. . .the other day from “C,” “. . . we harvested some strawberry guava . . . do you want some?” Of course, my answer was yes.
It arrived the next day in a large plastic container. Oh my. Wow, their trees sure were productive this season—4 pounds of guava.
Thank goodness the birds alerted her that the guava was ripe.
Here’s a brief explanation of how I make my guava jam. It’s easy if you can get the guava. Most of the time, we (the hiking crew) forage the fruit from one of the hiking trails. Or if you have it growing in your yard. I got this recipe from my cousin “E.”
I started processing the guava, cutting off the flower ends and any imperfections. I used the food processor to turn the cleaned-up fruit into a puree. I then strained it through a food mill to get rid of seeds.
The lovely pink pulp waiting to be jammed
Measure out the pureed pulp to figure out how much sugar is needed. I usually start with 1 to 1 pulp to sugar minus one cup. Place everything in a wide pot, mix well, and boil. Stir the mixture so it doesn’t burn on the bottom—lower the temperature to simmer.
Keep stirring the mixture as it cooks. The color will deepen, and the consistency will thicken—taste to see if the sugar fits your liking. If not sweet enough as sugar, a quarter cup at a time till you get the right sweetness. If too sweet, add some lemon juice to brighten the flavor.
For this batch of jam, I used 5 1/4 cups of sugar to 6 cups of pulp. No lemon was necessary. It made seven 8oz., two 4oz., and one 6oz bottle of jam.
This is what I’ve made so far this first quarter of 2022. I wanted to keep track of what I’ve done. Trying to keep myself busy.
Top to bottom, left to right: Laurie’s pear cake, chocolate cupcakes with sprinkles, cheese biscuits, pickled veggies, chichi dango, roasted sweet potato pudding, Costco rotisserie chicken broth, tuna tofu patties, fig and orange jam, caramelized onion and zucchini quiche, pad see ew, roasted tomato salsa
Top to bottom, left to right: stitch and mend sampler, denim whale with pleats, Feather and fan scarf, denim whale with topstitching, Hawaiian quilt pillow, Aloha shirt blanket, Year of Hat March hat, garment cover with upcycled aloha shirt
Raspberry orange? Is this blood oranges? I’m thinking as I hold up a bag at the grocery store. Two 3lb bags for $6 was a deal if it’s a blood orange. Guess Raspberry Orange is a more appetizing name then blood orange. I decide to buy a bag to give them a try with on some marmalade.
These were very juicy and sweet with slight bitterness that blood oranges usually have. They were beautifully dark reddish purple with a bit of orange at the tops. I googled Raspberry Orange. There isn’t a specific reference to a name change. Just a description about how blood oranges has raspberry-like flavor and scent.
Here’s a recipe for my Raspberry Orange Marmalade. It’s a loose recipe as I usually go by taste to adding a bit more sugar if it is too bitter.
Raspberry Orange Marmalade
3lbs Raspberry Oranges, sliced as thinly as possible into half moon shapes. If there are seeds, discard. 3 cups of white sugar with adjustment water to cover
Place sliced oranges in to your jam pot, cover with water and soak overnight. This is to take some of the bitterness out. Next morning dump out the water the oranges were soaking in. Then add enough water to cover, bring water to boil, turn down heat to medium to medium high to simmer. Add sugar and stir till mixed in. Continue to simmer, stirring occasionally.
Marmalade needs to cook a long time to thicken up. As it thickens, I start tasting for bitterness and flavor. I’ve found adding a little more sugar helps with the bitterness. Add about 1/4 c of sugar at the time, till the taste is right. There should be some bitterness. it does mellow as it cools. If it is too sweet, I add lemon juice.
There may be foam or some missed seeds while cooking. Skim them out so your marmalade clear.
You will start noticing when stirring the marmalade that it is thickening up. The weight of marmalade will become heavier. It also start looking glossy and the rind start looking transparent. Your marmalade will never be as thick as store-bought one as they use a lot of pectin and preservatives.
Here’s a jam testing method. At the start of the marmalade cooking session, put a small plate in the freezer. When you feel like the marmalade (or jam) is done, place a dollop on the plate. The coldness of the plate sets it up that if you draw your spoon (or finger) through the dollop, it leaves a trail. I don’t use that method. I always for get to put the plate in the freezer. I watch for the stickiness on my spatula as I stir. As you marmalade (or jam) cools it does get thicker.
On the first taste: not sweet enough, a bit too bitter, just kind of bland. I added 1/2 cup of sugar. Continued to cook. I got it to the point of when I could tell it was almost done. It was thicker, rind was transparent, it was kind of clumpy, and looked glossy. I did the last taste test for sweetness. It was good but I thought it needed brightness. I usually add lemon juice but only had calamansi (like sour orange). I added the juice of six calamansi and gave it a stir. You can use lemon or lime juice, about 1/4 cup. I gave Mom (she’s the official taster) a taste, and she thought it was good. This batch made 7 half pint jars. It took about 3 to 3 1/2 hours to cook down and can.
Good luck with your marmalade. It is a long process to cook down liquid to sweet/bitter goodness but it is worth it. It’s great on toast with butter, good vanilla ice cream, and plain yougurt.