The sunny yellow mango is back! Just in time to cheer us up as spring is slowing warming but keeps snaping back into damp and windy chill. Mounds of altaulfo mangoes arrived a few weeks ago and are still piled in the stores, begging to become salsa or sorbet or chutney or jam.
To me, mangoes – and the Hawaiian pineapples that come to market at the same time – are as refreshing as citrus in January. Zinging with ginger and lime, this jam hits the spot on a gray day. It has become a household favorite, one we look forward in spring. Looking back at my blog over the years, this recipe sprung up in April 2013. Here it is again, with a tweak or two. One thing I’ve discovered is that the ginger “blooms” in the jam, so go light, or, as my friend says, the jam tastes like Thanksgiving squash.
Mango Jam with Ginger and Lime
6 large ataulfo mangoes, medium ripe (these are sometimes called “Champagne mangoes”)
2 c sugar (or enough to equal half the measure of diced fruit)
1 scant tbsp minced fresh ginger
1 juicy lime
Peel the mangoes and cut them into ½-inch dice. The easiest way to do this is to cut the flesh in a grid pattern while it is attached to the large pit, and then scrape the diced pieces from the pit into a bowl. Measure the fruit and place it in a large saucepan along with sugar about half the measure of the fruit (I had 4 cups of mango and used 2 cups of sugar). Add the ginger. Juice the lime and add the juice to the mango. Cut the shell of the lime into quarters and set aside. If there are seeds, place them in a small cheesecloth bag and set aside. You will later add them to the mango mixture to help develop pectin.
Bring the mango and sugar mixture to a simmer over medium heat, stirring to dissolve the sugar. Pour it into a bowl and add the lime peel and seeds, if any. When the mixture is cool, crumple a piece of parchment paper, set it on top and refrigerate the mixture overnight. (If you have aromatic items in the refrigerator, cover the bowl loosely with plastic wrap.
Prepare jars for water bath canning. Place a saucer in the freezer.
Remove the lime shells and pour the mango mixture into a large, wide, heavy-bottomed saucepan. Bring it just to a boil over medium-high heat, stirring so that the mixture doesn’t stick to the bottom. Reduce the heat to allow the mixture to simmer just below the boiling point for about 15-20 minutes or until thick. Stir from time to time to prevent the mixture from scorching. If you want a smooth jam, use an immersion blender (be careful of the splash) to break up the big chunks.
Test for gel by placing a couple of drops on the frozen saucer and pushing it with your finger. If the jam wrinkles, the gel will be fine.
Process in a water bath canner for 10 minutes after the water comes to a boil. Turn off the heat, remove the canner lid and let the jars sit for 5 minutes before removing them to a counter to sit undisturbed until cool.
Makes 6-7 four-ounce jars.