about three big’uns or four small’uns) or tinned (drained and rinsed)
- 1kg granulated sugar
- 3 passion fruits
- 3 limes (rind and juice)
- 125ml water
Before you start, pop a saucer in the freezer. If you’re using fresh mangoes, score all of the way around the fruit and twist to separate the two halves. Remove the stone, crisscross the flesh and push the skin inwards so that the cubes get pushed outwards, and cut these away. If you’re using tinned mango, chop it into chunks.
Add the mango to the pan along with the juice of the limes and the 125ml water, and cook on a low heat for around 8-10 minutes to soften the mango. Make sure to give it all a good stir every now and then. Meanwhile, tip your sugar into a baking tin and add it into the oven with your jars on a low heat – warming the sugar helps it dissolve in the mango mixture.
Add the lime rind and the warmed sugar to the mango, stir well and continue to heat gently until the sugar has dissolved completely. Once it has, bring the mixture to the boil and then continue to boil it for 10-30 minutes (until the mixture is set – see below). Make sure to stir the mixture frequently as the mango is prone to sticking to the bottom and will bubble and spit boiling sugar at you if you leave it too long – be careful, folks!
I was worried that my mango chunks were too big and started mashing them – don’t worry about this as it’ll all turn to mush later on. Once the mixture looks like it’s thickening, take a teaspoon of it and put it on to the saucer from the freezer. When it’s set, after a few seconds the jam will wrinkle if you disturb the surface. Sometimes this can be quite imprecise so if you’re unsure take a spoonful and let it slide back in to the pan.
If it’s thick enough, it’ll stick or slide slowly down the spoon rather than dribble off in a thin stream. The original recipe said 10-20 minutes but I was still waiting at 40 minutes so just keep a close eye on it and take it off the heat when you think it’s thick enough. A runny jam in this case is not going to be a bad thing – it’ll make a great topping for ice cream or sorbet!
Take the jam off the heat. Cut the passion fruits in half and scoop out the seeds, adding them to the jam and stirring. Allow the jam to cool for 5-10 minutes to ensure that the seeds won’t rise in the jars, and then remove your jars from the oven one-by-one and fill them with jam. Use a butter knife or something similarly pointy to remove any air bubbles and fill right to the top before putting the lid on. Leave to cool, add a lovely label and you’ve got yourself a delicious gift that you won’t want to give away.
The jam should last for months and months if kept in a dark cupboard, and then in the fridge once opened. Enjoy as part of a dessert (maybe a sponge pudding), on brioche or pastries for Christmas breakfast or simply straight from the jar!
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