My hands are on the mend, and after cleaning up a few dishes from a small dinner party last night I turned to the mangoes that were meant both for mango lassis and frozen storage for future smoothies. All of a sudden, I found a pot of jam on the stove and an excellent breakfast in my belly comprised of mango pits gnawed as clean as cobs of corn.
Mango Jam with Cayenne and Black Pepper (inspired by Linda Ziedrich, Hungry Tigress)
my yield was 3 half pints and 1 3/4 pint jars
- 2 lbs. mango, peeled and diced
- 2 cayenne peppers, stemmed and roughly chopped (I left the seeds in)
- 1 lime, zested and juiced
- enough juiced orange to equal 1/2 c. when added to the lime juice
- coarsely ground black pepper to taste,
- 3 c. (574 g.) sugar (I used raw sugar)
Combine the mangoes, cayenne peppers, lime and orange juices in a preserving pot and cook gently over medium low heat until the mangoes soften and are tender. After they have softened, mash lightly with a masher then add sugar. (Taste, and if it isn't hot enough for you, add more cayenne pepper or powdered cayenne pepper.)
Increase the heat to medium, stirring frequently to make sure all the sugar has dissolved. When sugar has dissolved, raise the heat to medium high, add several grinds of coarse black (tellicherry) pepper and boil until a spoonful of jam mounds up when placed on a chilled dish. Stir in the lime zest.
Ladle jam into sterilized and still hot jam jars (use pint, 3/4 pint, or half pint jars), and process for 10 minutes in a boiling water bath.
My idea of jam making has changed so much in the past few years. I used to think that I could only make jam with fruit that I'd grown myself and in huge batches - probably reminiscent of the way my family preserved jam when I was growing up. Thanks to so many small-batch preservers, I've made stellar little 4 jar experiments with supermarket fruit that have slyly surprised me with their deliciousness. I've grown bold, adding herbs and spices to things I'd never considered, thanks to so many of my favorite preservers - maybe I will make it my 2012 mission to add chiles to everything I pop into jars.