Mai Tai Papaya Jam Recipe has the tropical flavors of the islands with sweet papaya and mango with freshly squeezed lime! Enjoy exotic flavors with this easy-to-make homemade jam!
How about making some Strawberry Fig Jam next? This recipe is AMAZING!
❤️ Why you'll love this recipe
If you've never tried papaya, it's a tropical fruit native to Mexico and Central America. It's very sweet. The flesh is a bright, burnt orange color.
If you want to try papaya first, then my easy papaya breakfast bowl would be a great recipe to start with. I love this recipe and I bet you will too!!
But I'm willing to bet if you enjoy a Mai Tai you'll love this tropical jam!
For the exact measurements, please refer to the recipe card at the bottom of this post.
- papaya - look for bright yellow papaya fruit, that means it's ripe! Depending on the size of the mangos you'll need about 2 large papayas.
- mango - a ripe mango will smell sweet (click here for tips about choosing ripe mango).
- fresh lime juice - for tart and tangy with bright fresh flavor, like a dash of lemon juice - the addition of citrus helps keep the fruit from turning brown. Substitute with lemon juice or orange juice if necessary.
- white sugar - necessary to preserve jam
- brown sugar - again necessary but it also adds more intense flavor from the molasses in brown sugar.
- dark rum - a twist of vanilla and molasses with a bit of fire!
- low sugar pectin - to preserve the jam. I use SureJell it is a dry pectin in a pink box (low sugar).
This is an overview of the step by step instructions. For the complete directions just scroll down to the bottom!
- Wash the fruit.
- Using a paring knife peel the papaya - discard the seeds and dice. Measure exactly four cups. Peel the mango, discard the seed - dice the flesh - measure two cups. Add the mango and papaya pieces to a large heavy bottom pan.
- Juice the limes, add to the pot
- Measure a portion of the sugar and mix it with the contents of the Sure-Jell. Sprinkle it on the papaya puree. Mix well again and set it on the stove on high heat and bring to a boil, stirring constantly.
- When it comes to a hard rolling boil add the remaining cups sugar - both the white and brown. Continue stirring constantly and return it to a boil. Boil for exactly one minute.
- Remove from the stove and immediately stir in the rum. It will bubble and spit so be sure to use a hot pad holder. Continue to stir it until the bubbles cease.
- Immediately ladle into sterilized hot jars. Using a clean damp cloth, wipe the tops of the jars to remove any jam that may have gotten on the top of the lids.
- Place the lids on jars, followed by the rings, screw it on tightly. Process in a hot water bath.
- Remove and from the boiling water bath and allow it to cool to room temperature.
Yes, if you want to skip the alcohol, you can. It will not effect how the jam sets. However, the alcohol burns off so don't think you can't enjoy it for breakfast.
For this recipe you need 1.7 - 2 ounces of dark rum. If you don't normally buy rum, coincidently this is how much rum is in the little sample bottles. Just grab one of them, it's all you need.
Use a spiced rum. I used Jonah's Curse Caribbean rum with vanilla and cinnamon, it's a perfect compliment for this jam. Can't find that rum? Use your favorite dark rum.
Look for fruit that have mostly yellow/orange skin with just a little green. It is fully ripe when it's bright yellow in color.
It's actually really easy to prepare. Like a cantaloupe, you simply slice it in half, scoop out the seeds (and discard) and peel off the skin. Then dice it.
Papaya has amazing health benefits! One of which is it's high in vitamin C - no surprise, right? Just look at that bright vibrant flesh!
Because it's high in fibre, just like everything else - eat in moderation, right?!!
Some say the smell of papaya can be off-putting. But that can be corrected by squeezing fresh lime over the top!
They are actually the same fruit, just picked in different stages of ripeness. This recipe uses ripe, fresh papayas - it will be orange and yellow with just a bit of green.
Variety of papaya
Papaya or papaw fruit or Hawaiian papaya as it's often called originated in the American tropics and Central America. Varieties include:
- Hawaiian Sunrise Papaya
- Guinea Gold Papaya
- Ranchi Papaya
Do not choose green papaya (unripe papaya) that you would normally use a box grater to make salad with. You'll want to use ripe papaya for this recipe.
- You can use a microplane grater to remove the zest, and the top layer of skin of the lime, to add even more tropical flavor!
- The hot jam will smell heavenly; resist the urge to stick your finger in it to taste it! It's boiling sugar and will burn.
- Follow the recipe exactly! Don't eliminate or use less sugar thinking you'll save some calories. This recipe has been tested. Reducing the amount of sugar may cause the jam to not set up or even mold.
- Moldy jam must be discarded.
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- 4 or 8-ounce jam jars with lids
- canning essentials box kit
- stainless steel ladle
- large pot
- wooden spoon
If you still have questions about making jams and jellies, be sure to review How to Make Jam - it is so informative and has all my best tips and tricks!
Sealed jars of jam can be kept in the pantry. They will last several months.
Refrigerate opened jars.
If you're wondering what to serve this jam on, keep it simple with toast, biscuits or a pb&j. Don't let that tiny bit of rum throw you. It adds depth of flavor to the jam and a toasty sweetness.
Pour it over a brick of cream cheese and serve with crackers for an easy appetizer.
Glaze chicken or pork tenderloin - amazing!
Homemade jams and jellies make the BEST hostess gifts too!
More homemade jam recipes
I'm such a fan of homemade jams and jellies, there are several on the blog to choose from! Mango Jam Recipe, Pepper and Orange Jam - just to name a few! Here are more excellent homemade jam recipes for you to try at home!
- Low Sugar Strawberry Rhubarb Jam - tangy and sweet, just like the pie, this is a great way to enjoy this fruit!
- Homemade Orange Jelly Recipe is like a burst of sunshine in every bite. It's a wonderful jam to make in the wintertime when mandarins are at their peak!
- This jam has a little heat and is plenty sweet - Pomegranate Jam, SO GOOD!
- Homemade Apricot Jam - pure apricot flavor packed in a jar - everyone loves homemade jam!
- Coconut Jam - creamy sweetness with an intense coconut flavor.
- What is the most requested jam on the blog? Homemade Strawberry Jam! It's just like biting into a strawberry!
Love the idea of making homemade jam and jelly, but have a few more questions. Check out this Jam Making Guide for all of my tips and tricks to make the BEST preserves at home!
Mai Tai Papaya Jam Recipe
- 4 cups papaya fresh papaya, seeds discarded, scoop flesh or peel, and dice into small pieces.
- 2 cups mango peeled and diced
- 4 cups white sugar
- 1 cup brown sugar
- 2 limes juiced
- 1.7 oz. rum* often referred to as a "mini bottle" or "airplane bottle" it's a small sampler you can find at any liquor store.
- 1 Sure-Jell Low Sugar Pectin Make sure it's the pink box.
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- Wash papaya. Srub the skin well and peel the papaya. Discard the seeds and dice.
- Measure exactly four cups. Peel the mango, discard the seed - dice the flesh - measure two cups. Add the fruit to a large heavy bottom pan.
- Juice both limes, add to the fruit.
- Measure ¼ cup of white sugar and mix it with the contents of the Sure-Jell. Sprinkle it into the fruit, mix well again and set it on the stove on high and bring to a boil, stirring constantly.
- When it comes to a hard rolling boil (a boil you can't stir down) add the remaining cups of sugar - both the white and brown. Continue stirring constantly and return it to a boil. Boil for exactly one minute. (Set a timer to make sure you get it for a full minute).
- Remove from the stove and immediately stir in the rum. It will bubble and spit so be sure to wear a hot pad holder. Continue to stir it until the bubbles cease.
- Immediately ladle into sterilized hot jars. Using a clean damp cloth, wipe the tops of the jars to remove any jam that may have gotten on the top of the lids. (This will keep the jars from sealing.)
- Place lids on jars, followed by the rings, screw it on tightly. Process in a hot bath (boiling water) for 10 minutes to seal the jars.Makes 6 eight oz. jars.
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What I've learned
Safe to say, this ain't your Grandma's Jam, but I suppose my Grandma would have never made this jam to begin with right? But I know she would love it!
We were just up to visit family in Oregon and when we travel I always bring jam home to share. Everyone loves it!
I was really proud of myself this year as I had quite the stash of jam - I carefully packed up 24 jars. Wrapped them well and dedicated an engine suitcase just for the jam
When we got to Mom and Dad's I jokingly said, how many jars of jam do you think the TSA took this time? (When I pack jam in checked luggage, my bags are always searched.)
Mom said, that's a bet I'm not taking!
And sure enough, there was the notice. However, I was quite disappointed to see that two jars were missing and one was broken. 😔
I get it - of course, I want everyone (and myself!) to be safe, so I understand why it's inspected, but three jars? Seriously... I need to start packing croissants to go along with the jam, don't you think?
Can you use Sure Jell Pectin in the yellow Box (not Low Sugar.
Bowl Me Over
You can, but I would increase the sugar. I haven't used the yellow box pectin, but if you do, increase the sugar to five cups. Let me know how it turns out for you and enjoy the jam!
Good day. Afraid no Sure Jell over here, pink box or other. But we do have HM pectin. How much HM pectin would that be for the recipe? Would that even work? How to go about it? Many thanks in advance for a reply at your earliest convenience.
Bowl Me Over
Hey Dom - I think the swap would be four tablespoons pectin and then just follow instructions as written. I haven't tried this myself, but that's what I can find for substitution. I believe that will work just fine. I believe the sugar and the rest will still be good. Enjoy the jam, I need to make more of this, it's SO GOOD! Thanks for stopping by Dom.
It's been a while since 26 March. An apology is in order. On my part, that is. I've been making the jam a few times over the months, in a number of iterations, with more pectin, less pectin. With less sugar, with more sugar, unwittingly, I most confess. With jam sugar. But your recipe with the suggested four tablespoons of HM pectin as a substitution for the Sure Jell stands, certainly nothing less than that and not much more. (I've tried.) I add about the same amount of malic acid at the time of adding the pectin. Works like a charm. It's a wonderful jam. On home made yoghurt for breakfast. Or just on toast. As a coating for a chicken breast and a subsequent pan sauce.
Bowl Me Over
Wow, Dom you've done a ton of recipe testing! I'm thrilled you've been enjoying this recipe. Homemade jam is a lost art, that's for sure. I love your suggestions for using the jam - spot on! Happy jamming!
Fantastic we love it on our yogurt.
Thanks for sharing
Bowl Me Over
Wonderful! I'm so glad you enjoyed this recipe! That jam is yummy!
Trying your jam right now, but wondering: when is the rum added?
Bowl Me Over
Hey Carolyn, sorry for the delay. Once you remove the jam from the stove after boiling one minute, then you'll add in the rum. Continue to stir it until the bubbling ceases, then ladle into sterilized jars.
Jennifer A Stewart
I put this on some cream cheese when I was running late for a party and I ending up being voted best party guest! Just kidding about the award, but there wasn't any of it left:)
I love your jam recipes! This tropical one would be so good on a slice of toast! And NO. No extras for the TSA folks! Lol The airlines could at least hand over a few mini rum bottles, right?
I swear you should have a brick and mortar store that sells jam. Every recipe I have tried from you is incredible. This may be my new favorite.
Time to make more jam!! Love the sound of this recipe! Thanks!
I know my Grandmother never made papaya jam. I'd never seen one until I was at least 30 but after expanding my horizons and falling in love with them I can only imagine how amazing this jam is. In all fairness, all of your jams are amazing!
LOVING this recipe! It's so perfect as a dessert and as a condiment, to spread on your bread and to add to your cooking! Thanks!!
This looks wonderful! I can't wait to try it!
Everytime I read one of your jam posts I swear Im going to make it... this time I did! You had me when you said if I liked a man tai you knew I would love it... and WE sure did! Thanks