Monday, August 13, 2012

End of the Mango Season in S. Florida

I'm not trying to bore you with more mangoes...but this time, I just want to share with you the last of our mangoes and the  Mango Jam recipe that my daughter Lora and I share. My recipe calls for lemon juice, which her Italian recipe does not, but from the last batch that I made she like the slight tangy lemon taste...this time, I used the juice of fresh lime, and that even made it taste better!
I'm going to share my little secret of how to can jams perfectly and to make sure they stay sealed, tight. You have to hear that 'pop sound' when you twist the jar to open...otherwise its not sealed right! I could never do this kind of work in my tiny beach condo kitchen, now you can understand why I spend just about every day at my daughter's house...not so much because she has a much larger kitchen, but because they have plenty of counter space and the kitchen is open and well lit! Also, the patio has ample natural lighting as well. I made this batch last week, and hoped I would catch a little sunlight that was 'sneaking around' for a short time...then the rain came!

I will guide you through the easy process...although a little time consuming, but I promise you that you can make this with the half of the amount from the full recipe!

This is what 1 kilo (2.2 lbs) of fruit will allow you to make. These are 12 oz canning jars with lids, that have to be sterilized (just run it through the dishwasher cycle lid too) or boil in a large pot of water, and let it cool to the touch.

You can make this with other fruits...peaches is what I would love to make it with, hoping that the price will come down from $1.99 a pound, we will probably get it less at our local produce market. Plums would work well also, for this recipe.

I used Sure-Jell pectin for my previous batch, but this time I use my daughter's Italian pectin that comes in a big pouch, so I counted out how many Tablespoons it requires, and marked down everything on paper to be saved, so good thing that I'm actually typing up this recipe and method to save for myself too!

With a jar of leftover mango jam, I also made cream cheese bars filled with mango jam

Mango Jam
adapted from Italian basic jam recipe

2 kilo (4.4 lbs) mango, or other fruit
750 g.(about 2 1/2 cups sugar
juice of 2 lemons, or limes
5 Tablespoons pectin (I used Italian import)

note: you can cut the amount exactly in half if you
want to make less jam.

Wash, peel, and dice the mango, or other fruit, and put into a large bowl. With a potato masher mash it well, but leaving little chunks of fruit which is really very tasty.







Add the pulp of the fruit to a large heavy stainless steel, or other heavy duty pot. Add the sugar, the pectin and the juice of the lemon or lime, and simmer constantly, over med. high heat.


Make sure you keep stirring, constantly, until it comes to a bubble and a slow boil. You must take it off the heat as soon as it does that, and start getting your jars ready to be filled by the hot jam. Don't be alarmed that it looks liquidy, because it will start to jel, as soon as it starts to cool a little.







With a ladle, carefully spoon the jam up to about where the neck of the jar is, to assure it will not spill over...do not fill to the very top!











Just set them on a dish towel making sure the lids are well sealed, and here comes the tricky part that will assure double seal!













Turn the filled jars upside-down, and leave them sitting like that for about 10 minutes to assure safe sealing for the lids. You can also do a water bath in a large pot with water only up to half way, and simmer for 10 minutes, or just follow this method!

note: if you are planning to leave jams in a cool place in your cupboard, then you have to do the water bath method...otherwise just proceed with this method, but you must refrigerate after opening the jar...either way, when you open a jar of jam you must refrigerate it!

Jam is done...now you can go 'jamming along'...a cool song of Bob Marley...Jammin!

Enjoy the jam...and share, sparingly...it's that GOOD!

Linking to: Thursday Favorite Things @ Katherines Corner


Yesterday was such a lazy day...raining most part of the afternoon, but the nice gentle comfortable warm rain, that did cool down the temperature. I did not want to venture out driving in the rain, so I decided to walk around on my 2nd. floor condo unit and snap a few pictures. Don't you agree this looks like a painting?...perhaps a gentle water color?...well, this is how the beach looked. Gentle rain, the sky...you can't even see what color...gray ocean, but pretty!
The beach scene is the east view, and the parking lot is the west view...the building facing, is across the street, and behind that building, is the Intracoastal waterway...I love the gentle rain, especially when its quiet...no one around, everybody is still out of town, state...out of the country; this is South Florida living for the ones that stay behind, like me!
Quiet and serenity is something that we all require and need from time-to-time to re-energize and recharge our senses and feelings. Rain is needed in much part of the U.S....the drought is not good; for some reason we were fortunate this year...no hurricane, but who knows what next year will bring!
Hope you don't think I have 'no life'...ha, ha...seriously, I just wanted to share some of the beautiful nature to share, whether its 'sunshine, and roses'...or a 'cloudy and rainy day'...this is my little haven, that I enjoy, and worked for for so many years 30+...and I'm still 'alive and kickin'...gosh I'm sounding like a song now!

In the meantime, while I had all this time on my hands on a rainy Sunday afternoon...I decided to make something easy, and yummy at the same time...did grill a tilapia fish with my jerk seasoning, and grilled a potato, first nuked, and cut in half to grill on the George Foreman grill. One suggestion, the jerk spices are extremely hot on a delicate white fish...made some fresh coleslaw, with Marzetti's slaw dressing...love, Marzetti's...always have! The fish was so spicy, I could not cut the spice...was sneezing, coughing...but I loved it! (no photos)

Next, I made these cute little bars, with my mango jam...a leftover one from last month. Tried to drizzle it with some melted chocolate, but wasn't enough, and too thick, so I gave up on that, but those little bars with the oats crust and cream cheese topped was really great!
I did follow this recipe...just don't use a 13x9 baking pan...an 8x8 inch brownie pan is plenty big enough!
I used my mango jam instead, but you can also use your favorite jam to make these yummy bars...and oh, DO use an aluminum foil or parchment paper to line and make sure to hang over the sides of the pan for easy removal, otherwise you will scratch up your pan. I forgot to use lining paper, but used a plastic spatula to cut and remove the bars.
A 'store brand' product will always saves you money, such as flour sugar, milk, and any other store brand products. This flour is great, but when I want to do some serious baking, I will always use King Arthur brand, but our local supermarket brand products are superior, fresh, and just as good if not better than some national brand you just pay for the name!
The oats, flour, sugar, and butter crust that you just mix together, and pat it down into the pan, was so ridiculously easy...pre-bake the crust for 15 minutes, then spread jam on top, and 1-8 oz. Philadelphia cream cheese mixed with 2 eggs, a little sugar and vanilla...beat till creamy, top with the cream cheese topping and bake for an additional 20 minutes. Really satisfies your 'sweet tooth'!

So that's it for today, hope you all had a wonderful Sunday!



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