I mentioned in my post for mango slaw that I have been obsessed with mangoes lately. It wasn’t a lie. I can’t get enough of that sunny, honey-and-strawberries flavor of a perfectly ripe specimen. This love affair is not new; I’ve been a mango fan for years in both sweet and savory preparations, with green mango salad at the top of the favorites list. (This summer I will make some and share that recipe! I am writing it now so you all will hold me to my word.) I gravitate toward mango sorbet when given the choice and make a pretty decent mango salsa. I’m getting better at choosing ones to buy (use smell and touch to guide, not the color of the fruit), understanding when they’re ready to eat (again, it’s all about the smell) and at cutting them so I don’t lose any precious fruit, though I secretly love to gnaw on the bits left on the pit. I hope that’s not a weird confession.
Anyhow, my go-to preparations for mango lately tend toward the fairly basic: I like them cut into plain yogurt for breakfast, with a drizzle of honey if they’re on the firm side, or in a smoothie with soy milk, frozen strawberries and ripe banana. A few weeks ago, I had a particularly ripe one in the fruit bowl that I feared would not last through the night, so I cut it into wedges and ate it with a squeeze of lime juice and a little salt after dinner. It was revelatory, the ideal balance of sweet, salty and sour. I could have eaten six more bowls of the same. That treat was the inspiration for this jam, which I can happily say hits all the same notes I enjoyed in that after-dinner treat. The salt is more pronounced than in other jams, but still not enough to make this savory; although it would be awesome as a glaze for a pork roast or some chicken, it is just as much at home on your morning toast or in a thumbprint cookie. The salted mango jam has a saucier set, almost caramel-like because of the brown sugar, which was deliberate; it works well as a yogurt mix-in, a topping for vanilla ice cream, or warmed up and drizzled over a yellow or pound cake. I will be excited to crack open a jar later this year, probably at a time when I can’t get my hands on a decent ripe mango, and enjoy the sunny flavors of this unique jam.
Salted Mango Jam with Lime (makes about 5 half-pints)
- 4 c. of chopped ripe mango*, with juice reserved
- 5 T. lemon juice
- 1 T. calcium water (comes in the box with Pomona’s pectin)
- 1 c. brown sugar
- 3 tsp. Pomona’s universal pectin
- 1 tsp. salt
- zest of one large lime
- juice of half a lime
- zest of one large lime
If you’re planning to can the jam, prepare your water bath and sterilize your jars. This is a fairly quick-cooking recipe, so make sure you’re ready before starting with the fruit.
In a non-reactive stock pot or Dutch oven, combine the chopped mango and all reserved mango juice, lemon juice and calcium water and bring to a boil over medium-high heat. While the fruit heats, combine the sugar, pectin and salt in a small bowl, being careful to thoroughly mix it together. When your fruit reaches the boiling point, stream in the sugar mixture all at once, whisking quickly to stir it into the fruit. Bring the mixture back up to a boil (raise the heat slightly if you need to but don’t leave it unattended!) and cook at a rolling boil, stirring frequently to prevent sticking, for about 5 mins. Stir in the lime juice and zest and cook for another minute, but try not to cook the lime for too long, as it can sometimes turn bitter. (At the point I added the lime zest and juice, I could tell by looking that the jam was gelling and one more minute of cook time would be sufficient; if you are unsure that the jam is setting or prefer to double-check, use the cold plate method or sheeting test.)
When your jam is to your satisfaction (remember that it will continue to set as it cools), ladle it hot into sterilized jars. Affix flat and screw lids and water bath process for 15 mins. Remove your jars from the water bath and rest on a towel-lined counter for 24 hours. Check to make sure your jars have sealed and refrigerate any that haven’t.
*Any variety of mango is fine, as long as the ones you use are ripe. I worked with the red and green common mangoes most easily available from my grocery store; I wanted organic fruit and that was my only option. I imagine champagne mangoes would also work very well.