Star apple, also known as “caimito” in some places, is a tropical fruit with a soft, milky and sweet pulp. Making jam from star apple is a wonderful way to preserve the taste of this fruit. Here’s a simple recipe for star apple jam:
Star Apple Jam Recipe
- 1 kg star apples (caimito)
- 700-800 grams sugar (adjust to taste)
- Juice of 1 lemon or 2-3 tablespoons of lemon juice
- A pinch of salt
- 1/2 cup water
- Preparation of Star Apples: Begin by washing the star apples thoroughly. Cut them in half and scoop out the soft pulp. Remove any seeds that are present.
- Mashing: Place the scooped-out pulp in a large bowl and mash it using a potato masher or a fork to get a smooth consistency. You can also use a blender or food processor to do this but ensure it’s not overly pureed. Some texture in the jam is desirable.
- Cooking the Jam: In a large pot, add the mashed star apple pulp, sugar, lemon juice, a pinch of salt, and water. Stir the mixture to combine everything well.
- Boiling: Place the pot on the stove and turn the heat to medium. Bring the mixture to a boil, stirring occasionally to ensure it doesn’t stick to the bottom.
- Simmer: Once boiling, reduce the heat to low and let it simmer. As it simmers, you’ll notice the mixture thickening. Continue to stir occasionally.
- Checking for Jam Consistency: To check if your jam has reached the right consistency, place a small amount on a cold plate and let it sit for a minute. Run your finger through it. If it wrinkles and doesn’t flood back, your jam is ready. If not, continue cooking for a few more minutes and check again.
- Bottling: Once the jam reaches the desired consistency, remove it from the heat. Allow it to cool slightly. Sterilize your jars by boiling them in water for 10 minutes or baking them in an oven at 130°C (270°F) for 20 minutes. Pour the jam into these sterilized jars while it’s still warm, leaving a little space at the top.
- Sealing and Storing: Close the lids tightly and allow the jars to cool completely. As they cool, you’ll likely hear a popping sound, which indicates a vacuum seal has formed. Store in a cool, dark place. Once opened, keep the jar in the refrigerator.
Enjoy your homemade star apple jam on toast, pastries, or as a sweet treat by itself!
Note: Always ensure to use sterilized jars to prevent any contamination or spoilage. If the jam develops mold or an off smell, discard it.
My Personal Journey
There’s something magical about the process of transforming fresh fruits into jams and preserves. A few weeks ago, I discovered the intriguing and lesser-known star apple, also known as Caimito or Agbalumo in some parts of the world. This fruit not only has a vibrant exterior but also a gelatinous texture that made me think it’d be the perfect candidate for jam-making. Here’s a step-by-step recount of my experience crafting a delicious star apple jam.
1. Gathering My Ingredients:
Before I started, I made sure I had all the ingredients in place:
- 4 cups of ripe star apple pulp
- 2 cups of sugar (you can adjust based on your sweetness preference)
- Juice of one lemon
- A pinch of salt
- 1/2 teaspoon of vanilla extract (optional)
2. Prepping the Star Apples:
I began by rinsing the star apples under cold water. Using a sharp knife, I sliced them in half, revealing the star-shaped pattern of seeds inside. After removing the seeds, I scooped out the soft, gelatinous flesh.
3. Cooking the Pulp:
In a heavy-bottomed pan, I combined the star apple pulp, sugar, and lemon juice. The lemon juice not only added a zesty flavor but also helped in preserving the jam. I brought the mixture to a boil over medium heat, stirring frequently to ensure that the sugar dissolved completely and the pulp didn’t stick to the bottom.
4. Simmer and Skim:
Once boiling, I reduced the heat and let the mixture simmer. A frothy layer formed on top, which I carefully skimmed off. This skimming process is essential to achieve a clear jam consistency.
5. Testing the Consistency:
After about 25-30 minutes of simmering, I wanted to check if my jam had reached the right consistency. I used the cold plate test: I placed a small amount of jam on a plate that I’d previously kept in the freezer. After a minute, I pushed the jam with my fingertip. It wrinkled slightly and didn’t flood back, signaling it was ready.
6. Final Touches:
I turned off the heat and stirred in the vanilla extract. This was optional, but I love the depth of flavor it adds.
7. Jar and Preserve:
I sterilized my jam jars by boiling them for 10 minutes. Once sterilized, I carefully poured the hot jam into the jars, leaving about a quarter-inch headspace. After sealing the jars, I placed them in a boiling water bath for another 10 minutes to ensure they were properly sealed and preserved.
8. Enjoying the Fruits of My Labor:
After a day of allowing the jam to set, I opened a jar and spread some on a slice of toast. The flavor was extraordinary – sweet, slightly tangy, with a unique tropical touch. The consistency was just perfect, spreadable yet holding its shape.
Making star apple jam was a delightful experience. It’s not every day you get to experiment with such an exotic fruit. If you ever come across star apples, I highly recommend trying out this recipe. The satisfaction of making your jam, combined with the unique taste of the star apple, makes it a jam-making journey worth embarking on.