Thursday, January 14, 2010

Pineapple Jam

Posted by Quinn at Thursday, January 14, 2010

I cook pineapple jam just like any other bloggers and all recipes do. The only difference is that I do not add the sugar in the beginning. Neither do I add it towards the end. I caramelized the sugar in another pan and add it in towards the later stage when the pineapple jam is almost dried up and very paste like.

I start off with grated pineapple. I usually taste the pineapple juice first. If it's too sour I will not add all in and will top up the sugar. I separate the pineapple juice from its pulp and add the juice gradually. I also smear some butter on the pan just to make sure it is really nonstick. I then fry the spices (a mixture of cinnamon stick, star anises and cloves) until fragrant and when I get brown butter, I add the pineapple pulp in.

The picture above is when I finish adding all the pineapple juice and cook it a little longer. It will thicken up, just be patient. I use medium-low heat. You could use purely low heat if you want and have a whole day prepared for this.

I cook it longer and stir nonstop towards the later stage and it thickens up further. Here, a silicone spatula comes in handy. I love my silicone spatula. Nothing ever got stuck on them and I can stir caramel and wipe mixing bowl clean with it.

I cook longer and get the shade above. At this stage, I add in the caramel that I have prepared in another pan. Not dark golden hue, just all sugar melted would do. Pour it all in and cook until it is dry and dark and done!

I always spread it out on a larger shallow plate and have a fan blowing directly at it so it'll cool down as soon as possible. I cling wrap it when it is just slightly warm and cool it completely before putting them in the fridge. They last for a month in the fridge sealed in air-tight container and probably months in freezer. They never freeze solid hard, they are still pliable even when just out of the freezer. Absolutely perfect for wrapping tangerine style pineapple tarts!

UPDATED: 6 February 2010
Zu!!!!! Here I come!!!! With my pineapple jam! Just finish making pineapple tarts too. I'm so tired....Now I know why pineapple tarts are so expensive....But these little morsels are so addictive! Crumbly, milky, melt-in-mouth, moist homemade jam, all you want in a pineapple nastar! I will buy ready made pineapple jam if I could. But because they are not readily available here in Australia, I resort to making them myself and found out the joy in making them. They are so easy, a gazillion times better than store-bought ones. They are so moist and flavourful. Outside's ones, rock hard, dry and half the time I need to add water or just canned pineapple syrup and cook it off again until moist.

These are easy to make but of course, I cheat my way through. If you think I'll spend 2 hours in front of the stove, lettiing it simmer and cook away to reduce, you are crazy and definitely don't know me. I did these lovely golden hue pineapple jam in under 30mins.

I've adapted Rasa Malaysia's Pineapple Jam, half the recipe and changed it a little to suit me. Here's what I've used and done. I hope you find them useful. You'll never see pineapple jam the same way again, I assure you! The spices are optional but it enhances the jam taste. Don't omit it if possible.

Pineapple jam (The Cheat Way)
makes 16 1-teaspoon size balls

One can of pineapple cubes (Mine is 450g)
1/4 cup castor vanilla sugar
Small pieces of cinnamon bark, star anise and just one clove
1/2 tsp cornflour, dissolved in 1/2 tsp pineapple syrup

Drain the syrup from the pineapple cubes. Pulse the cubes in the food processor, just for a few seconds until they are pasty but not fully blended. Drain them again and squeeze the syrup out from the cubes with your hands. Place all the pineapple paste into a nonstick pan. Add the spices into the pan and heat it up and add in sugar gradually, preferably towards the later stage of cooking. Use high heat but stir nonstop. Add in more sugar if you like and cook off the liquid. It will start off by turning a little dry and then followed by a dark, golden, amber hue. Sorta like caramelizing but much easier. You can fish out the spices at any point if you think the fragrance is enough for you. It will not be overpowering though. Stir the cornflour mixture once and add it into the paste. Cook until further thickens and remove from heat.

I like to cook until it is dry, but not too dry. Mine is still a little on the moist side. Cool it down well and keep it in an airtight container in the fridge. You'll realize it will further dry up the following day.

The following day, take it out of the container and knead it a little with wetted palms. With the aid of a melon baller or just 1 teaspoon capacity measuring spoon, measure out the jam. I got exactly 16 teaspoon size. Roll them into balls. It should not be sticking much to your hands.

I'll show you the pineapple tarts tomorrow. So tired now. But do roll them into balls before hand, you will thank me for it.

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18 comments on "Pineapple Jam"

Ju (The Little Teochew) on January 14, 2010 at 11:19 PM said...

I am so tempted to make some, you know. Just looking at this moist, golden, delectable pineapple jam. Sigh. Sigh.

zurin on January 14, 2010 at 11:29 PM said...

oh congrats Quinn! looks so good..I told u its easy didnt I? now go make the tarts K.

Sonia (Nasi Lemak Lover) on January 14, 2010 at 11:45 PM said...

I have no patient to prepare myself the pineapple jam, I bought from bakery store and the price is cheap too (they said good pineapple from Johor).

Anncoo on January 15, 2010 at 2:43 AM said...

Your pineapple jam looks good! If I am not lazy I'll cook some pineapple jam otherwise will just get from bakery store.

pigpigscorner on January 15, 2010 at 6:24 AM said...

I made some last year and it's really a pain, but so delicious! I might make some again this year =)

Anonymous said...

I still have the phobia of making pineapple jam + tarts from my childhood. I made a lot a lot of them every year with my mom and aunts. Looking at all of you making them, I start to feel the fun of it again.... may be it will reignite my passion of making them.

Kitchen Corner on January 15, 2010 at 12:34 PM said...

Hi Quinn,
I didn't know can pineapple could make this jam. That's so convenient! I'm too lazy to cut the fresh pineapple :(

Christine on January 15, 2010 at 10:21 PM said...

Hi! Quinn,
This is Christine, my e-mail address is, do you have a facebook account? Can I add you as my friend?

Quinn on January 15, 2010 at 11:41 PM said...

Ju: I believe you will still be making more pineapple tarts for Chinese New Year right? There's no need to sigh then!

Zu: It's not easy Zu, it's very very easy! Go, cepat! Make the tarts and let's flood the blogosphere with golden gems everywhere!

Sonia: Well, I would use store bought pineapple jam if they're dead good (not sure about those from Johor though!) but I don't see why not make at home. If you're going through the hassle of making the tart, might as well make the jam. Try it next time please please! You'll not want to buy store bought ones anymore!

Anncoo:I like making them rather than buying because I can control the level of moisture in the jam!

Ann: You're not going home for CNY this year, better make some for you and wild boar yeah!

Ellie: Reignite it please. I think I'll be making every year! Never seem to get sick of them!

Grace: Now you know you can sue canned pineapple. It's so troublesome to prepare a whole pineapple really. But if you see how the western people do it, they just cut the pineapple like how they would cut orange and apple, so wasting....

Christine: I just shoot you an email, check it out!

Gina Choong on January 17, 2010 at 1:00 PM said...

Quinn, I learn a new way, easier too to make naster p-tarts. There is a plastic roller pin that has all these stripes. just roll out the dough on the table, then roll this naster roller pin over it. Then cut into the stripes sizes you need for each tart. the rest, you know how to. I will take a photo of the naster rolling pin to show you. :) Great trick ..I loved your step by step photos.

Quinn on January 17, 2010 at 2:06 PM said...

Thanks and hello Gina for dropping by! I've seen that plastic roller thingy. I don't think I can find it here Down Under. Maybe when I go back Malaysia for CNY this year, I'll stock some stuffs and lug it back to Australia myself! Thanks a lot anyway! And thanks for loving the photos too!!! Makes me happy :)

Rasa Malaysia on January 21, 2010 at 8:43 AM said...

Fantastic, looks so very good. :)

Quinn on January 21, 2010 at 1:02 PM said...

Thank you Bee for dropping by. And thank you for the lovely basic recipe of pineapple jam. It's a breeze with food processor!

Jess said...

Hi Quinn,

Another CNY is just round the corner and this year I shall try out your recipe (my first attempt with pineapple tart) - I can't find vanilla caster sugar (only vanilla sugar) so do you think I should use regular caster sugar and add some vanilla extract? Thanks.

Quinn on January 13, 2011 at 3:21 PM said...


Just use regular castor sugar if you cannot find vanilla castor sugar. I have lots of vanilla beans lugged back from Iran by a friend and use them generously. I always throw the vanilla pods into my sugar jar and it gets topped up with sugar continuously.I never buy them!

Jess said...

Thanks for the vanilla pod tip - what a smart idea!! :-) I have tripled this recipe (using still same amount of spices) and it is super! I will never consider grating a single pineapple ever again for pineapple jam! Thanks Quinn!

Anonymous said...

You are an 'evil' 'evil' person! I have just come across your blog~ Normally I follow the recipe from rasamalaysia... but yours is so much easier!! Now I know I'm going to end up making 3 times as much pineapple 'tangerines' because of the problem with open-faced tarts.

Quinn on April 3, 2012 at 4:55 PM said...

Jess & Anonymous:

Happy days, some recipes are meant to be shared :)

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