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Sweet Potato Jam Recipe

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This recipe uses Caribbean sweet potatoes called boniato. The jam is best stored in the refrigerator and used within 5 days.

Prep Time: 30 minutes

Cook Time: 30 minutes

Total Time: 1 hour


  • 1 lemon
  • 4 whole cloves
  • 1-1/2 pounds Caribbean sweet potatoes (boniato)
  • 2 cups sugar, or to taste
  • 1 cinnamon stick, 3 inches long
  • 1/2 vanilla bean, cut in half lengthwise
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg


Remove 4 strips of zest (the oil-rich outer rind) from the lemon with a vegetable peeler. Tie the lemon zest and cloves in a small piece of cheesecloth. (Or wrap them in a piece of foil and pierce all over with a fork.) Squeeze the lemon juice into a large saucepan and add 4 cups water. Peel the sweet potatoes and finely dice them into the lemon water. Add the sugar, lemon and clove packet, cinnamon stick, vanilla bean, and nutmeg.

Bring the mixture to a boil. Reduce the heat and gently simmer until thick and jamlike, about 30 minutes. Using a spoon, skim off any foam that may rise to the surface as the jam cooks. The potatoes should be soft enough to fall apart on their own, but if they don't, mash them with the back of a wooden spoon. Remove and discard the lemon zest and cloves. (I like to leave the vanilla bean and cinnamon stick in the jam.)

Transfer the jam to sterile jars (two 1-pint jars or four 1-cup jars), filling each to within 1/8 inch of the top. Screw on the lids. Invert the jars for 10 minutes, then reinvert.

This jam is rather perishable, so it is best to store even the sealed jars in the refrigerator. Once opened, the jam should be served within 4 to 5 days. Serve the jam on toast, scones, or crumpets.

Yield: about 2 pints

Source: The Caribbean Pantry Cookbook by Steven Raichlen (Artisan Books)
Reprinted with permission.

User Reviews

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 1 out of 5
Swee potato Jam, Member marthapearsall

I cook it as it was stated in the recipe and it did not jell! I added Sure Jell and it still did not jell!

1 out of 1 people found this helpful.

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