The first time I made bergamot spoon-sweet, I ended up thinking of recipes where I could use the inner part of the fruit. The spoon-sweet recipe requires only the peel of the bergamots. However I felt that I had to find a way to make use of their flesh and the simplest thing I thought was to prepare a jam, which would be flavored with the zest I kept while preparing the spoon-sweet. After all, even if this wouldn’t work, I would waste a little sugar and a little time…
Fortunately the experiment was absolutely succesful and since then when bergamots are in season, I look forward to preparing the jam rather than the spoon-sweet! The jam has a sour and sweet taste, like a lemon jam, without being bitter. Moreover it is incredibly fragrant, owing to the bergamot zest.
In order to cut down the amount of sugar, I add an apple that balances the intense acidity with its sweetness. Additionally, apples contain pectin which helps getting jam to set properly, even with less sugar.
- 550 g bergamot flesh (the inner part of about 7 bergamots)
- 1 large red sweet apple
- 1 ½ tsp bergamot zest
- 250 g sugar
- Cut bergamot flesh into slices and carefully remove the seeds. You need 550 grams of flesh.
- Wash the apple very well, peel it and add the peel to the pan, along with the bergamot slices. The pectin in the peel helps the jam to set. Remove the seeds, cut the apple into slices and add to pot.
- Add the sugar and zest and simmer without the lid for 25-30 minutes, until the jam sets. To make sure that it has the right texture, add a little jam on a saucer and wait a while to cool down. Form a line over the jam with your finger. If the line shuts immediately the jam is not ready. A more accurate way to see if the jam is ready is by measuring its setting point. The setting point for a relatively loose jam, appropriate for mixing with ice-creams, creamy ingredients or spreading easily is 102 oC but if you want a firmed consistency your jam must reach 105 oC. A good way to test for setting point is to have a sugar thermometer clipped to the side of your saucepan, with the end dipped in the boiling jam. Once the boiling mixture has reached the correct temperature then your jam is ready.
- Remove the peel of the apple. Pour the jam into sterilized jars while still hot and close with their lids immediately. This way they can be maintained for long time. After opening, keep refrigerated.