With the natural abundance of fruits we have in the Caribbean I’m surprised we didn’t have a wider jam and jellies culture, when I was a kid on the islands. To be honest, the only jam mom would make was guava, sour cherry and Pommecythere (ambarella). However with all the artisan -like initiatives lately, we’re seeing more and more creative use of our fruits. We’ve come to realize that we can still enjoy tropical fruits when it’s out of season. If you’re from the Caribbean you’ll know exactly what I mean when I say we eat ‘seasonally’… take sorrel for example. We only drink sorrel at Christmas time. Why? In this recipe we’ll take two of the most common topical fruits and make what I believe is the perfect marriage of flavors and texture.
2 cups diced ripe pineapple
2 cups diced ripe papaya
3-4 cups sugar (taste and add all 4 if necessary)
1 tablespoon lemon zest (in thin strips)
1 /3 cup lemon juice
1 tablespoon grated ginger
Peel and cube the pineapple and papaya (Click to watch how shop, peel and cube a papaya – Click to watch how to peel, core and cube a pineapple) and set aside. Then using a pairing knife, cut off some of the rind off the lemons and slice them thinly (Chiffonade). You’ll also need to squeeze the lemons as we’ll need this citrus kick in the marmalade.
Place a wide pan on a medium flame and add all the ingredients and bring to a boil.
Reduce the heat to a simmer (leave the pan uncovered) and have it go for about 30 minutes. The goal is to make everything tender, to the point where it starts to break apart.
It will go thick and sticky (that’s what we want) and you can certainly control the texture. If you want it more runny, you can cook it for a bit less time and if you want it thick, using the back of your spoon, mash down on the pieces of fruit. If you’re an exact cook time type of person, you want to achieve 224º degrees Fahrenheit on a candy thermometer.
Pour into a sterilized glass jar, store and enjoy.
This is a great way to put such wonderful tropical fruits to use. Remember this is not diabetic friendly and overall very sweet.