Fresh pineapples are the representative fruits of tropical countries, beaches, and summer. When we see pineapples, we immediately think of cruises or beach escapades. Even a refreshing drink of pineapple juice can conjure images of fun and fresh activities.
What better way to preserve these feelings than with a sweet and tart pineapple jam. They can be made with both fresh and canned pineapples although there will be a major difference in flavors and textures. Jams made with fresh pineapples depend on the ripeness and sweet natures of the pineapple fruits whereas those made with canned pineapples tend to have a metallic flavor and scent, although those irregularities are barely noticed because of all the sugar added.
Pineapple Jam Trivia
- Pineapples grow almost anywhere in the world, but they are said to be native fruits of Brazil, South America.
- Christopher Columbus brought pineapples to Europe in 1493.
- Although they’re not as famous as grape wines, pineapple wines are mostly consumed in summer and can have very potent favors such as sweetness, acidic, and bitter notes.
Pineapple Jam Buying Guide
Like all jams, pineapple jams can be found in the condiments, jams, and jellies aisles of any supermarket, convenience, and grocery store. There are several options including the jams made with natural or artificial pectin, the ones with real pineapple bits, the ones with less or no sugar, and even the homemade varieties.
Small-time jam producers and artisan makers also produce their artisan pineapple jams, especially during the pineapple season. It’s best to purchase from these people as you can be sure that everything is natural and homemade. Although jams contain a lot of sugar, it’s still preferable to consume jams without artificial food coloring, flavoring, and other chemical preservatives.
Pineapple Jam Production & Farming in Texas
Pineapples are notorious for being tropical fruits, growing in areas rich in sunlight, but they can also thrive in areas with a lot of sun and shade. When growing pineapples, the planter should know that pineapples receive a lot of water and nourishment from their leaves, but they can also die if there is too much water in the pots or if the soil is too wet. With this, pineapples must only be watered once a week.
Two of the main pineapple varieties grown in Texas include the Smooth Cayenne and the Red Spanish. Smooth Cayenned is considered to be a staple product in Texas and can be found fresh and processed in major supermarkets, groceries, and farmer’s markets. Meanwhile, the Red Spanish pineapple variety has a red-colored skin and is considered a special pineapple variety. They are available for consumption all year long and are appreciated for their sweet and fibrous flesh.
Jam production in Texas is available for both commercial and homemade products. There are a lot of planters and farmers who also take pride in their family recipes which celebrate the sweet fibrous juices of pineapples.
Preservatives and Chemicals
Most of the commercially produced pineapple jams are loaded with preservatives and chemicals that will boost their appearance and flavor.
Sugar acts as the main preservative of pineapple jams. However, natural sugars are often replaced with artificial sweeteners such as Aspartame, Sucralose, Xylitol, Saccharin, and Acesulfame. These five artificial sweeteners are considered to be the worst among the chemicals and preservatives used in preserving food.
Pineapple jams should be canned in sterilized glass jars to elongate their shelf life. Before canning, check if the glass is chipped or if there are cracks in the jar, also check if there are rust spots in the canning lid. If you find any of these anomalies, immediately discard the jars. For consumption safety, always use canning jars and glasses that are in good condition.
Enjoying Pineapple Jam
Jams and sandwiches always go together, don’t they? Pineapple jam is always great for toasts, pancakes, and waffles. The tanginess and sweetness of pineapples perk up the buttery deliciousness of that food. Also, pineapple jam is a great filling for cakes, cupcakes, cakes, muffins, and donuts.
For savory dishes, you can spread a bit of pineapple jam to your grilled cheese sandwich. You can also use pineapple jam in salad dressings and meat marinades.
Unopened pineapple jams must be placed in a cool, dry place, away from the direct heat of sunlight. Once opened, always refrigerate the pineapple jams. Never let it sit at room temperature for one to three hours to prevent mold and bacteria from contaminating the pineapple jam.
SMALL BATCH PINEAPPLE JAM
1 cup sugar or a sugar substitute like Stevia or Splenda.
2 tbsp fresh lemon juice
4 cups fresh pineapple peeled and cut into chunks
- Add all ingredients into a medium-sized pot and bring to a boil.
- Reduce heat and simmer for about 1 hour; stirring occasionally. Most of the liquid should be evaporated.
- Remove from the heat and allow to cool slightly.
- With an immersion blender or potato masher, crush the fruit into small bite-sized (or smaller) pieces.
- The natural sugars in the fruit will thicken the jam without the need for pectin.