Mango Jam, Jalea de Mango

Just a small sample of all the mango varieties.





It's mango season. The mango tree in my back yard has dropped its last pink mango of the year, but the one across the street is just beginning to ripen. Here in Miami the mangos come in all shape and sizes.  There is even a mango festival during the month of July.  According to the festival's page, there are over 220 varieties of mangos grown here in South Florida.


Growing up in the tropics, mangos were abundant.  One of my first words, as a toddler was mango. I could recognize a mango tree from any other tree. Around my neighborhood, almost every house had at least one mango tree, but it wasn't until recently that I learned there were an infinite variety of mangos.  I do remember however, that some trees were huge with the most common mango, medium sized fruit, green with yellow cheeks, and lots of fiber. Then some other folks had a smaller, rounder kind of mango, no fibers, de bocado (morsel, melted in your mouth) my mom's favorite.  Finally there was the manga (not the Japanese comics) but the largest mango variety.  A manga is about double or triple the size of a regular mango, with pink checks hanging from a little tree, which makes the fruit look even bigger.


Trave in time, school picture
with two mango trees in the background.

School play, photo opportunity
under two large mango trees.


During mango season, you really have to hustle.  Mango yields are generous, and  pretty soon your yard will be covered in fermenting fruit, unless you pack them in bags and give them away to friends and strangers alike.  A good way to use a whole lot of mangos is by juicing them or making jam and jalea (the thicker version of jam).  You can turn them into jam, and save them for when the season is over.  I can freeze them for the colder months when you need more vitamin C.  You could sell them, one mango goes for $1 in northern states! 


The difference between jam and a jalea is evaporation, which means longer cooking time. Mango jam is soft spoonable and jalea is shaped like a brick and can be sliced.  Both are delicious.


I love, love mango!




Mango Jam, not difficult just time consuming, but totally worth it.


Ingredients: 


  • Mangos green or ripe (green will be more acid, and ripe will be more sweet)
  • Sugar, as needed
  • Water
  • Juice of 2 or 3 Lemons or limes (optional if mangos are green)
  • Large pot with lid
  • Long wooden spoon for stirring
  • Sterilized glass canning jars for jam, or medium sized plastic containers for the thick jalea.



Procedure:


  1. Wash the mangos and cut an X on them.
  2. Place mangos in the large pot.
  3. Cover them with water and heat water until it boils. Lower heat and cover. Keep at a constant boil. Cook until tender. About 40 minutes to 1 hr, depending on how many mangos you have. I had about 10 -12 large mangos.
  4. Once the mangos are soft, turn off the heat and let it cool. Drain.
  5. Later that day or the next day, in a large bowl, with a big metal spoon, peel and scrape the mango pulp.
  6. Discard seeds and peel.
  7. Grab a large colander with medium weave and pass the pulp catching all the fibers. This is very important, mango fibers are like hair, very unpleasant, like eating a wig. 
  8. In a large pot, add sugar (equal weight of the mango pulp, a bit less if mangos are really ripe), mango pulp 
  9. Add lime juice.  
  10. Cook on medium heat until it begins to bubble, be careful it sputters, stir often with large wooden spoon. 
  11. When the water content has reduced significantly and the jam has thickened, remove from heat. 
  12. Line up your clean sterilized glass containers if making jam, or line your larger plastic squares, if making "Jalea". 
  13. Pour hot mixture into containers. 
  14. Close the lids and let them cool.
These will last several weeks at room temperature, but if in doubt, once cool, keep them in the fridge, or follow instructions for canning food from a reliable source. Mine are consumed almost immediately.

Very important to remove the fibers


What a treat, you can use it as regular jam, or as a base for chutneys.  You can add hot peppers and spices and turn it into a spicy jam to go with poultry or pork.  Use it as a topping for ice cream, or cheese cake....with jalea you can slice it and spread it on toast or serve it with cheese to guests. Enjoy.



My jars with hot jam, turned upside down to sterilize air trapped in the jar.
An old trick I learned from French cooks.



Feria Word of the Day: TURRON

My favorite food leaving feria.
It would give me enough energy to make it to my car!
TURRON: Nougat, made out of almonds, sugar, eggs, honey. Some are made out of chocolate, and others out of coconut and sugar.  Really bad for your teeth, but oh so good. Mmm.  Vendors are in a white food truck almost always outside of feria, away from the main casetas.  If the fair grounds are big, then you can find them around the rides.

Feria Word of the Day: JAMON

A whole leg of ham is raffled in Feria.  Don't want to carry the leg around?
No worries, you can also order a ration at the bar.

JAMON: Spanish ham, if you ask my kids, it is the best in the world!

Ham slicer, a very important job.  The correct way to slice a ham is important
 to bring out the flavor and  to get the most meat out of a leg.