Eggplant jam

A friend from Argentina visited and brought me some of her home-made jam, so the conversation about jam and jam making began as we compared notes.  We each listed some of our favorite jam recipes and her husband said ” don’t forget the eggplant marmalade! It is my favorite.”

I did an double-take!  I had never heard of such.  Details, details, PLEASE! “Yes,”, the husband went on, ” it tastes a lot like fig preserves.”

My friend said, ” Cut up the eggplant, pour sugar over it, macerate it overnight, then the next day bring it to a boil, and simmer until done. That’s it.  Simple”

That is all I needed to hear.  I couldn’t wait to try it. Yesterday I saw some wonderful eggplants at the market and decided then and there I would simply plunge in and try my hand at making the eggplant marmalade.  I had not thought to ask my friend the ratio of eggplant to sugar, but went with 1 cup to a pound of fruit.

 

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I chose three large, unblemished eggplants which weighed a bit over 3 pounds.

IMG_1396I cut them in half and then peeled them as I would a butternut squash.

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I cut them into cubes.

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I sprinkled the sugar on them, and then left them in the pot to macerate until today.

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I brought the mixture to a boil, then simmered it for about 3 hours.

The marmalade is done and sampled, and declared yummy.  I felt it needed a little oomph so I added some lemon juice at the end and proceeded to my smart phone to see if anyone else made ” mermelada de berenjena”  or eggplant marmalade/jam.  I DID find recipes, both in English and Spanish – did not check Italian sites, and both Spanish-speaking and English-speaking cooks seemed to add lemon juice and spices – cinnamon, vanilla, etc., but I tend to be a purist when it comes to marmalade and think the eggplant marmalade experiment turned out just fine. I did not can the results, as my 3 pounds only yielded about 4 1/2 cups of marmalade, so next time I will make 5 pounds at a time which will yield about 6 cups of marmalade and make it worth a canning run.

EGGPLANT JAM

A surprisingly delicious jam that tastes like fig preserves. Start the jam the night before you mean to make it.

 

Ingredients:

  1. 5 pounds eggplant
  2. 5 cups sugar
  3. 2 tablespoons lemon juice

Directions:

  1. Peel the eggplants and then cut them up into chunks.
  2. Place them in a non-reactive pot and sprinkle the sugar on them.
  3. Cover the pot and let it rest overnight.
  4. The next day, stir the pot and bring the mixture to a boil over medium high heat.
  5. When it begins to boil, reduce the heat to simmer.
  6. Simmer the mixture, stirring occasionally, for about 3 hours, checking periodically to see how the cooking is going.
  7. When most of the syrup is cooked into the eggplant, use an immersion blender to change the consistency to lumpy, but not entirely smooth.
  8. Add the lemon juice and cook the mixture a bit more, stirring, to blend.
  9. Fill sterilized canning jars with the mixture, up to ½” , and process with either water-bath method or in a pressure cooker, as if for tomatoes.

 

 

 

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