The last time I learnt to make pineapple jam and tarts...my teacher - Ms Bong would painstakingly cut away the skin, "eyes" and cores of the pineapples and then grate each of them by hand. She'd wear thick gloves while doing all these 'cos she had bad experiences either cutting herself accidentally or shaving her knuckles on the grater. And after all the tedious grating, she'd stand over the stove for the next couple of hours....stirring the pineapple to ensure that it doesn't burn or stick to the pan.
So you can imagine my reluctance to make my own pineapple jam for the tarts. In previous years, I had just bought the ready made pineapple jam from the supermarkets for convenience sake even though I must admit that the store bought jams did taste kind of strange.
Now that I'm in the states, it's almost impossible to find ready made pineapple jam (I did look in Boston Chinatown but I didn't find any). Out of desperation, I've decided to make my own pineapple jam!
BUT (!) to save me the trouble of preparing the pineapples...especially when I've a phobia of grating my knuckles (did that once and it really hurt terribly!)...I've decided to use canned crushed pineapples instead (don't think Ms Bong will be too impressed if she finds out). Got 4 such cans from Shaws Supermarket.
So I drained out the juices and poured all 4 cans of the crushed pineapple into the pot. I used the Le Creuset pot 'cos of it's non-corrosive nature as pineapple can be highly acidic. To the pineapple, I added one cinnamon stick, 4 cloves, a star anise, 2 cups of white sugar and 1/2 cup of brown sugar (you can vary the sugar quantity depending on how sweet you like the jam to be). And then I kept stirring the pineapple jam over a low heat until I got the sticky, thick & dry-ish consistency (approx 2 hours). Almost there.....but you can still see some liquid....cook till all the juices have evaporated.
Now....this is more like what I'm talking about!
It's not difficult at all to make this jam (since I've cheated with the canned crushed pineapples!)....but it's just super time-consuming. And you can't really leave the pineapple to cook on the stove without keeping an eye over it in case it burns and sticks to the pan. I'm glad I had David Bromstad (HGTV) to keep me occupied while cooking the jam!