Monday, 15 September 2014

Eugenia - Jambo fruit also called Java Apple: My very first Eugenia jam

Early spring time in Brazil! August and September are the fruity seasons for Jambo fruits. It was late May (Brazilian autumn-ish) that the beautiful Eugenia tree had his pink sea of flowers (which are in fact edible as well, not very special in its taste, but very pretty to look at.) which in fact looked a bit like a vulcano spying pink lava.

And now the delicious, smooth fruits are ready for harvesting, all shining in bright, dark-deep delicious vulcano-red. My brother in law invited us to get as much as we could carry as the tree in his garden is carrying a whole lot of it and his family got kind of tired of eating them so most fruits are partly eaten by birds (who only did one little picky bite and went onto the next fruit, so --- a lot of waste in the fruit section).

So off we went to harvest the Eugenias (that's how people call this fruit around here, in some other regions in Brazil they are also called Jambo, the original tree/fruit name is Eugenia malaccensis). The prince of sun and his brother climbed onto the huge tree and started collecting the fruits while our niece, sister in law and the dogs were watching patiently for some fruits to fall down - which can be a bit dangerous, once an Eugenia fell directly into my sister in law's eyes and she ended up with bruises so... better stay alert and watch your head when you are under an Eugenia tree in August and September ;)

Arriving at home with about 4-5kg of Eugenia fruits, I washed the fruits and then we had quite a few of them, just as on the days before when we went to visit their family and took Luke to his doggy playmates. The ripe fruits have a deep red have a sweet, slightly sour taste (the ones that are not as ripe are a bit more sour), kind of apple-ish and the aroma is almost like roses, very different from what I have experienced in fruits until now. So, what's a woman to do when she has LOADS of fruits?

She sets a few to the side for munching during the week, cuts the rest up in pieces for freezing and makes jam of the rest of it. People here do not really make jam so I was not able to get any recipes and had to try my luck (jam in general is not very popular, people rarely have jam-like food, goiabada (guava paste) from time to time, but not like we are used to having it every day in Germany. 
So I just tried the same recipe (except that I had no jam/preserving sugar) that I use for making strawberry or forest fruit jam, froze some of the cut fruits to use them at a later time and let the rest of the pieces boil with water and sugar. Very soon, a sweet, almost strawberry like rosy liquid started to form before foaming up in pink bubbles. I tried a few fruits that tasted sweet and soft and then put everything into the mixer and voilá, Eugenia jam :D (probably it will be more jam-like and less fruit mousse like if you actually use real preserving sugar, I still need to check out the bigger supermarket for preserving sugar, not sure if something like that gets sold here as, I did mention it before, jam is not really eaten for breakfast here so people probably do not need preserving sugar anyway. But yes, it is really worth trying it out, the outcome was veeeery delicious and people did not actually believe me that the jam/mousse was made of Eugenias because of its almost strawberry-ish, sweet, mild, rosy taste.

Oh and for those interested in the health effects Eugenia has, the list is long =): It is good against constipation, diuretic, strengthens the immune system, prevents premature aging, coughs and sore throats, headaches, gastrointestinal disorders, the eugenia roots can free the lungs of mucus, assists in the formation of collagen and reduces the effects of free radicals! 

Isn't that something?! =) Many good reasons to eat those delicious fruits aaand I already have the next project idea in mind: 

Eugenia cake :D Stay tuned!

No comments:

Post a Comment