I recently taught a six week course in jam and chutney making at Daubeney Children's Centre in Hackney, London for local families. The course was open to parents and carers to learn the basics of jam and chutney making, food handling and preparation, health and safety and how the resulting jams
and chutneys could be used. The first recipe that we covered was pineapple and passion fruit jam.
I love combining pineapple with other fruits such as strawberries or mango when making jam and passion fruit also pairs very well with pineapple.
The facilities at Daubeney are wonderful, as are the staff and it was a great six-weeks meeting and sharing with them. I would also like to especially thank Lola who attended with her daughter for their enthusiasm and sharing with me her passion, skills and creativity for cookery and especially cake-making. I am always learning as well!
We used a play room with a fully equipped kitchen so that we could prepare and involve the children in identifying the fruit, tasting the fruit and helping to prepare the recipes. It was great to introduce fruits that some of the families had not tried before or had not eaten much of because they weren't familiar with how to choose or prepare them. We followed the recipe below and measured, chopped, strained , stirred, cooked and poured our jams into the sterlised jars.
The families also decorated labels for their jam creations inspired by the days activities and ingredients. All the families took a jar of the jam that they made home with them and all the additional jars that we made were sold at a Christmas fair held at Daubeney Children's Centre.
I'll be posting some photos and recipes from the six-week course at Daubeney as well as workshops held at other Children's Centre's. I will also be sharing other arts and crafts workshops that I have been teaching.
Pineapple and Passion Fruit Jam Recipe
1.5 k pineapple after removing the skin, eyes and core
1.5 k passion fruit which will give you roughly 300ml of strained juice
This recipe yielded 6 x 500ml jars and one 500ml jar that as not fully filled so we used this to smother the still warm jam onto toast to share amongst ourselves and the Centre.
- Take the pineapple and cut off the top and bottom. Stand the pineapple on the chopping board and remove the outer skin and then remove all the brown “eyes” from the outside. Cut the pineapple in half lengthways and then cut each half lengthways again so that you have quartered it. Then remove the core from each quarter segment and then chop the pineapple into small chunks. A top tip given by one of the mums is to refridgerate segments of pineapple cores and let teething babies gnaw on them to soothe their aching gums.
- Take the passion fruits and cut each one in half and use a spoon to scoop out the flesh and seeds into a measuring cup. Then pour the flesh and seeds into a sieve over a bowl and use the back of a spoon or plastic spatula to press the juice into the bowl. You can reserve the seeds to add to your jam if desired, since we were sharing our jams with children we decided to not add any seeds. Remaining seeds can be dried and roasted to make a healthy snack or addition to salads.
- Measure your pineapple and passion fruit juice and take note of the amounts.
- For each 1 k of fruit take one lemon and cut in half and put the juice into a measuring jug making sure to remove any seeds.
- Measure out the same amount of sugar as there is fruit.
- Add the pineapple, passion fruit juice, sugar and lemon juice to your pan.
- Continue stirring until the sugar disintegrates and keep stirring until thickened.
- If small children will be eating the jam and you are worried about larger chunks, once the sugar has disintegrated you can remove the pan from the heat and use a hand blender to make the mixture smoother, if so desired.
- The mixture may start to boil and you can keep stirring and reduce the heat. Once it has settled you can raise the heat again and keep stirring and repeat until the jam is of the desired thickness.
- You will need to test that the mixture has reached its setting point, or readiness to put in jars, keeping in mind that the mixture will continue to thicken slightly as it cools. There are two methods for testing: Refrigerator test – Place a plate in your refrigerator while you are making the jam. When you think that the jam is ready, remove the plate and allow a few drops of the mixture to drop onto the plate. After a few minutes, check to see if the mixture has gelled. Push the droplet with your finger and if it wrinkles it is ready to place in your sterilised jars. Temperature test – Using a thermometer to test that the mixture has reached the optimum temperature for your altitude: Anywhere from a sea level of 300 metres to 8,000 metres will be alright to reach a temperature of 220°C.
- Once the mixture is ready, remove it from the heat and skim off any foam that may have formed on the surface.
- Pour the mixture into sterile jars, leaving .5 cm headspace from top of the jar to top of the jam.
- Use a clean piece of kitchen towel to wipe the rims of the jars.
- Top each jar with a lid, screw on the cover tightly and allow to cool. Store in a dark, dry, cool place.
- The jam will be best if eaten within one year, refrigerate once open.