Monday, March 13, 2006

Kiwi Jam - Thatz whatz cookin' - ARF/5-a-day Tuesday

This is my entry to Sweetnick's ARF/5-a-day Tuesday this week!

Whenever I think of jam, my mind wanders to the hot summer afternoons in India. That is when mom made all of her jams, jellies, fruit squashes (not as in vegetable but I am using it in the verb form not as a noun) pickles, vadiyalu, appadalu, mamidikaya orugulu (spiced and dried raw mango)! Everything that had to be preserved for all year round was made in the summer. As with everything else, this was a huge family event everybody doing their own share.

Coming back to jams, mom made all kinds - from veggies like tomato, carrot to fruits like apple, papaya, mango, mixed fruit (fruit medley!), grape, orange. We never bought the Kissan Jam available at the stores. My favorite way to eat jam was to spread it on some chapathi, roll it up and eat it. Bread and jam came second.

Now, coming back to this post. I had posted a picture yesterday asking fellow bloggers to guess what the dish was. I got very good responses. The first person to guess what the main ingredient was Manisha from Indian Food Rocks and Puspha from Pusiva's Culinary Studio. The first person to guess the exact dish was Spice Hut. If all goes well, I am going to be using the jam as a topping for some mini cheesecakes.

Thank you to everyone for playing along.

The recipe (makes 4 1/2 pints or 4 cups)

  • 10-12/3 cups chopped medium sized kiwi fruit
  • 3-4 cups sugar
  • 1 package fruit pectin
  • 3/4 cup pineapple juice
  • 1/4 cup lemon juice
  • 1 drop of green food color (optional)
  • One big saucepan
  • 4 1/2 pint glass jars
  • Peel, wash and cut the kiwi fruit. I cut the kiwi fruit into cirlces and then quartered the big circles and left the small circles (towards the end) alone. Those who like everything mashed may want to mash it up or chop the fruit into much smaller size than what I did. You should have about 3 cups of kiwis.
  • Put a sauce pan on medium-high heat and add the kiwis, pineapple juice and the fruit pectin. Stir ocassionally and let the mixture come to a rolling boil.
  • Add the sugar stirring the kiwi while adding. I used about 3 1/2 cups of sugar. You may wish to use a little less than that or the full 4 cups.
  • Bring the mixture back to a rolling boil (will take about 4-5 minutes). At this point, the mixture should be thickening up.
  • After the rolling boil, boil away for another 1-2 minutes then take the saucepan off the stove. Add the food color if desired. I added a drop to make it a little more green.
  • Skim off any foam on the top. The jam at this point is still a little liquidy. It is not of a jam consistency yet. It will set later as it cools down.
  • Pour into hot sterlized jam jars and seal. I am not the best person to talk about jams sealing techniques etc., as I have never done it before. The following are a couple of resources for the enthusiastic.
Ohio State University Extension's Page
Kraft foods has a video on Water Bath method for sealing the jars

All I did was, gathered some glass jars I had lying around and did it the way my mom does back home - washed them with hot soapy water and throughly dried them with a clean kitchen towel (my mom used to put them out in the sun). When the jam was ready, I put the glass jars in the microwave until they were a little hot to touch, ladled the jam into the jars. Be careful, both the jam and the glass jars are hot. Take precaution.

I am not planning on keeping this jam for long. I will use most of it for my dish for the cheesecakes. Hence, I did not explore long term storage. If you do follow my method, don't forget to refrigerate the jam even though mom never did and her jam never went bad :) but that is up to you.


Manisha said...

L2C, kiwi fruit has always foxed me. I never know when it is just right. I either cut it when it is not quite ripe or when it is over-ripe. How does one tell when the fruit is ready to be eaten?

Did you use ripe kiwi fruit in your jam?

Luv2cook said...


When I pick out kiwi fruits at the grocery store, I do my "avacado ripeness" test - when you hold the kiwi fruit in your hand and apply gentle pressure, it should yeild to that pressure. If it is hard, then it isn't ripe. If you don't have a choice but to bring the unripe fruit home, just put it in a brown paper bag with a tomato or an apple and it will ripe in a day or two.

I did use almost ripe kiwi fruit but not *over ripe* :-)

Hope this helps.

Kay said...

What a beautiful color!!! Is it slightly sour (natural kiwi taste) or sweet (from sugar)?

Kay said...

And I think, the first person to guess the dish right, was Spicehut, if I'm not mistaken..

Luv2cook said...

And I think, the first person to guess the dish right, was Spicehut, if I'm not mistaken..

Thanks, BDSN :-p. I messed up. I corrected the mistake.

Manisha said...

You had to bring in the other fruit that I have problem with, didn't you? ;-) I can't tell with avocados either! But I will try this gentle pressure thing the next time. I love kiwi fruit but I wait too long and then they don't taste so good.

BDSN said...

Hey L2c...

Thanks for what????What mistake??
By the way ur jam looks like one exotic jam yet the recipe is very very simple ...

Luv2cook said...

Okay. I need to take a break :-p. I meant to thank Kay for pointing out my mistake when I first said, bdsn was first to guess the dish when in fact it was Spicehut.

Sorry for the confusion :-p.

The recipe only took me about 30 min to prepare. It was very simple!