The Washington Post

Mango Jam

Mango Jam 3.000

Deb Lindsey for The Washington Post

DIY Apr 15, 2015

Be warned: This beautifully sunny, loose-set jam makes it all too easy to empty half a jar in a single sitting.

Mangoes are widely available from late spring to early summer. Look for the Tommy Atkins variety, mostly green with blushes of carmine and peach, or the Ataulfo or Champagne mango, a beguiling, bright yellow. Both have a tropical scent and a tangy, sweet taste. Use ripe fruit that gives slightly when gently squeezed; include one slightly under-ripe mango for the best set.

You'll need a jar funnel, ladle, bubbler (or non-metallic knife) and damp towel, plus 3 half-pint jars with new lids and rings; see NOTES, below.

Make Ahead: The jam can be stored at a cool room temperature for up to 1 year. Refrigerate after opening.

3 half-pint jars

When you scale a recipe, keep in mind that cooking times and temperatures, pan sizes and seasonings may be affected, so adjust accordingly. Also, amounts listed in the directions will not reflect the changes made to ingredient amounts.

Tested size: 3 half-pint jars

  • Flesh of about 7 mangoes (Tommy Atkins or Ataulfo/Champagne variety) peeled, pitted and cut into 1/2-inch dice (about 4 cups total)
  • 3 cups sugar
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • 1/2 teaspoon unsalted butter (optional)


Bring a large pot of water, deep enough to cover the jars, to a boil over high heat. Place a rack in the bottom of the pot; use a tea towel if no rack is available.

Place 3 small plates and 3 teaspoons in the freezer for testing the set (see NOTES, below). Wash the jars, lids and rings and place them on a towel near the stove. Have at the ready a jar funnel, ladle, bubbler (or non-metallic knife) and damp towel.

Combine the diced mango, sugar and lemon juice in a 5-quart, heavy-bottomed, nonreactive pot. Stir well to begin dissolving the sugar, but delicately to preserve the individual pieces of mango.

Slowly increase the heat to high, bringing the mixture to a strong boil. It will be foamy and active. Stir regularly to keep the mixture from sticking or scorching. Once the foam begins to recede, after about 40 minutes, check the set via the cold-plate test. If the jam is not set to your satisfaction, continue to cook for 3 or 4 minutes and test again. Repeat until the jam is set.

To clear the last of the foam, add the butter, if using, and stir well. Place the funnel atop each jar, then ladle the jam into the jars, leaving 1/2 inch of head space. Run a bubbler around the jar, removing air bubbles. Wipe the rims and threads of the jar with the damp towel. Place the lids and tighten the rings.

Lower the jars into the boiling-water bath. Process for 10 minutes, starting the timer from the moment the water returns to a boil. After processing, remove the jars from the water bath and set them upright on a towel to cool naturally over 12 hours.

Remove the rings, test the seal and wash the jars well. Label the jars; store the jam in a cool, dark place for up to 1 year.

NOTES: For the cold plate test, remove the jam from the stove to avoid overcooking. Remove a plate and spoon from the freezer. Dip the spoon into the jam and spoon a small amount onto the cold plate. Push against the now-cold jam. It should give slightly but should not be runny. This should not be a hard-set jam, but a slumping jam.

Water-bath canning safely seals high-acid, low-pH foods in jars. The time for processing in the water bath is calculated based on the size of the jar and the consistency and density of the food. For safety's sake, do not alter the jar size, ingredients, ratios or processing time in any canning recipe. If moved to change any of those factors, simply put the prepared food in the refrigerator and eat within a week.

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Recipe Source

From Cathy Barrow, the author of “Mrs. Wheelbarrow’s Practical Pantry: Recipes and Techniques for Year-Round Preserving” (W.W. Norton, 2014).

Tested by Cathy Barrow.

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Nutritional Facts

Calories per 2-tablespoon serving : 110

% Daily Values*

Total Fat: 0g 0%

Saturated Fat: 0g 0%

Cholesterol: 0mg 0%

Sodium: 0mg 0%

Total Carbohydrates: 29g 10%

Dietary Fiber: 0g 0%

Sugar: 29g

Protein: 0g

*Percent Daily Value based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.

Total Fat: Less than 65g

Saturated Fat: Less than 20g

Cholesterol: Less than 300mg

Sodium: Less than 2,400mg

Total Carbohydrates: 300g

Dietary Fiber: 25g

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