July 2, 2018

Lychee Jam 荔枝果醬

Lychee Jam 荔枝果醬

Lychee Jam, fruit, chinese, lychee, recipe, summer, jam, homemade, 荔枝, 果醬
By Published: 2018-07-02
Oh jam it!  Presenting our delicately sweet and tenderly lush pink jam made from the Queen of Fruits the luscious Lychee 荔枝.  That's right my friends it's time to run to your nearest Chinese market and stock up on these seasonal beauties while they last.  We love lychees way too much in this house and always end up indulging a bit too much on them.  But heck why not they only come around once a year!  This year though we got a gift of a whole box full of lychees, a whole boxful!  What to do with a whole boxful of lychee?  After eating as much as we could I decided to turn some of it into a batch of our Luscious Lychee Ice Cream (our most favorite homemade fruit ice cream!) and the rest I decided to try to make a Lychee fruit jam, which I have never attempted before.  After a nervous planning and setting out, gosh darn it, the results are totally worth the effort, our homemade Lychee Jam 荔枝果醬 came out tinted a gorgeous rosy pink and tasted ever so intensely of sweet, fresh lychee flavor with a delicate fragrance of summer florals!  Absolutely yummillicious!


Lychee Jam, fruit, chinese, lychee, recipe, summer, jam, homemade, 荔枝, 果醬

Fresh lychees are the colors of a springtime blush.  Break past the hard knobbly skin and a very juicy pinkish white fruit awaits you, tasting of a floral sweetness that is unique to the lychee.  Gorgeously delicate and quite unlike hot humid region from which the Lychee originates.  (That's Guangdong, by the by and if you want to read more about that check out our post Lychee Fruit Season is Here!)  Choose lychee that are plump and blush red with no black spots or mold.

Lychee Jam, fruit, chinese, lychee, recipe, summer, jam, homemade, 荔枝, 果醬

The lychees must be peeled and the seed inside removed.  This will probably take a wee bit of time.  Next use the food processor to liquify the fruits.  I used a hand blender stick but that's tricky cuz the juice comes up and might spill out of the bowl.  So be careful.

Lychee Jam, fruit, chinese, lychee, recipe, summer, jam, homemade, 荔枝, 果醬

In order to make jam there must be pectin.  Pectin makes fruit and sugar go jammy.  Otherwise you'll just end up with fruit soup.  I like to make jam with the pectin that is naturally present in fruit, it's easy and fun this way.  A quick check online told me that lychee has very little natural pectin itself so I needed to add something to the pot that had a lot of pectin.  But I didn't want to overshadow the lychee flavor.  Turns out that citrus fruits like lemons and limes, especially the seeds and the peels, have a lot of pectin in them naturally.  I decided to use lemon and lime seeds for the pectin and a whole lime for both the pectin and added tartness of flavor.  

Lychee Jam, fruit, chinese, lychee, recipe, summer, jam, homemade, 荔枝, 果醬

I put the seeds and the lime into a little linen bag (usually used when cooking soup) before adding to the fruit, so as to be able to remove them quickly later.  Then it was time for stirring and a slow simmer down into jam.  The color of the jam started out pale and became a beautiful blush pink.

Lychee Jam, fruit, chinese, lychee, recipe, summer, jam, homemade, 荔枝, 果醬

The key point of the cooking jam is how to determine when the jam is jammy enough.  If it's not jammy enough you'll end up with fruit soup.  And you can't tell just by looking at it cuz jamminess only shows up once the mixture is cooled down.  So how can you tell when your jam is jammed while you're cooking?



I've been using a food thermometer to gauge the readiness of the jam.  It's really useful way to do it but I like to also do a manual jamminess test as well.  Put a couple of spoons in your freezer before you start the jam.  Then, when you want to test the jam, drop a bit of jam on a frozen spoon.  The coldness of the spoon will cool the jam right down.  Push with a finger to check if the cooled jam wrinkles or not.  If it wrinkles the jam is ready.  If not cook some more and test again.  Once the jam is ready let it cool to room temperature and then pack into jam jars and add a pretty label.  Our Lychee Jam 荔枝果醬 is a gorgeous summer fruit jam: light, delicate, floral and full of the intense fragrance and unique sweetness of the lychee.  And it's pink! 

Lychee Jam, fruit, chinese, lychee, recipe, summer, jam, homemade, 荔枝, 果醬


Lychee Jam Recipe  荔枝果醬
(almost fills one 16 oz jar) Prep time:    Cook time:

Ingredients:
24oz lychee,* peeled and deseeded, 700g
12oz sugar,* 350g, 1 3/4 cup
20-30 lemon or lime seeds
1 lime

Directions:

Peel and deseed the lychee.  Blend in food processor until mostly liquid, some small pieces of lychee left are okay.  Put in medium sized pot along with sugar.  Squeeze juice of one lime in.  Put lemon/lime seeds and the squeezed lime into small linen bag, tie and add to pot.  Cook over medium low heat for about 15 mins or until the temperature reaches 220°F or the jam passed the jam readiness test as detailed in the post above.

Once jam is ready, remove from heat, remove the bag of seeds, squeezing out any jam, and let cool to room temperature.  Pour cooled jam into sterilized jar and keep in fridge.  Use within 2-3 weeks.  Enjoy!

*Note: However much fruit you use is up to you, just remember that the fruit:sugar ratio should be 2:1 by weight.
**Note:  Save your lemon and lime seeds whenever you use your lemons and limes, and store them in the freezer for later use.



More Jammilicious Jams at The Hong Kong Cookery:

fruit, homemade, Jam, mango, no pectin, recipe, strawberry, 果醬, 水果, 芒果, 草莓, 食譜Homemade Strawberry Mango Jam



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