bro-jam
Journal

Mango Jam

I’ve been eating mangos my entire life. They’ve always been around. We had five trees in our backyard and I was either climbing them or eating the fruit that fell from the branches. I especially loved it when tropical storms approached Miami, especially late in the afternoon or evening, because I knew what to expect the next morning.

Even if it was a school day my grandmother, Nena, would show up as soon as the sun came up and get me out of bed to help her pick up the mangos that had fallen to the ground overnight. She didn’t want the squirrels to get to them first.

Nena would patiently explain mango facts: their names (there are more than 400 varieties) how to tell if they were ripe and how to eat them. Most were meant for peeling and cutting, she said, but one of our trees produced small juicy mangos that Nena would puncture with a paring knife. I’d put my mouth over the hole and drink the juice. “It’s your baby bottle,” she would say. After she cut into a mango and removed the pulp, we’d playfully fight over the huge slippery pit covered with a thin layer of the delicious fruit. Nena and I would suck on pits over the kitchen sink when no one was around. It was a pleasure outside the rules of politeness, and it was our own secret. This would be my breakfast during mango season.

After work Nena would stop by again to pick up any mangos that fell to the ground while she was away, and to help deal with the excess. By this time we would have a few grocery bags filled with mangos on the kitchen floor, and my mother would start complaining about the odor. She disliked mangos and how they smelled. Nena would quickly separate a few of the fruit to give away to her friends and then get to work with the rest. Watching her I learned the proper way to slice a mango, how to remove the pulp and how to make mango jam, all while sucking on that exquisite pit– down to the very last piece of goodness.

My brother, Carlos, who has a yard full of mango trees, learned how to master Nena’s mango jam skills. Watch us here.

This recipe contains exact measurements that should not be changed or it will affect the outcome. DO NOT reduce the amount of sugar or use a sugar substitute!

mango-jam
mango-jam

Mango Jam

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December 20, 2016

I’ve been eating mangos my entire life. They’ve always been around. We had five trees in our backyard and I was either climbing them or eating the fruit that fell from the branches. I especially loved it when tropical storms approached Miami, especially late in the afternoon or evening, because I knew what to expect the next morning.

  • Prep: 20 mins
  • Cook: 5 mins
  • 20 mins

    5 mins

    25 mins

  • Yields: 8 cups

Ingredients

4 cups of finely chopped and mashed mangos (with a potato masher)

7 ½ cups of sugar

1 pouch of CERTO pectin

1 teaspoon high quality vanilla

Supplies:

Dry and liquid measuring cups

2 large bowls

1 large saucepan

1 ladle

8 Mason jars with 2-piece lids (screw band and flat lid)

Directions

1Remove the 2-piece lids from the Mason jars and wash everything. Take the flat lids and place them in a small saucepan with boiling water. After they’ve boiled for a couple of minutes turn off the heat, but leave the lids in the water.

2Place the chopped mango into a large deep saucepan. Measure the exact amount of sugar into a bowl with a dry measuring cup and add it to the fruit. Over high heat, bring the mixture to a rolling boil while stirring constantly. Let it boil for exactly 1 minute while continuing to stir.

3Add the pectin and vanilla and let the mixture return to a full rolling boil. Once it’s bubbling let it boil for exactly 1 minute, stirring constantly. Remove from heat and skim off any foam.

4Working quickly, use the ladle to scoop the mixture immediately into prepared jars, filling to nearly the top. Leave only ¼ inch of space. Remove the hot lids from the saucepan.You may now wipe the rims and, using towels, cover the jars with the lids and screw them on tightly. Push in the dimple of the lids to make sure there’s no air in the jars and it’s vacuum sealed.

5Turn them upside down and let them cool for 8 hours.

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