Mora Syrup

At least once a week Gonzolo, my veggie guy, has several selections of fruit besides oranges, melons and pineapples. He will have strawberries (frutilla), red grapes (uva), blackberries (mora) as well as the fruits for juice like tree tomato (tomato de arbor), passion fruit (maracuya) and naranjilla (not sure of the English name).

This past week he had mora berries so I bought several cartons and decided to make jam…

Kefir 8.11.2013 001 …well it actually turned out as Mora Syrup…First I just hate using a great deal of sugar in my recipes so normally for making jam you would use one cup sugar to one cup juice/pulp…I just think that is way too much so I use half the amount of sugar. Four cups of juice/pulp and two cups sugar…it has a nice tart flavor with just enough sweetness. But after bringing it to a boil (also, a little trick I learned  – add a dab of butter and it will not foam) lower the heat to a simmer and cook for 20 minutes. When I looked at it after it had cooled a bit it was a too runny for jam (Joe does not think so but I think it would flow off the bread) so it became Mora Syrup…and I am sticking to that story.

San Clemente 8.11.2013 002I made pancakes yesterday morning and we used the new syrup – excellent, fresh, no preservatives just fruit and sugar. And very easy to make. I will say that straining the seeds from the fruit is time-consuming but I did see a food mill while shopping in Guayaquil and that would make the job so much faster…so that is added to my wish list from the states…

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.

San Clemente 4.4.2013 002

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

San Clemente 4.4.2013 003

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.

San Clemente 1.16.2013 010

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.

San Clemente 1.16.2013 012

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

San Clemente 1.16.2013 015

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:

San Clemente 1.16.2013 013

  • 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.

San Clemente 1.16.2013 020

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!