To pick a good pineapple, always smell the bottom of the pineapple at the store. If it smells like a pineapple, then it usually is a good pineapple.
It’s best to use a combination of ripe and half-ripe pineapples to make pineapple jam. The ripe pineapples are more juicy but has less fibre while the half-ripe are less sweet but has more fibre.
Always grate the pineapples instead of blending as grating the pineapples give the jam the best texture after it is cooked.
Add the pineapple juice a little at a time only after boiling the grated pineapples as this can speed up the cooking process instead of boiling the grated pineapples together with the juice.
Add only a little of the sugar when you first start to cook the grated pineapples. When the pineapple mixture has almost dried up, then add the balance (to taste) of it. This reduces the risk of burnt jam as the sugar will start to caramelise with the jam. More importantly, it reduces splatter.
Do not add too much of the spices as they can be overpowering. However, they are a natural antimicrobial spice, hence they help in food preservation.
Sugar acts as a preservative so try not to reduce too much of the sugar so the pineapple jam can last unless you can be sure the jam is used up within a week.
Use a large surface area pot with a heavy base as this can speed up the cooking process.
For open-faced pineapple tarts, the pineapple jam can be slightly more moist as it will continue to dry out when baked. Cook the jam till it coats the wooden spoon used to stir it and the jam doesn’t fall off the spoon immediately.
For enclosed pineapple tarts, the pineapple jam has to be completely dry and sticky so it can be rolled into balls. Otherwise it will be difficult to handle during wrapping.
Take note that the jam will thicken further upon cooling so it’s best to undercook than to overcook the jam. So you can cool the jam and see the texture and if it’s too wet you can cook it again to dry it. If it’s too dry after cooling, dilute it by cooking another pineapple with sugar and adding the dry paste into it.
Cooking time is dependant on the amount you make and the type of pot you use.