Jaboticaba Jelly

They say every Brazilian grandmother has a jaboticaba tree in her garden.

It’s a lovely ornamental, either as a hedge or a tree, with beautiful foliage that turns rust to green as the leaves mature. But what makes it a showstopper is the fruit, which grow right on the trunk.They also have the most delicious berry flavor you’ll find in the tropics. The texture reminds me of old-fashioned table grapes or muscadine grapes. The skin is shiny and black, definitely edible, but with a slightly herbal, piney flavor. The white pulp inside is juicy and incredibly sweet, and tastes like a mix of crushed berries. Those two flavors make a little magic together, providing balance, and when mashed into jelly, it’s out of this world. That color!!!The Brazilians gave us açai, a fruit that’s gone completely mainstream in recent years, but they’re keeping grandma’s favorite all for themselves. You won’t find them in markets (yet) but you can and should grow them in your south or central Florida backyard. We bought our trees at Fruitscapes 5 years ago. Now I’m getting enough berries for several batches of juice, syrup, and jelly each season. Below you’ll find my recipe for jaboticaba jelly, along with my recent obsession: vanilla whipped ricotta. Spread them on toast, or swirl them together in a bowl. It could be breakfast, or a snack, or dessert. I don’t know. Maybe all the best foods fall in that realm. 

Jaboticaba Jelly
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Ingredients
  1. 4 pounds jaboticabas
  2. 2 teaspoons calcium water*
  3. juice of 1 lemon
  4. 2-3 cups sugar or honey
  5. 2 teaspoons Pomona's Pectin powder*
Instructions
  1. Rinse the jaboticabas with water. Place them in a pot and cover with fresh water. Bring them to a simmer for about 20 minutes. Use a potato masher to crush all the softened berries.
  2. Line a sieve with a few layers of cheesecloth. Strain the berries through the sieve and collect all the juice in a pot. Discard the skins and seeds.
  3. Put the pot of juice on the stove. Stir in lemon juice and calcium water. Bring it to a boil.
  4. Meanwhile, measure the sugar or honey in a large bowl. Stir in the pectin, mixing thoroughly.
  5. Once the juice comes to a full boil, add the pectin-sweetener mixture, stirring vigorously for 1 to 2 minutes to dissolve the pectin while the jam comes back up to a boil. Once the jam returns to a full boil, remove it from the heat.
  6. Pour the jelly into clean jars to refrigerate and use now, or process sterilized jars in a water bath for long-term storage.
Notes
  1. *Pomona's Pectin (which comes with a packet of calcium to make the calcium water, 1/2 a teaspoon mixed with 1/2 cup water) is my favorite for jelly and jam. It gels with any kind or amount of sugar you choose. You can find it online or at cooking stores.
Suwannee Rose https://www.suwanneerose.com/

Vanilla Whipped Ricotta & Jelly
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Ingredients
  1. 1/2 cup whole milk ricotta
  2. 1/2 teaspoon vanilla bean paste or vanilla extract
  3. pinch of sea salt
  4. 4 tablespoons of your favorite jam or jelly (jaboticaba or guava for the win)
  5. 4 slices of your favorite bread, toasted
Instructions
  1. Whip the ricotta, vanilla, and sea salt in a blender or food processor until light, smooth, and fluffy. Spread over toast and top with your favorite jam or jelly.
Suwannee Rose https://www.suwanneerose.com/
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12 Comments Jaboticaba Jelly

  1. Dorothy Malizia April 16, 2018 at 5:11 pm

    That jelly is some of the best I’ve ever had! It is great in yogurt with a little spoon full of cashew butter and now I have to try it with the whipped ricotta!

    Reply
    1. suwanneerose April 16, 2018 at 6:09 pm

      I’m so glad you like it! That’s saying a lot since you rarely like sweet tropical fruit. I was going to mention that we went through the jelly so fast I never got a chance to photograph any of the jars! Ha. I have more fruit in the freezer, so I’ll have to get to work on another batch.

      Reply
  2. Evangelia April 16, 2018 at 5:40 pm

    Thanks for enlightening me on the Jaboticaba berry…it’s beautiful. I will keep my eyes open for them. Your jam and cream looks delicious.

    Reply
    1. suwanneerose April 16, 2018 at 6:07 pm

      Thanks, Evangelia! Hoping to see you soon. 🙂

      Reply
  3. bt April 16, 2018 at 8:50 pm

    Thank you so much for sending me home with a jar of jelly and plenty of Jaboticabas. My Brazilian neighbors went bonkers over it! We’re going to plant a couple trees to share. Keep the recipes coming!

    Reply
    1. suwanneerose April 17, 2018 at 8:11 am

      That makes me so happy!

      Reply
  4. Dorothy Malizia April 16, 2018 at 8:51 pm

    I have what’s left of a jar! It’s SO pretty!

    Reply
    1. suwanneerose April 17, 2018 at 8:12 am

      Yes! It might be the prettiest jelly of all!

      Reply
  5. Julie April 17, 2018 at 7:17 am

    It is a beautiful color and sounds so delicious!

    Reply
    1. suwanneerose April 17, 2018 at 8:14 am

      You’d love it, Julie! I bet someone in your neck of the woods is growing them.

      Reply
  6. Craig Hepworth April 20, 2018 at 9:40 pm

    Lovely post. That jelly looks amazing, such deep rich color. And I love your description of how the flavor of the fruit’s flesh and skin both come through in the jelly. I never would have thought of making jelly from this fruit, I am interested in how that tastes.

    Reply
    1. suwanneerose April 22, 2018 at 8:57 am

      Thank you, Craig. I think jelly is the best way to process a ton of jaboticabas. Besides that beautiful color, the skins and seeds have lots of natural pectin so it gels without fail. You can definitely find the jelly for sale at fruit stands in south Florida. I first tried it at Fruitscapes in Pine Island. It was almost too sweet. I like making my own to adjust for that, and the hit of lemon juice helps. I’m dying to try some of the yellow jaboticabas you posted on instagram!

      Reply

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