Guava Jelly and Marmalada

The guava tree in our yard has dropped several pieces of fruit each day for the past several weeks. I wanted to make jelly and talked to my friend Eva about what I need to do. First you need a great deal of fruit for jelly, I must have had 30 guavas and Eva gave me 5 more from their farm. So I washed them, cut them into quarters and added several cups of water to the pot and brought them to a boil. First the most unusual thing is the fruit from our tree is cream-colored inside while Eva’s fruit was the most beautiful shade of pink. I am jealous for sure!!!

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Now I want you all to know that I cheated, yes, Nancy Levin cheated when I added 5 drops of red food coloring to the jelly recipe and 20 drops of red food coloring to the marmalada recipe, Oh I feel so much better after that confession, you know us Catholic Girls it is all about the confession! So back to the recipe.

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Guava Jelly and Jam

  • 35 Guava, washed and cut into quarters
  • 2-3 cups of water

Bring to a boil and cook for 30 minutes until the fruit is tender and falling apart. Let cool for a few minutes and then pour the fruit mixture into a clean pillow case over a colander with a large bowl underneath. Hang the pillowcase to allow the juice to drip out into a container for about 5 hours.

for jelly.

  • use one part juice to one part sugar
  • I had three cups of juice and added about 2 1/2 cups of sugar
  • 1 teaspoon of lemon juice

bring to boil and allow to reach 220 degrees f. Put in sterilized jars, clean the rim and put on the lid and set aside.

for marmalada.

  • remove the fruit from the pillow case and place in blender
  • add some water
  • blend until smooth
  • push through a sieve
  • discard the seeds
  • add about 1 cup sugar to 1 cup fruit purée (I used less sugar)
  • 1 teaspoon of lemon juice
  • you can add cinnamon and cloves (I completely forgot)

Heat until it comes to a very thick consistency, CAUTION this mixture bubbles and shoots hot fruit into the air…I needed to clean the walls and the floors after I was finished

Place in sterilized jars, clean the rim and seal with lid

Put both the jelly and the jam jars into a water bath allowing the water to boil for 10 minutes. Remove and allow to cool on counter.

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Mora Jam

Our vegetable and fruit vendor came by one day last week with fresh mora berries. He is not inexpensive on these items for a small bag it cost $1.50 and I bought two. I processed the berries in the blender and put them through a sieve to come up with several cups of beautiful pulpy juice. As I found out from fellow expat Libby, mora berries have a naturally occurring pectin and pectin is the stuff that allows jelly or jam to thicken to a nice consistency.

I added white sugar, honestly I do not remember the amount as I continued to taste for the right sweetness and then put it on the stove to come to a soft boil and reach a temperature of 220 degrees f which is the jelly stage.

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You need to remove any foam that forms and then jar the remaining  in clean sterilized jars.

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Once in jars clean any spillage off the rims, secure the lids and put them in a hot water bath for 10 minutes. I am reusing jars so even after doing all this I have put them in the refrigerator instead of on the shelf not wanting to have them spoil and we will use them within the next several months.

The flavor is very strong with a hint of tartness that makes for an awesome taste. If you have the opportunity to buy some mora berries try this for yourself it is not hard and the reward is having fresh homemade jam in the house. What a treat!

Mango Jam

Yesterday a truck came by, speakers blaring “mangoes 20 for a dollar”.  So I bought a few bags full. They were very ripe and extremely flavorful and juicy but filled with fiber. Not a good eating mango in my opinion.

This morning I washed them up, read about 8 different recipes for Mango Jam and Jelly and decided my course of action.

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The one recipe called for boiling, steaming or microwaving the entire mango. Because they are so fibrous I decided to try about 8 to see how it worked. Well after boiling for 5 minutes, I turned off the gas and dumped the mangoes into the sink and ran cold water over them until I could handle them. I peeled each mango, scraping the sweet flesh from the peel and squeezed the pulp in a strainer getting all the pulp but none of the fibers. Then squeezed the mango until I had collected all that juice as well. It looked great so I put the balance of the mangoes in my largest pot and started the process one more time.

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I ended up with 10 cups of juicy rich mango purée.

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The recipe is as follows:

Mango Jam

  • 10 C mango purée
  • 1 C water

cook this for 20 minutes in a heavy bottom pot then add:

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  • 1/2 C lime juice (I used limons the green small fruit found here in Ecuador)
  • lime zest from the limes used to make the juice NOT the white pith
  • pips in a cotton bag tied w/cotton string (this along with the juice is suppose to produce the pectin needed to thicken the purée to a jam consistency)

cook for another 5 minutes, remove the pips in the bag and then add:

  • 2 C white sugar
  • 2 C Azucar Moreno (Ecuadorina Brown Sugar NOT Panela the blocks of sugar)

cook this until a candy thermometer reaches 105C or 220F. You will need to stir this often during this part of the process.

Remove from heat and let the mixture cool for a few minutes and skim any foam off the top. Fill clean disinfected jars to the top, seal and let cool.

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Joe is my tester and he says it is good.  You know, “Oh Honey, I’m just not sure. Maybe I better try a little more?” That means it’s good!