Summer fruits are really my favorite. I can never get enough of them, and I never know which ones to eat first, and I do not want to miss out any one of them. I really do get overwhelmed with the number and the variety of fruits in the summer because there is so much to do with them. I have so many recipes that I want to tackle, but there is ONLY so much that one can do!
Mango is one of my absolute favorite fruits. Growing up I ate a LOT OF mango in the summers. Mangoes typically last for 2 1/2 months in India – in the months of April, May and half of June. I invariably put on a couple of kilograms of weight in the mango season because of the high intake of mangoes morning, noon and night. There are so many varieties of mangoes available in India.
But what I found out after staying here in the US for 20+ years is that there are a large number of varieties here as well. They are exported from Mexico or the nearby tropics.
I usually get my mangoes from the Indian store. They have a few different varieties. The one I usually end up getting is Hayden. You have to cut it when it is just ripe, else the taste changes if it is too ripe, and it does not taste right.
Mango and ginger is one of my favorite combinations. It reminds of me the times when mom would make Fajeto, or Mango Kadhi. There are 2 ways to make it, with yogurt and without yogurt. I liked both. She would put sooth or ginger powder in it, and it would really taste so earthy and heartwarming. When she would make aam raas or mango juice, to have with our meals, she would add sooth even in the mango raas. It aids in digestion, as the mango raas can be a bit heavy to digest.
*MANGO AND GINGER JAM:*
I love making jams, especially in the summer. The fruit is at it’s peak and hence the sweetness in the fruits really comes through especially in homemade jams. Plus you do not have to add as much sugar as the store bought ones.
I make a mean mango and ginger jam that has the earthiness of ground ginger in the jam. Ground ginger is more potent than fresh ginger, and gives the jam a wonderful taste.
The ingredients in the jam are:
Mangoes: I get the mangoes from the Indian store. Asian markets carry good quality mangoes as well, that can be used for the jam.
Ground Ginger: I use ground ginger as opposed to fresh ginger, because ground ginger is more potent.
Granulated Sugar: I add granulated sugar to make the jam. The sugar is much less than the store bought ones. The key is to always make jam in peak season so that you do not have to add as much sugar to make the jams.
Lemon juice: Lemon juice adds a wonderful zing to the jam. Also lemon juice has a high pectin content, which helps to set the jam as well.
Lime zest: I add lime zest, because zest is usually more potent than the juice and also it adds a wonderful zing to the jam. Mango and lime are a match made in heaven.
Fruit Pectin: I do add a bit of fruit pectin to sort of set the jam. I am looking for a bit of set consistency to make for the hand pies.
*Important points to remember when making Jam:*
– Always macerate the fruit to bring out the water content from the fruit. Macerating is the process of letting the fruit sit with the sugar, to bring out the water from the fruit.
– When making the jam, even if the content is small, make sure that it fills up only half of the pan that you are using, because you will need room for the jam to foam, while cooking it.
– You know your jam is done, when you see small bubbles on the surface. At that point, do the jam test as mentioned in the method.
– Make sure to stir occasionally since the jam can get stuck to the bottom of the pan. You do not want the jam to burn.
This jam is fantastic on toast with some just melted butter. My favorite way to eat jam!
*MANGO AND GINGER JAM HAND PIES:*
For the hand pies, I use my recipe for pie dough that I have been using for years. It makes for a flaky pie crust, and it also makes for some really flaky af delicious hand pies. The puff up quite nicely in the oven, and create beautiful layers for the hand pies.
The pie dough is very easy to make. The pie dough is kept in the fridge to let it set, and for the gluten to develop. It also makes it easier for the dough to be rolled out. Always have extra flour on hand to roll out the dough with ease.
I use this Five Wheel Pastry Cutter that helps me cut the dough pretty evenly into equal sized rectangles, to make the hand pies. It also quickens the process. Once the dough is rolled out, you have to be quick with cutting into rectangles, filling with the jam, putting the egg wash, and closing the hand pies, and crimping them with a fork, else the dough becomes difficult to handle, once it is soft. This cutter helps to expedite the process.
I always freeze the prepared hand pies in the freezer, to make sure that they firm up and do not spread much in the oven. Also it helps with the flakiness as well, since the butter is cold, and when it hits the hot oven, the butter melts, creating air pockets that helps with the flakiness. I bake them until golden brown and then wait for it to cool down.
The icing is really simple. I simply add a bit of ground cardamom, and a bit of color to the icing. And then mix it all to a smooth consistency. You want it thick but spreadable, so that it forms a nice thick layer on top of the hand pie. I add sprinkles and freeze dried raspberries, for a pop of color on the pretty hand pies.
They can be stored outside at room temperature for upto 4 to 5 days. You want to eat them as soon as possible for maximum freshness.
*HOW DO I SERVE THEM?*
I pop them into the toaster oven for 1.5 to 2 minutes. They are absolutely delicious warm out of the oven with some cold milk, or even a cup of coffee! And they make for delicious breakfasts for kids in rushed mornings!
With back to school coming soon, I highly recommend these hand pies! They will be a winner with your family as they were with mine!
Hope you get a chance to make them! If you do, please do not forget to tag #thejamlab on Instagram and/or leave a comment on this blog post!
Wishing you all a beautiful last few weeks of summer!
500 gms peeled, cut into 1 cm cubes, ripe mango (about 2)
250 gms granulated sugar
56 gms lemon juice
40 gms fruit pectin
2 ½ tsp ground ginger
2 tsp lime zest
MANGO and GINGER JAM HAND PIES:
Makes about 12 hand pies
3 cups (360 gms) all purpose flour
1 ½ Tbsp (18 gms) granulated sugar
1 tsp (6 gms) table salt
1 tsp (3 gms) ground cinnamon
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted cold butter, cut into small cubes
¾ cup (180 gms) ice cold water
½ cup ice cubes
1 Tbsp (14 gms) apple cider vinegar
Extra flour for rolling the dough
¾ bottle of the Mango and Ginger Jam
2 tsp of water
1 tsp (4 gms) granulated sugar
1 cup (120 gms) powdered sugar
½ tsp (1 gm) ground cardamom
½ tsp vanilla extract
2 Tbsp (30 gms) whole milk or more if required
Drop of orange food coloring
Crushed freeze dried raspberries
MANGO AND GINGER JAM:
1. Place the cut 500 gm of mango in a medium bowl. Add the sugar, fruit pectin, lemon juice, ground ginger and lime zest. Stir, cover and set it aside for an hour.
2. Keep a small plate with 2 metal spoons in the freezer. The plate should be straight.
To sterilize the jars:
1. Wash the jars with warm water and shake off any excess water. Place them on a quarter tray.
2. Preheat the oven to 230 degrees F. Place the tray with the jars until ready to fill them.
Make the jam:
1. In a medium copper saucepan or non-stick saucepan, on medium to high heat, add the bowl ingredients into the saucepan and stir to incorporate.
2. Keep a candy thermometer hooked safely to the pot so you can see the temperature.
3. Let the mixture come to a boil. It takes about 5 minutes. Let it boil until it starts foaming for about 5 minutes. Stir occasionally, with a rubber spatula, so as not to let the jam get stuck at the bottom of the pan. Let it bubble for another 5 minutes, the foam will gently subside. Remove any excess foam with a spoon, and keep a cup handy to remove it in.
4. Reduce the temperature to medium as the jam continues bubbling. The bubbles will be smaller as the jam reduces. Keep stirring to ensure it does not stick to the bottom of the pan at this stage, and also that the jam does not bubble vigorously. Let it boil for another 5 minutes. The temperature on the thermometer should reach 220 degrees F. The jam consistency will be thick.
Total Time: about 20 minutes.
DO THE JAM TEST:
1. Add about a teaspoon or 2 of the jam on each spoon from the freezer, and let it sit in the freezer for 3 minutes. When you remove the plate with the spoons, the jam should slowly come down off the spoon but it should NOT be runny. That is when you know that the jam is set.
2. If it is runny, boil the jam for another 2 to 3 minutes, and repeat the procedure, until the jam is slightly dense.
3. Another test to determine if your jam is set: Let the jam sit in the pot after the gas is turned off. Use a rubber spatula after 3 to 4 minutes and run it over the top of the jam. If it sets on the spatula, and you can run your forefinger through it, the jam is set.
4. If the layer is still thin, let it boil for another 2 to 3 minutes and do the test again.
5. Pour the jam into a pourable measuring glass jar.
6. Remove the tray of jars from the oven, and fill each with a funnel to avoid spillage. Make sure that the funnel spout is large enough as this jam has chunks of pear in it. OR if you do not have a funnel, pour with the glass jar carefully into the jam jars. Leave about ¾ inch space from the top of the jar. Put the lid on securely, and invert them to mix. Repeat for the remaining 2 jars.
7. Put the tray of jars back into the oven for 15 minutes to sterilize.
8. Remove the jar and invert the jars to mix again. Let it cool completely for about 2 hours.
9. Store in a cool and dark place for upto one year OR gift them to your family and friends!
MANGO and GINGER JAM HAND PIES:
1. In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, cinnamon, salt and sugar. Add the cold butter and with a pastry blender or your fingers, cut through the butter, so that the flour coats all the pieces, and the butter is pea sized.
2. In a medium bowl, mix the water, ice and apple cider vinegar. Add 2 tablespoons of cold water at a time to the pastry dough and using the pastry blender or your hands, mix so that the water is absorbed into the dough. Add upto 8 tablespoons of water to combine. The dough will come together and you will still see the butter pieces, which will make the dough flaky.
3. If you need to add a tad bit more water, add in increments of 1 tablespoon only, until the dough comes together. Do not add more water, or the dough will become soggy.
4. Divide the dough into 2 equal parts. The total dough weighs approximately 730 grams, so about 365 grams each.
5. Wrap each portion in plastic wrap, and shape it into a rectangle. Keep patting and shaping the dough to form a neat rectangle, about 5 inches by 6 inches in size.
6. Refrigerate for an hour.
Rolling out the dough:
1. Line 3 baking sheets with parchment paper.
2. Take one part of the dough out of the fridge. Dust a work surface with flour. Roll out the dough, roughly into a 10x15 inch rectangle. Make sure to keep sprinkling the surface and the rolling pin with additional flour to ensure that it does not stick. The thickness of the rolled dough should be between ⅛ to ¼ inch thick.
3. Using a steel ruler and a sharp knife, trim the rough edges, to form a smooth rectangle.
4. The hand pies will be 3 ½ inch x 3 inch. Using the 5-wheel pastry cutter, resize it to 3 inches and cut across the length of the rectangle. Then resize the cutter to 3 ½ inches and cut across the width of the dough. Alternatively, you can use a sharp knife to cut the rectangles. You will get 8 rectangles.
5. Use a flat spatula, to place the rectangles, on a parchment lined baking sheet, and place in the freezer for 10 minutes.
6. Meanwhile, repeat for the second piece of dough, and place the rectangles on the second baking sheet and freeze for 10 minutes.
7. Collect all the scrap pieces of dough, place them in a plastic wrap. Form a rectangle and place it in the fridge for 30 minutes. These scraps should form 4 to 6 rectangles for 2 to 3 more hand pies.
8. Roll out the scrap dough to a thickness between 1/8 to ¼ inch, to form 4 rectangles and freeze them on a baking sheet for 10 minutes.
1. Remove the first baking sheet.
2. In a small bowl, prepare the egg wash by using a fork to whisk together the egg, water and sugar until it is combined well.
3. Use a pastry brush to brush each rectangle with the egg wash.
4. Spoon about 1 heaping tablespoon of the jam in the center of each tart, leaving about ½ inch to ¾ inch gap around the filling.
5. Remove the second baking sheet from the freezer, and place each rectangle gently on top of a rectangle with filling. Use your fingertips to gently press around the filling to seal the tart. Use a fork, press the edges of the tart to make a pattern and to seal the tart. Cut an X with a sharp knife in the middle of the tart so that the steam can escape, while it bakes.
6. Brush each pop tart with egg wash.
7. Repeat for the remaining hand pies.
8. Place the hand pies on a baking sheet, using a flat spatula, and freeze them for 10 minutes.
1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.
2. Give them one more egg wash after they are removed from the freezer. Pop them in the oven for 25 minutes OR until golden brown in color.
3. Remove from the oven, transfer to a wire rack, and let them cool completely.
Ice and Decorate:
1. In a medium bowl, whisk together the powdered sugar and cardamom. Add the vanilla extract and milk and whisk until it is a thick consistency, yet spreadable. If it is too thin it will not form a nice thick layer of icing on top of the pop tart.
2. Spread about 2 tsp of the icing on each tart and decorate with some sprinkles and freeze dried raspberries for a pop of color. Repeat for all the tarts. Let them rest for about 30 minutes, to set the icing.