Papaya Ginger Jam

When I lived in Boston, one of my summer activities was to make big batches of apricot jam that I would enjoy throughout the year. Now that I'm living in Hawaii, it's harder to find good stone fruit. Instead we are blessed with beautiful tropical fruit including papaya fresh from the garden. We have so much, in fact, that even after sharing with friends and family we have more than we can eat. Not wanting the fruit to go bad, I started playing with the idea of a papaya jam, using the apricot jam recipe as a starting point. The result is a lovely sweet jam with spiciness from both fresh and ground ginger. It's my new summer canning project.

Papaya Ginger Jam

In Hawaii, if you don't have fruit trees of your own, you probably know someone - family, friends, neighbors, co-workers - who do. Right now, in addition to the papaya from our garden, we were gifted with apple bananas and mangos. At other times of the year we might receive avocados, lychee, or oranges. Growing up with this kind of bounty made it very difficult to buy tropical fruit when I lived on the mainland.

Bounty of fruit
Apple bananas, mango, and papaya

Truth be told, papaya is not one of my favorite fruit, but I love it as a jam, especially paired with ginger. I found that depending on how ripe the papaya is, it may not completely break down. I prefer a smoother jam and just like the apricot, I run this jam through the food mill. But this is an optional step, especially if you prefer chunks of fruit in your jam.

Just like the apricot, I've enjoyed this jam on scones and mixed in with my Greek yogurt and granola. I plan to use it as a glaze on tarts and other desserts. I'm just so excited to have a tropical counterpart to my favorite summer jam.

Greek yogurt, granola, and jam parfait

Check out the post for apricot jam for a walkthrough of the process with pictures. If you are new to canning, I highly recommend Food in Jars' Canning 101. But if canning and food safety scare you (it scared me for a long time), then the jam will keep in the fridge or freezer for several months.