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
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.