(makes about 8 jars)
In our Otaki garden lives a huge Feijoa tree. In a good year, it will produce about 100kg of fruit. So we freeze
them…we jam them…we chutney them….and we give away the surplus. But no-one in our household has the time
to peel feijoas. For freezing, we halve fruit, scoop out the sweet centres with a sharp-edge spoon, and freeze them
in ‘1-cup’ amounts. For jam making, we use Tui Flowers’ method – just remove the stalk end and cut fruit into
pieces. (As the skin also goes into the jam, I recommend you use organic or unsprayed fruit: if that’s not possible,
then peel the fruit first, or scrub them thoroughly in hot water before cutting).
2.5 kg Feijoas (some very ripe and some less
ripe makes a good mix)
5 cups water
8 cups sugar
6 TBS lemon juice
1 tsp powdered ginger
- Wash Feijoas. Cut off stalk end. Cut small fruits in half, larger ones into 3 or 4 pieces.
- Put in a large pan with the water, bring to boil and simmer about 45 min, or until skins are soft but some of the fruit is still in distinct pieces. (Up to this point, the fruit only needs stirring occasionally while cooking.)
- Over a low heat, stir in sugar, lemon juice and ginger. Continue stirring with a wooden spoon over low heat until all the sugar is dissolved. Increase heat to boil. From now on, stir thoroughly and often. Continue a ‘rolling boil’ for 20 to 40 minutes, until jam reaches setting point. (Use whatever setting test you prefer – I use a small plate, chilled in the freezer.)
Hints for novice jam-makers:
If jam mix still hasn’t set after 45 min, you may
have used over-ripe fruit. Don’t boil it to death – you
can save the batch by adding 1 or 2 packets of ‘King’
jam setting mix (prepared pectin). Follow instructions
on packet. It’s sometimes hard to find, so I keep a few
packets in the cupboard for ‘reluctant’ jam emergencies.
After adding sugar, the jam is more likely to
catch on the bottom and burn. And if you try to fit in
other jobs at the same time, it’s almost guaranteed to
burn! So stir the jam often while boiling, and regularly
‘feel’ the pan bottom with wooden spoon. If a dark
gluey layer of caramelised sugar builds on the bottom
of the pan, do not try to stir it back in. Turn off heat, let
the jam mix cool until it’s safe to transfer it, and then
continue boiling in a fresh pan.
“Jam setting point” – cold plate test: Take plate
from fridge or freezer, drop on about 1/2 teaspoon of
jam. Put back in cold for about 2 minutes. If the jam
has thickened and set almost solid on the plate, it’s ready.
Let jam cool a little, and pack in pre-heated jars. If your
Oma showed you another way of checking jam for set
point, then do whatever you are used to.