Saturday, December 02, 2006

Mangosteen Jam


What is it about jam that has charmed me so? It’s a relatively simple thing. It’s not a Plaisir Sucré, a fabulous dessert by Pierre Hermé requiring many steps and much attention. It’s not a soufflé that calls for skill and confidence. It’s jam. Simple. Sweet. Sticky. Sensational.

Have you ever experienced a moment so perfect you wanted to bottle it up and keep it forever? That, for me, is what jam is to fruits (and even some vegetables!). The perfect snapshot of a seasonal treasure. A way of taking what would have otherwise lost its luster in a week sitting at you countertop, and turning it into a jewel that remains brilliant for months to come. That’s magic. That’s jam.

I have only made jam once before. We have no winter here that requires canning and preserving, so the process was not something I really experienced when I was growing up (except for my grandmother’s & dad's mango jam...which is amazing and will warrant a separate post someday). After my first brush with jam-making however, I was eager to try it again. I browsed through cookbooks and blogs, finding a lot of scrumptious sounding entries on jams of every kind of berry imaginable. Unfortunately, every kind of berry imaginable does not really grow on my shores. As luck would have it though, a blogging moment of gastronomic serendipity led me to a marvelous post from Marketman about his successful attempts at mangosteen jam.

Mmmm…mangosteen. Delicious and tropical, and what’s better, available! Mangosteen is right up there with mangoes in my list of favorite fruits. Their flavor is fantastic! It is described best here and here. Why do I keep looking across oceans for fruits to jam when we have so many gorgeous specimens here? Hmmm…must be something to do with that grass being greener myth...



In any case, I finally attempted it, soon after I saw Marketman’s post, and this is the result. I bought 2 kilos of mangosteens which yielded about 480 grams of fruit. I let this steep for two hours with the same amount of sugar. When the mix turned all liquid-y, I poured it into a heavy bottomed pot and cooked it on medium low, stirring quite often. I cooked it for 60 minutes exactly and what was left filled 2 jars. The texture was perfect. I used the plate-in-freezer test which I think works well and is actually quite fun in my opinion. The color though, as you can see, was a very light blush compared to Marketman’s brilliant burgundy (and compared to the mangosteen jams on the market). I will try cooking it longer next time, although I don’t want to sacrifice any of the texture. Suggestions are welcome! The taste was oh-so-very good and I happily stuck my fingers in the empty pot once it was cool and did a pretty good “pre-clean” ;)

Marketman and his readers have already thought up of great ways to use it, and I am happily taking notes. But for now I can say, on toast with a good strong cheese it is sublime.

28 comments:

big city deserter said...

Horrah for jam!

Ivonne said...

Joey,

You have made me wish for summer again with your post about jam. It looks delicious!

Tanna said...

That's magic. That's jam.
I think I'm right there with you - jam so often saves fruits for long periods of time. Sugar doesn't hurt either. Haven't had mangosteen before.

Marketmanila said...

Joey, it looks superb. Perhpas 15 more minutes or so would get the more burnished look, but better safe than sorry...if you go to far, you ruin the batch. Now that you say it still has terrific flavor even when "blonde," I will definitely try that variation the next time around...brava!

Shelly said...

That looks wonderful! I am a jam NUT and at last count I think I had 6 open jars in the fridge. I like to mix it up! ;)

And I LOVE your plate! It looks like one of the Kate Spade plates?

Anonymous said...

I agree with you, homemade jam is the best, seasonal memories in a bottle. :)

I'd never heard of mangosteen before, now I have, and now I must link you.

Ari (Baking and Books)

ChichaJo said...

Hi there big city deserter! I see you are a big fan of jam...hooray! :)

Hi Ivonne! Thanks :) I on the other hand and wishing for some respite from the heat as November/December this year is not as cool as it should be...

Hi Tanna! Sugar definitely doesn't hurt...heehee :) Am enjoying some right now with my yogurt :)

Hi Marketman! Thanks! :) I will definitely try 15 minutes more next time and see where that takes me...it may also make it a bit less sweet? Thanks again for all the inspiration! :)

Hi Shelly! Me too! I never know what I will be in the mood for so I need a couple of jars open and on standby :) My plates are very flattered that you thought them Kate Spade but they are actually a brand called Multiple Choice which comes in all sorts of cute designs that you can mix and match :)

Hi Ari! Yes, home made jam and home made bread (the bread in this post is home made too) :) Mangosteen is super delicious! Thanks for the link!

christine said...

That looks great, Jo!! You have to let me try it. :) You are inspiring me to make some of my own. Maybe some guava and mango jam. I've never tried mangosteen jam before.

Paz said...

Awesome! I'd love to taste your jam!

Paz

Veron said...

My favorite fruit is mangosteen and mango too! I haven't had mangosteen in ages too, they only have them frozen here in the U.S. and so tiny.... I'll remember to go home to the Philippines when it is in season.

ChichaJo said...

Hi Nens! Come over and try some :) Home made mango jam is great...my dad got his recipe my abuelita, it's the jam she puts in the bread pudding :)

Hi Paz! You can definitely have a taste! Just let me know when you're in my neighborhood :)

Hi Veron! Yes, definitely have some next time you are here...when they are in season they are wonderful! There is just something about tropical fruits...

The Knittymommy said...

Congratulations on your jam. I have always wanted to experiment with that. New Jersey, believe it or not, is famous for its fresh produce. Despite it's very industrial exterior, NJ has beautiful agricultural land of orchards and plantations. The Jersey Peach is certainly to die for. Maybe next peach season, I will attempt to make some jam. You guys really inspire me.

BTW, here is a copy of my reply to your post re: Bloglines:
Hi Joey! Thanks for dropping by. Bloglines is a news aggregator that allows you to create a list of sites that you read regularly. The list updates each time a new post is entered at one of your listed sites. Before this, I had all my favorite blogs on my favorites and had to click on each one to see if there was a new post. Plus, you can get a button so people can subscribe to your blog. Your site actually has over 30 subs. BTW, the goodies you brought home from Spain look so good. The food and the stuff. Kisses to C!

angelika said...

Joey, I love the sound of this post. Mangosteen ! I have never heard about this fruit before nor have I eaten it so far.

You are perfectly right. There are ways of cooking and combinations which are very much fashionable at a certain time, but there are old and oh so tradional ways which are unbeatable - like making jam. Thanks for sharing - at least your thoughts !;-)

Much love, angelika

Brilynn said...

That looks excellent! I wish I could find someone to make mangosteen jam for me!

Midge said...

Hi, Joey! I just tried making your mangosteen jam recipe over the weekend and the results were just superb.

We tried them out on homemade brioche - heavenly!!!

ChichaJo said...

Hi Knittymommy! Thanks! Wow...I'd love to try a Jersey peach...sounds fantastic :) Thanks for all the bloglines info! I am signing up and in the process of adding a load of blogs...thanks for sharing this, imagine all this time I have been blogging I didn't know about it! I must admit I am a bit lost when it comes to the technical side of blogging...Will pass on the greetings to C! :)

Hi Angelika! Mangosteen is really delicious. If you follow my links to Santos' and Marketman's posts about the fruit you will get an idea as to their yumminess and magic :) It's great to be able to go back to the traditional way of doing things, at the same time still have so many new and interesting things to try! :)

Hi Brilynn! Thanks :)

Hi Midge! I'm so glad it turned out well for you too :) And home made brioche....oh wow! YUM!

P said...

Have my own jam memory. Lola used to make loads of pineapple jam. She also used to eat panucha by itself. I don't ever remember running out of panucha. And she was diabetic. How's that for living on the edge. Tee hee.

ChichaJo said...

Hi Poch! Pineapple jam sounds great...maybe I'll try that too :) My father's side of the family is hypoglycemic and they have the biggest sweettooths (sweetteeth) ever! I guess we can never underestimate the siren song of sugar :)

Lera said...

Lovely pic ! too tempting, wish you could mail them online right away :)

peabody said...

I have yet to have a mangosteen. Your jam looks great.

veron said...

I read in Food and Wine magazine that the FDA have approved import of mangosteen into the U.S. from thailand, Hope they are as good as the one from the Philippines.

veron said...

I read in Food and Wine magazine that the FDA have approved import of mangosteen into the U.S. from thailand, Hope they are as good as the one from the Philippines.

ChichaJo said...

Hi Lera! Thanks! I with I could instant messenger some to you now :)

Hi Peabody! Thanks a lot :)Mangosteens are wonderful!

Hi Veron! That's great news! Hope they are good too :)

Zach said...

thats sounds awesome. i hear you can buy mangosteen jam, too. do u know of anyone who would sell it to me in the U.S.

ChichaJo said...

Hi Zach! Thanks :) Yes, you can buy mangosteen jam. I am not quite sure where to find some in the US, but you might try asking around in the Filipino groceries...

Pr1nc3_Charm said...

cool thanks.

Ceno said...

Mangosteen....my favourite fruit!! I can eat load of loads of them! I've never tried to make any jam out of them though..maybe because, they were all eaten up before I can do anything... Unfortunately, here in France, they're not easy to find or if so, shamingly expensive!!!

ChichaJo said...

Hi Ceno! One of my favourites as well – isn’t it just amazing? I love it and it makes such gorgeous jam! There are many delicious fruit you can get over there in France though that is likewise very expensive over here :)