Sunday, April 26, 2015

drunken jaboticaba preserves

I've been making batches of jaboticaba wine, the first step of which is a fermentation of the whole fruit. After a few days to a week, I strain the slightly-alcoholic liquid off the fruit. The liquid goes into a carboy for a couple more weeks of fermentation, while the role of the fruit skins and seeds is complete.

I hate throwing out the fruit! Especially since much of the health benefits of jaboticaba is in its skin. The left-over skins are fruity and a bit alcoholic, certainly well-preserved. So, I made a jam: why not?

Because the seeds are so bitter, I spent the time to separate them from the skins. A bit tedious, but listening to the radio helped me to get into the zen of it. The seeds go in the compost, and I weighed the skins as a starting point.

The preserves turned out well! Kind of sour cherry-like. The pectin can be adjusted or left out depending om how saucy you'd like it. I made a batch where I macerated about the same amount of skins with about 10 oz sliced calamansi limes. That was great, too, almost like cherry pie filling, but a bit more bitter.

drunken skins from 5 pounds of jaboticaba = 1 lb 11 oz
juice from a large lemon
1 tsp Pomona calcium water
1 cinnamon stick
1 cup of sugar (I used Maui turbinado sugar)
1 tsp Pomona pectin

separating seeds and skins
Separate the skins and seeds. The seeds are perfectly edible and they add a nutty crunch so you can leave them in, but they also add a bitter flavor. Weigh the skins and adjust the amount of sugar according to the measurement (and according to taste).

simmering jaboticaba skins with a cinnamon stick
Add the lemon juice, calcium water, and cinnamon stick (or any other spices) to the jaboticaba skins and simmer for about 10 minutes. 
glossy and done
 Combine the sugar and pectin in a bowl and stir well. Add slowly to the fruit while stirring to avoid any pectin clumps. Boil for about 15 minutes until the mixture looks glossy and sets within a minute when a bit is tested in a dish. During this time, stir constantly to prevent sticking and burning. Also, pick out any seeds that that floated to the top.

Pour into 8oz jars and process for 15 minutes in a waterbath or steam canner. Or pour into a container and put into the refrigerator for short-term storage.

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