Mango jam is delicious and super easy to make. I make mine with less sugar and no store-bought pectin. In this tutorial, I’ll show you how I make my low sugar mango jam and how I can it so it will last for months!
You guys, I didn’t know that you can make jam from mangos!
I’ve never seen it, not even in specialty food stores and I’ve never met anyone who made it. And I had never tasted it before…
I was doing my regular grocery shopping at Walmart in town a few weeks ago, and as I strolled the veggie/fruit area I was wondering what kind of jam to make to sell at the farmer’s market.
I was looking for a sale on something when I spotted the mangos…
They were on sale for 66 cents a pound. In my book, any fruit that is under a dollar a pound is great. 66 cents a pound is well under a dollar and is a great price for mangos in our area.
And then I was thinking… Can I make mango jam?
Mango Jam Recipe…
I figured, why not? I was kinda already on a roll with never-heard-off-before jams with the cantaloupe jam and the persimmon jam that I made a few weeks earlier so I was more than willing to try my hand at mango jam.
I got home and did some online research. I found this mango jam and a few more but I ended up deciding to just follow my own jam making process and see if it will work well with mangos.
Oh boy… I was not ready for the level of deliciousness that I created!
And it wasn’t just me! The jars of mango jam ended up selling better than my low sugar strawberry jam at the farmer’s market.
You guys, I think we have a winner!
Tools That We Will Need…
All right, let’s gather all the tool that we are going to need so we can make this delicious low sugar mango jam.
Cutting board – I always use my beloved wooden cutting board to chop fruits or vegetables.
Peeler – to peel the mangos.
Knife – to dice the mangos.
Large bowl – for all the diced mangos, or you can add them straight to the pot.
Large pot – I processed 9lb of jam here. If I take the time to make jam, I like just making a whole lot of it at once. But this recipe is simple and it’s very easy to process however many mangos that you want to use.
So just make sure that whatever pot you are choosing is large enough for the amount that you are processing.
Spoon – to stir the goodness and remove the foam.
Immersion blender – mangos keep their shape surprisingly well while they cook. I use an immersion blender to smooth the jam.
Water bath canner – we are going to process that jam in the water bath canner and also sanitize the jars in there.
Ladle – to scoop the jam into the jars.
1/2 pint jars – I used half a pint but you can also use a pint. I don’t think that quart jars will work for this.
Lids and bands – to cover and close the jars, of course. Make sure to use new lids so the seal is in good condition, but you can reuse bands.
Canning utensils – we are going to use pretty much all of them… The funnel, jar lifter, bubble remover, and the lid lifter.
Paper towel – to clean the rim of the jar before we cover and close it.
That’s all we need, now let’s get to work!
Preparing the Mangos…
There were two kinds of mangos on sale, and since this was sort of an experiment for me I figured I’d buy both and mix them and then decide which variety I like more…
I didn’t look at the variety name in the store which was a big mistake. There are so many varieties of mangos!
If I had to guess, I’m guessing that the above mango is either Glen or Carrie and it probably came from Florida.
This mango is probably Lemon Meringue and maybe it came from the Bahamas or Florida.
But this is just a guess! And honestly, I don’t think that it matters. You can probably make mango jam the same way no matter the variety and you can even mix them as I did here.
However, I have to say that the Lemon Meringue was my favorite. The flesh is bright orange and it’s very very sweet and juicy. It is smaller though.
So I started with 13 mangos of the first variety and 24 mangos of the second variety. 37 mangos in total.
I used the vegetable peeler to peel all of the mangos…
Then I cut the flesh off of the pit and diced it.
I ended up with 9 pounds of diced mango. This amount of fruit gave me 23 half pint jars.
Don’t be alarmed, if you feel that this is more than you want to can, just remember to weight your fruit after you peel and dice it.
No matter how much fruit you are processing, just add half of the weight of fruit in sugar. The only thing that is going to change is the length of cooking time.
Cooking Mango Jam…
I added all of my fruit to a large pot and added 4.5 pounds of sugar.
Traditionally, you are supposed to use a fruit/sugar ratio of 1:1 but I always use a ratio of 1:1/2. It’s plenty sweet enough for us and I can still preserve the jam for a whole year.
So if you ended up with 5 pounds of diced mango, add 2.5 pounds of sugar and so on. Your cooking time will be shorter than mine was but the rest of the process is the same.
Next, I turn the heat to medium-high and bring the fruit/sugar mixture to a boil.
This was a large amount of fruit so it took me just about 20 minutes to bring it to a boil. If you use less fruit it will take less time.
I made sure to stir frequently and once the mixture came to a boil I lowered the heat just a little bit and let it boil gently for 10 minutes.
Removing the Foam From Mango Jam…
After 10 minutes of boiling, I lower the temperature to medium and keep cooking the jam while stirring frequently.
Mango jam creates quite a lot of foam so as the jam cooks I use my spoon to scoop most of it out. It’s no big deal if some foam is left in the pot.
I cook the jam for an additional 15 minutes…
Blending the Fruit…
Mangos hold their shape surprisingly well while they are cooking. I personally don’t like huge pieces of fruit in my jam so I use an immersion blender to blend the fruit and make the jam smoother.
You can also choose to use a potato masher and just mash the fruit. If you do use an immersion blender, please make sure the bottom part is under the mixture so no hot jam if flying your way.
Adding Lemon Juice and Seeds to Mango Jam…
Almost immediately after I blended the fruit the jam started thickening. I let it cook for 5 more minutes (stirring), before I added the juice of a whole medium lemon…
And about 6-7 lemon seeds.
Lemon seeds have natural pectin in them and they help the jam thicken. They are a natural substitute for store-bought pectin and I use them in all of my jams.
Once I added the lemon seeds, I gave the jam 10 more minutes to cook and it was ready.
How to Check if the Mango Jam is Ready…
I’ve been making jams for so long that I can pretty much tell just from looking at the jam if it’s ready.
If you are new to jam making or if you’re just not sure, you can try the spoon test.
I scoop some jam in a spoon and set it aside to cool for a few minutes. It doesn’t have to cool all the way.
Then, I lift the spoon over the pot and let the jam slide from the spoon right back into the pot. I watch it as it slides off the spoon and it’s usually easy to tell if it’s thick enough or if it needs additional cooking.
Make sure that you take into consideration that the jam is going to keep thickening as it cools on the shelf.
Canning Homemade Mango Jam…
This jam cooks pretty quickly so I often don’t have enough time to deal with the jars and the water bath canner while it cooks like I do when I make other jams that take longer to cook.
So once the jam is ready, I lower the heat to very low, just to keep it warm until I am ready to fill the jars.
Then, I get to work on preparing my canner and jars.
I fill the water bath canner with enough water to cover the filled jars by about and inch. I set it on the stovetop and turn the heat to high.
I wash my half pint jars and place them inside the canner on the rack.
I bring the water in the canner to a boil and let the jars hang out inside the gently boiling water for seven minutes or so to sanitize them.
While this is happening, I also place my lids and bands in a smaller pot, cover them with water and bring this water to a boil.
I let the lids and bands hang out in the boiling water for about seven minutes as well to sanitize them.
Once they are ready, I turn the heat off and let them stay in the hot water until I need them to cover and close the jars.
Filling the Jars With Mango Jam…
Once the jars are ready and the lids and the bands are ready (and the jam is hot and ready) it’s time to fill the jars.
I use my jar lifters to lift a jar from the canner. I empty the hot water back to the canner and set the jar on the wooden board.
Then, I use the canning funnel and the ladle to scoop the mango jam from the pot into the jar leaving a 1/4 inch headspace.
Next, I use my bubble remover to remove any air bubbles if there are any…
Then I use a damp and clean paper towel to clean the rim of the jar.
Then, I use the magnetic lid lifter to lift a lid from the pot of hot water and I center it on the jar…
Lastly, I use the magnetic lid lifters to lift a band from the pot of hot water and I close the jar finger tight (not too tight).
This jar is ready for processing! I move on to filling the rest of the jars.
Since this was a large batch of mango jam I had to fill the jars that fit in the canner and process them. I left the jam on very low heat to keep it warm and did the whole thing again after the first batch was done processing.
Processing Mango Jam in the Water Bath Canner…
When I had enough jars to process, I lowered the rack with the filled jars back into the boiling water in the canner and processed the mango jam for 10 minutes.
You will also process for 10 minutes if you use pint jars.
Make sure to adjust processing time according to the table above if you live in altitude higher than 1000 feet.
Once processing time is done, I uncover the canner and turn the heat off. I then let the jars hang out in the hot water for an additional five minutes before I use the jar lifters to lift the jars out of the canner.
I set them on the wooden board or on a kitchen towel on the counter undisturbed overnight to cool completely.
Storing Canned Homemade Mango Jam…
In the morning, I check that all my jars have sealed by pressing the center of the lid. If there is no movement there it means that the jars have sealed and are ready for storage.
If you happen to have a jar that didn’t seal, you can uncover it, clean the rim and the lid, and cover it and process it again. Or you can also store it in the fridge and use it first.
Usually, all of my jars are sealed and ready for storage. I remove the band because it makes it easier to monitor what’s happening inside the jar without it and wipe the jar off before I place it on my canning shelves.
If you have a pantry or a basement you can store it there. Or you can store it in a kitchen cabinet.
I use all of my canned goods within a year.
Once you open a jar, make sure to store it in the fridge.
Mango jam, just like any jam, is amazing on toast, in baked goods (I think that it will be a great jam to use to fill thumbprint cookies!), or on homemade yogurt or sour cream (with or without homemade granola).
We love all of the above! This jam is going to be a regular for us both at home and at the farmer’s market.
It’s delicious, easy and quick to make, and captures the taste of summer perfectly! I sure hope that you’ll give it a try.
If you liked this jam recipe, try these as well…
- 37 mangos peeled, pit removed and diced (9 lb of diced mangos). Feel free to mix varieties (check notes if you want to process less fruit)
- 4.5 lb of sugar
- Juice of one medium lemon
- 6-7 lemon seeds
- Add the diced mangos and sugar into a large pot.
- Turn the heat to medium-high and bring to a boil (this took me a little under 20 minutes), stirring frequently.
- Lower the heat to medium and cook, stirring frequently, for an additional 15 minutes. You will notice that the mixture produces a lot of foam. Take a spoon and fish some of it out.
- Use a potato masher or an immersion blender to blend the fruit if you want your jam smoother. If you use an immersion blender make sure its head is under the jam so it doesn't splash on you (please be careful!).
- Right after you are done with the immersion blender or potato masher, add the juice of one medium lemon and 6 or 7 lemon seeds. The seeds have natural pectin in them and will help the jam thicken.
- Cook for an additional 15 minutes or until the jam is thick to your liking.
If you are new to jam making or if you are just not sure, you can try to do the spoon test.
I scoop some jam in a spoon and set it aside to cool for a few minutes. It doesn't have to cool all the way.
Then, I lift the spoon over the pot and let the jam slide from the spoon right back into the pot.
I watch it as it slides off the spoon and it's usually easy to tell if it's thick enough or if it needs to cook a little longer.
Make sure that you take into consideration that the jam is going to keep thickening as it cools on the shelf.
- Once the jam is ready, turn the heat to low (as low as possible) just to keep it warm and get to work on sanitizing the jars and preparing the water-bath canner (if you want to can the jam. You can also keep it in the fridge if you are making a smaller batch).
- Fill your water bath canner with enough water to cover the jars by about an inch. Set the canner on the stovetop and turn the heat to high.
- Wash your jars in warm water. Place the empty jars on the rack in the water bath canner. Bring the water in the canner to a boil and leave the jars in the boiling water for about 7 minutes.
- At the same time, Place the lids and bands in a small pot and cover with water. Set on the stovetop and bring to a boil. Let the lids and bands hang out in the boiling water for 7 minutes as well. After 7 minutes, turn the heat off but leave the lids and bands in the hot water until you need them.
- Once your jam, jars, lids, and bands are ready, use the jar lifter to lift a jar out of the water bath canner and set on a wooden cutting board.
- Use the canning funnel and a ladle to fill the jar with the hot jam leaving 1/4 inch headspace.
- Use the bubble remover to remove any air bubbles and then use a damp and clean paper towel to clean the rim of the jar.
- Use the magnetic lid lifter to lift a lid from the pot of hot water. Center the lid on the jar. Grab a band and close the jar finger tight.
- Continue filling the jars until you have enough to fill the water bath canner (if you make a large batch as I did you might need to process in two batches).
- Place your filled jars on the rack in the canner and make sure that they are covered by about an inch of water. Cover the canner and bring the water back to a rolling boil. Process half-pints and pints jars for 10 minutes. Please adjust the processing time if you live in an altitude higher than 1000 feet (you can find the adjustment table in the post).
- Once processing time is up, turn the heat off and uncover the canner. Let the jars stay in the canner for 5 more minutes before you remove them.
- Set them on a wooden cutting board or on a kitchen towel on the counter undisturbed overnight to cool completely.
- In the morning, check that all the jars have sealed by pressing the center of the lids. Remove the bands, wipe the jars, and store in the pantry. I use all of my canned goods within a year.
Don't be alarmed, if you feel that this is more than you want to can, just remember to weight your fruit after you peel it, remove the pit, and dice it.
No matter how much fruit you are processing, just add half of the amount of fruit in sugar (so the ratio should be one part fruit to one half part sugar), the rest is the same. The only thing that is going to change is the length of cooking time.
Nutrition Information:Yield: 368 Serving Size: 1 tablespoon
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 43Total Fat: 0gSaturated Fat: 0gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 0gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 1mgCarbohydrates: 11gFiber: 1gSugar: 10gProtein: 0g