The kiwis had been sitting in their crates for weeks, freshly picked off the wooden structure the male and female plants grow on right as 2018 slowly turned the corner and settled in. We tried to make a dent in the harvest by eating kiwis for breakfast, as snacks, and by taking bags of them to friends whenever we visited. That wasn’t enough.
So finally, we gave in. Time to do what any normal people with an abundance of kiwis would do: jam!
Somehow, it was decided that instead of the classic Vinha da Manta kiwi-lemon jam, we would go for a kiwi-ginger recipe with a touch of chili. Bonus points for the kiwis and chilies being home-grown.
The recipe is surprisingly simple*:
- 5kg kiwis chopped coarsely
- 1kg julienned ginger (i.e. cut up into small bits)
- 5kg sugar
- 10 red chilies or to taste
- 5 tsp salt
We peeled, and peeled, and peeled some more. Then we combined the kiwis, sugar, chilies and salt, and let it sit overnight. I don’t think this is necessary, but logistically it’s what worked for us. Then we put everything into a big pot, added the ginger, and cooked it until it became thick.
Although I was not involved in this step, every recipe feels the need to remind the reader that it’s important to keep an eye on the pot and stir regularly to avoid anything burning or caramelizing.
While that was happening, Francois prepped the jars, i.e. he dug them out of storage, washed them, and put them in the oven at 120C for 15min or so to sterilize the bejeesus out of them.
Once everything was ready, the jam got poured into the jars (we got 18 or so from the above quantities) and the ones with metal screw-top lids got placed upside down which apparently helps better seal everything.
Let it cool and voila! The jam is ready for consumption – and it’s particularly delicious with some soft Serra de Estrela cheese, though I might be biased. Of course the jam will also keep forever (well, close enough) if you store it somewhere safe and out of sight.
*Possibly due to this being my first jam-making session and my harboring the illusion that good jam was inherently complex and tricky to make.