Longan is a very popular fruit in my family’s household growing up. I remember that during our weekly grocery hauls in Manhattan Chinatown, if my dad spotted longan for sale at the fruit markets, he would approach, sample the fruit, and if they were sweet enough, he would buy bags and bags (or boxes) of them.
Recently, my parents flew to visit me in Colorado and surprisingly (and also not surprisingly) they brought with them 20lbs of fresh longan! My dad insists that the longan has to be eaten in a couple of days or they will go bad, so 10lbs went in the freezer (apparently you can just freeze it whole as is!), we ate 5lbs and there is another 5lbs still sitting there in the fridge.
This jam barely made a dent in the longan stash in the fridge since the recipe is a small batch recipe and only calls for half a pound of longan. I could most definitely make more, but we are a household of two and I am not a big jam eater and my partner doesn’t care for sweets, so it didn’t make much sense. Nevertheless, every bit makes a difference!
So if you ever find yourself in a position where you have too much longan to finish, or longan that is going passed its prime, or just want to try a unique jam flavor try out this longan jam recipe! What is great about homemade pectin-free jam is that not only can you eat it the typical way (spreading it on toast), but it is great to use to make sweet teas! This longan one specifically pairs really well with green tea.
Making fruit jam is pretty easy. Simply combine fruit, sugar, lemon juice, and a pinch of salt in a pot and cook the mixture down into a thick paste.
Here are the different stages of this longan jam as it cooks down (225 g fresh logan meat, 50 g sugar, 1 tbsp lemon juice, and a pinch of salt). Notice that the mixture significantly reduces down and goes from being white to a nice golden light-caramel color.
Once the mixture becomes a thick paste, that is when you know that enough of the liquid has been cooked out and that the longan has a high enough concentration of sugar that preserves it.
I like to store the jam in an air-tight jar in the fridge where it should be good for 3 months. For longer storage, you can take the jam through the canning process, which introduces a vacuum seal that prevents the growth of microorganisms. This will preserve the jam, which can be stored on the shelf, for up to 2 years!
Longan aka Dragon Eye Jam
- sauce pan
- 225 g fresh logan meat
- 50 g cane sugar
- 1 tbsp lemon juice
- pinch salt
- Combine peeled fresh logan with sugar, lemon juice, and salt in a small sauce pot and cook on medium heat. Continuously stir the mixture, making sure it does not burn. Once the fruit is soft, you can mash it or blend it to small pieces.
- Once the mixture thickens, reduce the heat to medium-low and continue to simmer until a thick golden jam forms.
- Let cool and transfer the jam to 4oz air-tight jars. Keep refrigerated for 3 months, or canned at room temperature for up to 2 years.