Papaya Jam …… What do you do when you have a large fully ripe papaya at home …. Jam off course …. Here is sweet and delicious homemade papaya jam without preservatives that can be prepared easily and stored in fridge ….. Serves handy during summer months when the heat is at its peak level and you don’t want to have a heavy breakfast ….. A winner with Kids ….. Spread it over Toast, Bread or Cream Cracker Biscuits like me ….. Yummy Yumz …..
Yippee this is my 1200th Blog Entry and what better way than by posting something sweet to share with all of you. Thank you my dear friends, if not for the encouragement I receive from all of you …. this would not have been possible. Hoping to achieve more targets by the end of the year. Papaya jam is very easy to make. All you need is a ripe and sweet papaya, some sugar and lemons. Yep. Only three ingredients. I have not added any preservative. I never add as it is for my home use. I just pour it in a glass bottle with a tight lid and put it in the fridge. Remove some in another small bottle which I use for regular use which is also kept in the fridge. I always follow this habit as mom used to tell not to open large bottles in which we have bulk jam / pickle / chutney too often. She always used to remove in small bottles and use from them and keep refilling it. That way you will not open the larger stock all the time. This ensures that the jam / pickles remain intact without getting exposed to air often. Also remember to always use clean and dry stainless steel spoon to remove the jam whenever you open the jar. Never use water dripping spoons or unclean ones, this also leads to the jam / pickle getting spoilt.
Coming back to papaya I had a large ripe papaya sitting on my table at home. The colour was also bright orange and the taste was also sweet which meant I would get a lovely jam out of it. Rest is before you, see the awesome colour, I have not added any colour to it. Sugar is something that has to be added in proportion for shelf life. I have added little less as it was sweet on its own. Though here I must say that you can prepare the same if the papaya is not so sweet too. It’s just that you will have to add in more sugar. So for a jam the content of sugar depends upon the sweetness of the fruit too. So please ensure the same before you add on the sugar. With practice you will start getting perfect jams and you will never ever want to buy them from outside any more. I have prepared many varieties of jams like fig, tomato, strawberry etc. My next will be spicy one’s on hubby’s demand. So keep in touch with my Blog for my new entries. Till then do prepare this awesome papaya jam and enjoy with your family. You can apply this jam on bread, toast, chapati or on bland biscuits like the cream crackers we get. You can also use this jam in similar manner that you use the jam’s. I just love them on biscuits. So what are you waiting for, serve you kid healthy options of jam and you will beam in pleasure when you see them relishing it.
I have given in detail the recipe of preparation of PAPAYA JAM with tips ….. I suggest you read the matter fully for proper understanding of the procedure in leisure … It is very important you understand the ratio of pulp and sugar and of lemon addition ……
Slice off the skin of papaya of large sized as thinly as possible. Remove the inner seeds and pith and keep only edible portion. Cut the papaya into small pieces. Put this in a blender and grind to a very smooth paste. There should not be any pieces left. Do NOT add water while grinding the papaya. There is enough water content in the fruit to get a good smooth pulp. I got about 8 cups of the papaya puree.
Remove the ground papaya paste / puree into a thick bottomed kadai. Do not at any point add any water to the mixture. If you add water, you will unnecessarily increase the time of obtaining the jam consistency. Bring the papaya paste to a boil on medium heat by stirring it often. Once you see bubble bursting out of the puree, lower the heat and add in the sugar. The amount of sugar depends upon the sweetness of the papaya. I added about 7 full cups of sugar to the jam. You can increase or decrease as per the sweetness of papaya.
How Much Sugar ? This is always the most important question. The ratio of sugar and fruit / veggies pulp is usually 1:1. Most chef’s recommend this. You get the desired result in this ratio. I always follow this suggestion whenever I prepare Jam. But yes if the Ingredient used is very sweet you can decrease the level of sugar by about 10-20%. Again there are many recipes that suggest sugar content in half amount of that of the pulp. Lesser amount of sugar can be added and done if you are to consume it off fast say within a fortnight or so. But then it is your choice. I always suggest 1:1 ratio. This is to ensure that the jam comes out sweet as well as remain’s good too. So I would say you be the best judge of the same. Preparing the jam a few times will enable you to judge the content of sugar to be added by trial and error. I have successfully prepared the jam’s most of the time with equal amount or a little bit less. I repeat today I have used about 15% less of sugar than the amount off pulp merely because the papaya was very sweet.
After adding in the sugar mix well with the pulp. To this mixture add in freshly squeezed juice of one lemon, mix well and continue cooking on medium heat till the mixture thickens. Do not raise the heat too much nor leave the jam unattended. If the heat is too high, the papaya burst out in bubbles and may create a mess as well as may hurt you. So be careful and do not stand too close to the kadai. Keep the heat medium and keep stirring the jam quite often. The jam will thicken and reduce in quantity. Now add in freshly squeezed juice off another lemon and mix well. As the jam reduces in quantity be careful and do not overcook the same. If not sure, reduce the flame to minimum.
Why Lemon Juice : Addition of lemon juice is a must for preparation of homemade Jam. Sugar as you cook tends to harden and further cooking often leads to crystallization of the sugar. Addition of lemon juice prevents crystallization. Lemon being alkaline has immense properties of the same, so it prevents sugar from getting crystallized and the jam thickens evenly and nicely with crystal lumps. So lemon juice is a must. How much depends on the quantity of the jam you are preparing. For this particular jam where I used approximately 8 glasses of papaya pulp and about 7 full cups of sugar I have added freshly squeezed juice of 2 lemons of medium size.
As the Jam thickens, to check if done just dip a spoon, if the back side of the spoon gets a thick coated jam when removing its done. Another method to check is drop a large tablespoon of the jam on a plate, if you see liquid seeping out its not done. If you see thick mass and when you tilt the plate if only thick liquid slopes slowly its, done. Leave it aside for 2 minutes. It should be sticky when cooled. Then the jam is done. Remove from fire and pour the hot jam into sterilized glass jars. The sterilization of glass jars is very important to prevent jam from getting spoilt. Also hot jam should be poured into the jars. If you are scared the bottle may break / crack, keep a large spoon with a long handle inside the jar, the handle of which should be outside the bottle and then pour over sliding through the spoon into the jar. This will ensure the glassware does not crack stays intact. Always use good quality jam bottles for storing to prevent mishaps. Leave ½ inch space on the top of the glass jar. Do not pour the jam till the rim of the bottle / jar.
Remove the spoon out if placed carefully. Now the jam is bottled. Leave aside partially covered with a plate to cool a little bit. Cover with a tight lid only after the jam has cooled for 5-10 minutes. The Jam is done and is actually ready to be used. Put the jam jar in the fridge and use as and when necessary. Do not forget to remove some into a smaller bottle for use. I have successfully kept it for 6 months. Though my jam gets over within a period of 3 months. Just to check the shelf life I kept the apple jam I had prepared in a smaller bottle for 6 months and it remained good. But frankly I suggest consumption of homemade jams within maximum 3 months period. So do not prepare them in large quantities. You can surely prepared different combinations and flavours and enjoy them as comes the season of fruit or veggies. You can apply this jam of bread, toast, dosa, chapati, paratha or cream cracker biscuit and relish the same. Do give me a feed back via email if you prepare the same. Enjoy this jam with family and friends.