If you love mangoes, you will love this homemade mango jam. It’s not only easy to make but tastes absolutely delicious too!
Quick and Easy Homemade Mango Jam without Pectin
Making this homemade jam is very simple. All you need is three ingredients – mangoes, sugar and lemon juice; and within 45 minutes (from the time you peel the fruits until the jam is cooked) you can have a jar of lovely homemade mango jam, all ready to be enjoyed.
Jams often have an ingredient called pectin added to them. It is a naturally occurring ingredients in fruits and when making jams, it helps in the gelling process of the jams. Unfortunately, not all fruits are high in pectin. These fruits, when made into jams, will not set properly they need pectin to be added as a separate ingredient.
The amount of pectin in fruits differs by the type of fruit and level of ripeness. This is why most commercially made jams use pectin – it helps in achieving a consistent result without relying on the varying levels of pectin in fruits.
While there is no harm in using pectin in making jams, I believe it is not something that is readily available in most homes. It is not something that I have at home too. Plus, unless you are into large scale jam making, you will probably want to use a substitute rather than purchasing the pectin and let most of it go unused.
This is where the lemon comes into the picture. It is an excellent pectin substitute for making jams. When making jams with fruits that are low in pectin, such as mangoes, this juice is all you need, which is what I have chosen to use in making my mango jam.
How to Make Homemade Mango Jam without Pectin
Like I mentioned earlier, you only need 3 ingredients for this jam:
- Mangoes (well ripened)
- Lemon Juice
Making the Jam
How to choose ripe mangoes
- This jam is best made with well-ripened mangoes.
- Ripe mangoes are normally yellow in color. Some variants are red and green so it is hard to decide just by the skin color. The more effective way to know if a mango is ripe or not is by giving it a light squeeze. Unripe mangoes will be hard. If the mango gives in to the light squeeze, it is ripe and ready to use.
How to peel a mango
Fresh Peeled Mangoes
To make this jam, you need to peel the mangoes and discard the skin. You can peel the skin with a sharp knife. Simply slice off the thin skin layer.
Another method is to use a vegetable peeler. Simply run the peeler on the skin until it's all peeled off. If the mango is too ripe, it might be a little hard to hold the mango in hand. Use a kitchen towel to avoid the fruit from sliding off your hands.
Cooking the fruits to make jam
- Chop the flesh into tiny cubes and place them in a medium sized saucepan.
- Measure the sugar and add it into the saucepan
- Add in the strained lemon juice.
- Mix the fruits, sugar and lemon juice. Turn on the heat (low to medium) and simmer the fruits.
- The fruits and sugar mix will turn watery as the sugar melts.
- You will see after about 10 minutes that the jam will start to thicken a little. Continue to let it simmer while making sure to stir the mango jam frequently. As soon as the fruits start to soften, if you see any large chunks, mash them up with the back of our spoon (if you like your jam chunky, leave the fruit pieces alone).
Checking if the jam is done
- Continue to let the jam cook until it thickens a little, approximately 20 to 25 minutes on low heat. To test if the jam is done, spoon some into a small plate. Let it cool down and then push it with your finger. If you see the surface wrinkle up, the jam is done and can be removed from heat. If not, continue cooking for a few more minutes and repeat the test.
- The other way to check if your mango jam is ready is by using a candy thermometer. If you have a candy thermometer, the reading should show 105 Celsius or 220 Fahrenheit. This is a good stage to remove the jam from the heat.
Yummy Homemade Mango Jam
Let the jam cool down completely before spooning into prepared jars.
Storing the jam
- If you wish to keep this homemade mango jam at room temperature, follow the proper canning method, otherwise, keep the jam refrigerated all the time.
- Consume within 2 to 3 weeks. If you wish to keep it longer, freeze the jam. Thaw before using.
Tips for Making the Best Homemade Mango Jam
- Choose well ripened mangoes, these will definitely make a better tasting mango jam than the unripe ones
- Always go for the mango variety with less thread in the flesh. Some mango varieties have a very thready flesh. When made into jam, you will end up with jam that has a lof of pulp in it.
- Unless you like your mango jam with chuncky mangoes pieces in it, always chop the mangoes into tiny pieces.
- Peel the mangoes before chopping them. We do not want any mango skin in the jam.
- You can use freshly squeezed juice from a lemon and frozen juice. Either way, make sure to use the real fruit juice and not any concentrated ones.
- Strain the juice before adding into the jam. This is to make sure there are no lemon seeds that get into the mango jam.
- This recipe is tested with white sugar hence it is best to use white sugar. There is no need for granulated or castor sugar. The standard course white sugar is fine.
Testing the Jam for Doneness
- If you have a candy thermometer, remove the jam from heat as soon as it reaches 104 degrees Celsius or 220 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Otherwise, you can check is the jam is done by cutting through the jam with a spoon. If you see a line that takes 2 or 3 seconds to close, the jam is ready and can be removed from heat.
Storing the Jam
- Unless you follow the proper canning method for jams, this mango jam needs to be refrigerated. It lasts in the fridge for a good 2 to 3 weeks. If you make the jam in large batches, you can divide the jam into smaller containers and freeze some. That way, you get to keeps the jam longer – about 2 to 3 months. Thaw it before using.
- I like to keep my jams in glass jars, in the fridge because I find the canning method a little too complicated for me. Before spooning the jam into jars, I let the jam cool down completely. And then I heat up my jars up in the oven for about 2 minutes before spooning the jam in. I keep the mango refrigerated all the time.
- If you don’t want to heat up the jars in the oven, place them facing up in jar filled with hot water. Let the jars warm up (make sure no water gets into the jars). Remove the jar from the hot water and then fill in the jam.
Homemade Mango Jam Recipe
Here is the full printable version of my homemade mango jam recipe.
- 500 g mangoes skin peeled and chopped
- 300 g sugar
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- Wash and peel the mangoes.
- Cut the flesh into small cubes. Discard the seeds.
- Place the cut mangoes in a deep saucepan.
- Add sugar and strained lemon juice and cook over low heat.
- Stir the jam every few minutes. The jam will be watery as the sugar melts.
- Continue to cook over low heat until the jam thickens, about 20 to 25 minutes.
- If you have a candy thermometer, cook the jam until it reaches 105°Celsius or 220°Fahrenheit and remove from heat.
- If you don't have a candy thermometer, as soon as you see the jam thickening slightly, spoon some into a plate. Let it cool down and push it with your finger. If the surface wrinkles, the jam is ready. If not, let the jam cook for a few more minutes and continue the test.
- The jam will thicken more as it cools down, hence, it is best to not let it thicken too much on heat.
- Let the jam cool completely before spooning into a clean and lightly heated bottle.
- Place the lid and keep the jam refrigerated.
And that’s pretty much my homemade jam recipe for you. Enjoy!
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Happy Baking 🙂