How to Make Jam

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One of the most popular desserts in Cabo Verde is goat cheese with papaya jam. You may not have had papaya jam before, but you’re going to want to try it… and I’m going to teach you how to make it! Or, if you’d prefer to make this recipe with a different fruit instead, just trade out the papaya in this papaya jam recipe and replace it with the fruit that you prefer more. 

I’m not a huge fan of papayas. I don’t think that they’re sweet enough for me, so I oftentimes choose to stay away from them. That is, of course, unless the papayas are made into papaya jam. Then they are sweet and delicious and perfect for pairing with toast OR dessert. 

If you want to learn how to make this recipe with papayas like I am, that’s perfect. But if, instead, you’d prefer to use strawberries, or blueberries or raspberries, you’re free to do that, too. Just replace the 2 cups of papaya with 2 cup of your preferred fruit instead. 

What Ingredients are in this Recipe? 

  • Fruit (in my case, papaya) 
  • Sugar
  • Lime juice 
  • Vanilla 

How to Make Jam

Add all of your ingredients into a small pot, and mix them to combine. 

Cook over medium heat until the ingredients in pot begin to boil. Turn the heat down and allow to simmer at a low, rolling boil for about 25-30 minutes, stirring occasionally. 

Cook until the desired consistency is reached. The jam should hold its own shape when you run a rubber spatula through it. 

Another way to test is to chill a plate in the refrigerator and then, when you think your jam is done, add a small spoonful of it to the chilled plate. If it holds its shape and does not melt across the plate, it is ready. 

Which Sugar Should I Use to Make Jam? 

I typically use white, granulated sugar to make jam. This is the best as the granules dissolve more evenly and create a perfect jam texture. You could also use caster sugar if you so prefer. 


The last option is to use “jam sugar” which is granulated sugar with pectin added in. This is an option if you’d like to store your product in your pantry instead of needing to keep it cold in your refrigerator.

What is Pectin? 

Pectin is a naturally-occurring starch that is found in the cell walls of fruits and vegetables. It is a common ingredient when making jams or jellies, because heating the pectin to 220 degrees Fahrenheit will cause it to gel. This is a good way to ensure that your jam or jelly reaches your desired consistency.

Unlike gelatin, pectin is made from fruits and vegetables so it is both vegetarian and vegan. Some fruits or vegetables have higher amounts of pectin than others. 

How to Make Jam without Pectin 

As you can see, my recipe does not use pectin. This is because papaya typically has a lot of naturally-occurring pectin, so it is unnecessary to add more. 

Some fruits display lower amounts of pectin, particularly berries. If you use berries or fruit that is very ripe, you may need to compensate by adding more sugar or longer cook times in order to get your jam to gel in the correct way. 

If you are using very soft fruits, I would recommend using 1 1/4 cups of sugar instead of 1 cup. 

When to Make Jam

Jam is best made, of course, when the fruit that you are making it with is fresh and in-season. This means that you should base your jam schedule off of in-season fruit. Blueberries are best in the summer, whereas papayas are in season during the fall. 

How Long will Homemade Jam Last in the Fridge? 

Because your homemade jam is not canned with preservatives, it will have a shorter shelf life than store-bought version. You can save your jar for about 2-3 weeks in the fridge, but if you’d like to keep it for longer, the better option is to freeze it. 

Homemade Jam with Papaya

This jam recipe features papayas, but you can also customize it with whatever fruit you'd prefer to make

Course Appetizer, condiment, Snack
Cuisine cabo verde
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 12 minutes

Ingredients

  • 2 cups papaya ripe and mashed
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • Juice of 1 Lime

Instructions

  1. Add all of your ingredients into a small pot, and mix them to combine.
  2. Cook over medium heat until the ingredients in pot begin to boil. Turn the heat down and allow to simmer at a low, rolling boil for about 25-30 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  3. Cook until the desired consistency is reached. The jam should hold its own shape when you run a rubber spatula through it.

Recipe Notes

Recipe copyright The Foreign Fork. For educational or personal use only. 

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