Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Pineapple Jam

Out of curiosity, I bought a packet of pineapple jam. I wanted to find out if it tasted as good as homemade. As the saying goes, "Curiosity kills the cat" and I was that cat! I was practically 'murdered' by the sheer sweetness of the jam. It merely tasted sweet. It had a very negligible pineapple flavour! I guess the jam was made from unripe pineapples which were not matured sufficiently to exude it distinctive flavour. Blah! Never again will I buy it!!!

Fortunately, I still have a tub of homemade pineapple jam leftover from last year! It is still good and moist and the flavour is still as strong as when it was freshly made! I had kept it in an air-tight container and stored it in the chiller compartment. Hence its freshness is well-preserved. This is a saver! I don't have to make any jam.

What did I do with the commercially produced jam? To discard would be a waste; To use it in my tarts, would be a waste of effort! Since my own jam has a good, strong natural pineapple flavour, I mixed it with the store-bought one! The result turned out good, a nice balance of sweetness and tartness as my own jam was not too sweet!

My Pineapple Jam Recipe:

10 pineapples (Usually I would use 5 ripe ones and 5 semi-ripe to get a stronger flavour)
1 1/2 kg coarse sugar (use more or less as preferred)
1 6-cm cinnamon stick

Remove skin and 'eyes' of pineapples. The vendor will only remove the skin but not all the 'eyes'. You have to remove the eyes if you want a nice jam without any blemish, i.e. little black dots. Remove the hard centre before grating or chopping.
You may squeeze out some of the juice using a muslin cloth. Don't discard the juice. Use it to make a pineapple drink. It's very refreshing!

Next, place the grated pineapple, sugar and cinnamon stick in a big pot. Using a big pot is easier to cook and spread the jam out. Cook on high heat to bring the mixture to a boil, stirring frequently initially. Once the mixture is bubbling, lower the heat to medium low, to simmer. At this stage, more frequent stirring is required to ensure the jam does not burn. Burnt jam tastes bitter. You can taste the jam to check for the sweetness. Add more sugar if required.

As the jam starts to dry up, stirring has be continuous. To test if the jam is ready, scoop a teaspoon of jam and place it in the fridge to cool it quickly. Once cooled, roll the jam to check if it's too soft or watery. Continue cooking until you get the consistency required. Be careful not to cook it too dry. If the jam is too dry and 'hard' to the touch, it will not be suitable for open tarts. The jam will dry further during baking and will harden and you will end up with hard pineapple tarts! The whole cooking process for this amount of jam will take about 3 hours. If less pineapples are used, the cooking process is shorter.

I used honey pineapples as the other types available were unripe at the store I frequent.
They cost slightly more but I have no regrets as they were flavourful!


  1. Store bought ones aren't flavourful not because they were unripe, but because they might be remnants from the canning industry. The canning industry discard the core and once you bite into store bought ones, they actually taste like the tasteless core and the juicing industry, gosh, the pulp, I guess they're not wasted as well.
    I always use unripe ones to make jam and the flavour is very nice, sweet and tart at the same time

  2. J, which brand you bought? I am getting mixed reviews for different brands now lost. hehehe.

  3. Hi Wendy,
    Ok, I'm not aware that such practices still exist where they use discarded pulp to make jam. Shame on these business people, compromising on quality! Appreciate the info. No more store-bought pineapple jam or any fruit jam for that matter. Nothing Like making your own and it's the real stuff! Thanks for enlightening me!

    Hi Edith,
    The packet had no brand name! The shop guy told me it's the better of the two types he is selling. Told me it's made of sarawak pineapples! The shop is at Tg Katong Shopping Complex. Read about the jam in one of the blogs. Can't recall which one. Learnt my lesson.

  4. Maybe the storebought just didn't use 100% pineapples? I know there are some so called pineapple jams are made with a mix at least 50% of winter gourd. :-))

  5. Actually I am not sure, it was just my deduction, because from the mouthfeel of the jam, it taste like the core because it is very "coarse". If it's still flavourful flesh of the fruit, they won't need to add any essence in la, right? I'm not surprised if they use the pulp. And they won't waste edible things one la, just that they turn the less nice things to better things, like meat scraps to sausages and nuggets. Dessicated coconut could also be remnants from the coconut milk industry, if not, where to find so much grated coconut and they are rather tasteless too, don't u think.

  6. Ha, ha, I knew that you'll mix the jam. Yup, never put anything to waste.

  7. I would love to make pineapple jam but have been procrastinating. Your post gave me a kick! I need to do it soon. I agree that what you buy from the store will never be as tasty and fresh as the homemade.

  8. anything homemade is better than store bought. You can tell from the color of yours it tastes better.

  9. One of my aunties used to make homemade pineapple jam and it's just so amazing how yummy a homemade jam can be!! But then again, it depends on preference.. some brands are better than others. Does it also depend on how ripe / sweet the pineapple you use are?? I don't know much cause I've never made jam before.. hehe.

  10. Hi Fellow Bloggers,
    I would definitely love to personalize my replies to all of you. But lately, I've been on a touch-and-go and then hop on to another task! Sorry!
    Thanks for all the comments!


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