My mom has been making freezer jam for as long as I can remember. Every year when summer rolls around all I can think is JAM SEASON!! This summer I wanted to mix things up a bit and make mango jam.
This recipe is a loose adaptation from the recipe on the Certo box, but what really makes it so delicious is how it’s made.
That’s what separates this homemade mango jam from store bought jam. It’s bursting with flavor and tastes delicious all year round!
What Is Freezer Jam?
Freezer jam is by far and away the easiest type of jam to make. It doesn’t involve water baths or complicating canning techniques. In fact, most freezer jam recipes don’t require any cooking at all!
And that’s what makes freezer jam taste so incredible. It gives it a wonderfully bright flavor and color. It’s like eating a perfectly ripe mango every time you taste this jam.
To make mango freezer jam, you just mash down your mango chunks, mix them with sugar, then stir in some liquid pectin and lemon juice and you’re good to go.
The hardest part is just waiting for it to set. Then it’s into the freezer for a year’s worth (in our case – we make several batches) of homemade, delicious jam.
Mango Jam Troubleshooting
While this homemade mango jam is incredibly easy to make, it doesn’t mean that things can’t go wrong. The most common problems are jam with a grainy texture or jam that doesn’t set.
Why Is My Mango Jam Grainy?
Sometimes even if the jam sets, the texture can be a bit off. If you find your freezer jam has a grainy or sandy texture, it means that the sugar didn’t have a chance to fully dissolve.
The easiest way to prevent this from happening is to let the mashed mango and sugar sit for about 20 minutes before adding in the pectin.
During this 20-minute window, you want to stir the mashed mango and sugar occasionally to help the sugar dissolve.
It’s equally important to vigorously stir the jam for at least three minutes once you’ve added in the pectin and lemon juice. Not only will you get a great arm workout, you’ll help that sugar break down even more.
I recommend setting a timer to make sure the sugar has enough time to dissolve properly.
Why Didn’t My Mango Jam Set?
The other common issue with freezer jam is that sometimes it doesn’t set. Freezer jam is supposed to have a thick, pudding-like consistency. However, if it doesn’t set properly, it will be runny.
If your jam doesn’t properly set, it’s usually because the ratio of fruit to sugar was off, the pectin was old, or because the sugar didn’t fully dissolve.
We already discussed how to fully dissolve the sugar, so we’ll focus on the fruit to sugar ratio now.
While you might think 4 cups of sugar is a lot, please resist the temptation to use less. You need 2 cups of sugar for every cup of mashed mango.
It’s imperative that you use the full amount of sugar and that you don’t add in extra mango if you want your jam to set.
While it is a lot of sugar, I promise it’s less than you’d find in most store-bought jams or jellies.
You also have to remember that you’re only eating a few tablespoons at a time, so the amount of sugar isn’t as crazy as it might seem.
Mango Jam Ingredients & Substitutions
Below are some notes about the swaps and substitutions that can be made in this mango freezer jam recipe.
- Mangos – You can any type of mango you can find! You can also use frozen mango chunks if you can’t find fresh mangos. Just be sure to let them fully thaw before trying to make this jam.
- Granulated Sugar – I do not recommend changing the amount or type of sugar in this recipe.
- Lemon Juice – Usually I am all about using fresh lemon juice when I’m baking, but my mom uses bottled lemon juice in this recipe. Bottled lemon juice actually works better than fresh lemon juice because the acidity level is controlled and consistently the same. This helps ensures the pectin will set properly!
- Liquid Fruit Pectin – I’ve only tried this recipe with Certo, but any liquid fruit pectin should work like Sure Jell or Ball liquid pectin. I find Certo is sold at most grocery stores, or you can order it online.
Tips for Making The Best Mango Jam
- Use wide-mouthed glass jars for your jam. They’re easier to fill and freeze well! You can also use plastic containers with a rubber seal but I find glass works best.
- Make sure your pectin isn’t expired! Check the expiration date on the box to be safe.
- Use liquid pectin in this recipe not powdered. This recipe will not turn out with powdered pectin.
- I prefer a bit of texture in my jam, but not everyone does. If you like your jam without chunks of fruit in it, blend your mango into a puree using a food processor or blender.
- Let the mashed mango and sugar sit for at least 20 minutes to allow the sugar to dissolve before adding in the pectin and lemon juice.
- Use bottled lemon juice instead of fresh lemon juice to ensure the pectin sets properly.
- Don’t fill your containers to the top! Leave at least half an inch because the jam will expand as it freezes.
- Set the filled containers somewhere safe and allow them sit at room temperature for 24 hours without being touched. This allows the pectin to work its magic and helps the jam set properly.
- Label your jars with the date the jam was made. I like to use a bit of tape and a sharpie!
How Long Does Mango Jam Stay Good?
Like the name implies, this mango jam freezes incredibly well! It can be frozen for up to a year. While it stays good for a long time, I doubt it’ll last that long 😛
When you’re ready to eat a jar of frozen jam, remove it from the freezer and place it in your fridge overnight. It should be thawed and ready to enjoy the following morning.
You can also put a container straight into the fridge once it’s set. We usually put one in the fridge to enjoy immediately and place the rest in the freezer for later. This jam lasts up to a month in the fridge.
In full disclosure, I’ve eaten a container we found in the back of the freezer that was 2 years old, and it actually still tasted great! But I think it’s better to stay on the safe side and aim to eat this jam within a year.
Let Me Know What You Think!
If you try this recipe for mango jam, I’d love to hear what you think of it! Please leave a rating and comment below.
Don’t forget to tag me @chelsweets and use #chelsweets so that I can see your amazing creations on social media.
Other Recipes You Might Like:
- 2 cups mashed mango - about 5 large mangos (500g)
- 4 cups granulated sugar (800g)
- 1 pouch Certo liquid Fruit Pectin (3 Fl oz.)
- 2 Tbsp bottled lemon juice (30g)
- Begin by washing and drying the containers or jars you plan to fill. Set aside.
- Cut the mangos into rough cubes and place in a large, flat bottomed container.
- Mash the mangos with a potato masher until the mixture looks soupy. This will leave some small bits of the mango intact and give the jam a bit of texture.
- Use a measuring cup to add exactly 2 cups of mashed mango into a separate, large bowl.
- Add in 4 cups of granulated sugar and stir until the sugar is fully incorporated.
- Set a timer for 20 minutes and let the mixture sit, stirring every few minutes to help the sugar dissolve.
- Pour 3 Fl oz. or 1 pouch of liquid pectin into the mango mixture. Squeeze out every last drop of pectin! Fold the packet down as you go to get all of it out.
- Add in 2 Tbsp of bottled lemon juice, then set your timer for 3 minutes and stir the mixture somewhat aggressively. I like to switch arms halfway through so that they don't feel like they're going to fall off.
- Pour the mixture into the clean jars, leaving at least half an inch at the top of the container. The jam will expand as it freezes, so it's important to leave a little room!
- Wipe away any spills, then close the jars with their lids and let them sit for 24 hours at room temperature. Place them in a safe area where they won't be touched or bumped.
- Once the jam has set, place a bit of tape on each jar and write the date it was made.
- Then either freeze or refrigerate the jam! It can be frozen for up to a year or kept in the fridge for up to a month.
- To thaw frozen jam, move the container from the freezer to the fridge, then enjoy the following morning once it's thawed.
This recipe makes about 5 cups or 40 oz. of mango freezer jam.
Tips for Making The Best Mango Freezer Jam
- Use wide-mouthed glass jars. They're easier to fill and freeze well. You can also use plastic containers with a rubber seal but I find glass works best.
- Mix the jam in a bowl with a spout to make it easier to pour into the jars.
- The quality of your jam is heavily based on the quality of your mangos! It's best to use ripe, juicy mangos that are in season.
- Use liquid pectin in this recipe, not powdered! This recipe will not turn out with powdered pectin.
- Let the mashed mangos and sugar sit for at least 20 minutes to allow the sugar to dissolve before adding in the pectin.
- Use bottled lemon juice instead of fresh lemon juice to ensure the pectin sets properly.
- Don't fill your containers to the top! Leave at least 1/2 an inch, because the jam will expand as it freezes.
- Set the filled containers somewhere safe and allow them sit for 24 hours without being touched. This allows the pectin to work its magic and helps the jam set properly.
- You can use fresh bramble berries, raspberries, boysenberries, or marionberries in place of the mangos in this recipe.
Freezing This Freezer Jam
Like the name implies, this jam freezes incredibly well! It can be frozen for up to a year. While it stays good for a long time, I doubt it'll last that long 😛
When you're ready to eat a the frozen jam, remove the container from the freezer and place it in your fridge overnight. It should be ready to enjoy by the following morning.
Amount Per Serving Calories 91Total Fat 0gSaturated Fat 0gTrans Fat 0gUnsaturated Fat 0gCholesterol 0mgSodium 3mgCarbohydrates 23gFiber 1gSugar 22gProtein 0g