A few months ago my grandmother bought a jar of kiwi and lime jam from a farmers market when she was visiting some friends. It wasn’t one she had tried before but she is a lover of kiwis and is quite adventurous in her food purchases and always willing to try new foods. It turned out to be quite delicate and floral and she absolutely loved the jam but wasn’t able to find anything similar locally. Not being one to pass up the opportunity of a challenge I snuck a look at the ingredients listed on the jar and decided to try and make a batch for her myself.
One of the interesting ingredients listed was honey. Ah-ha! That explains the floral note. So armed with my ingredient list I set about concocting my jam.
It turned out to be quite a straightforward process. The main issue I had was that the kiwi’s did not cook down into a mush as I expected, but remained relatively intact in their small dice. I solved this problem by giving them a quick squish with a potato masher. This resulted in a slightly coarse yet spreadable jam.
Once cooked, I adored the colour of jam – such a bright glossy emerald green and studded with tiny jet black seeds. It had a slightly sharp and tangy flavour with just a hint of citrus thanks to the lime. The sugar and honey kept it sweet yet with a mellow floral overtone.
This jam had two purposes for not only was my grandmother delighted with it, but I discovered I can eat cooked kiwi. Normally when I eat raw kiwi my tongue and mouth go all prickly and sore within a few minutes, but I found on tasting a tiny bit of the jam (out of curiosity as to its flavour) that it didn’t affect me in the usual way. I suppose boiling it denatured the enzymes. I’m not sure how useful this piece of information would be to me, but it’s interesting to know.
The jam wasn’t quite the same as the one my grandmother bought on the market, but this doesn’t mean it was any less delicious. It certainly added a bit of zing to some morning toast.
Kiwi Honey & Lime Jam
11 ripe kiwi fruit
175g caster or granulated sugar
100g runny honey
Place 2 or 3 jam jars and their lids into a cold oven. Heat to 120oC for at least 10 minutes to sterilise the jars. Once heated, turn off the heat but leave the jars in the oven so they remain hot while you make the jam.
Peel the kiwi fruit, cut into quarters and roughly chop into 5mm pieces. Remove the white core from the fruit if it feels particularly hard or woody.
Add the chopped kiwi’s, sugar and honey into a medium sized saucepan. Heat gently, stirring occasionally, until the honey has softened and the sugar dissolved.
Stir in the finely grated zest of the lime and its juice. Bring the mixture to the boil and allow to bubble for 10 minutes, stirring every so often to prevent it from sticking to the base of the pan.
Then reduce the heat and use a potato masher to gently squash/crush the kiwi into a chunky mush. You don’t want (and won’t get) it smooth, but you want an easily spreadable consistency.
Allow to simmer for 2 minutes before removing from the heat. Take the hot jars from the oven and divide the jam between them while both the jam and jars are still hot. Be careful not to get any on you as it’s very hot!
Wear rubber gloves to screw the lid onto the jars and leave to cool before storing in a cool dark place until required. The seal button in the lids will suddenly pop back down as the jam cools, as a sterile vacuum is created within the jar. They will give a loud ‘pop’ when this happens, so don’t be alarmed.
Once opened, store in the fridge and eat within 2 weeks.
Makes 2-3 jars