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.
I chose three large, unblemished eggplants which weighed a bit over 3 pounds.
I cut them into cubes.
I sprinkled the sugar on them, and then left them in the pot to macerate until today.
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.
A surprisingly delicious jam that tastes like fig preserves. Start the jam the night before you mean to make it.
- 5 pounds eggplant
- 5 cups sugar
- 2 tablespoons lemon juice
- Peel the eggplants and then cut them up into chunks.
- Place them in a non-reactive pot and sprinkle the sugar on them.
- Cover the pot and let it rest overnight.
- The next day, stir the pot and bring the mixture to a boil over medium high heat.
- When it begins to boil, reduce the heat to simmer.
- Simmer the mixture, stirring occasionally, for about 3 hours, checking periodically to see how the cooking is going.
- When most of the syrup is cooked into the eggplant, use an immersion blender to change the consistency to lumpy, but not entirely smooth.
- Add the lemon juice and cook the mixture a bit more, stirring, to blend.
- 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.