In a couple of months, I will be attending a housewarming hosted a friend who is a big fan of Key/Visual Arts anime. In honour of this, I plan to recreate an infamous—albeit fictional—recipe: Akiko’s special jam.
It would be silly (and rather cruel!) to try and reproduce the recipe from the show; this is left intentionally ambiguous and is known to be quite unenjoyable. Instead, I plan to make something which reproduces some of the key characteristics while remaining palatable.
These are my objectives in order of importance:
It must be suitable for vegetarians.
It must be bright, vibrant yellow. (Gold/orange are acceptable but not preferred.)
There should be no obvious chunks, seeds or discolourations.
The consistency should be thick but largely smooth.
Rather than appearing to be a thick puree, it should have the syrupy translucency of a traditional jam or jelly.
It should be a novel but enjoyable accompaniment for a sandwich.
Preferably, it should not be overly sweet—though I am willing to compromise on this for aesthetics.
Where I need help
The main questions I’m debating and would like some help with are:
What ingredients can I use for the desired colour and taste?
What type of preserve works best with those ingredients?
What techniques, tips or tricks could help me obtain the desired consistency and appearance?
I am a novice to jam-making and have only tried my hand at it a couple of times, so any ideas, direction or commentary will be very much appreciated.
What I’ve considered already
I will be trialling and refining recipes well in advance but would like to narrow down the candidates before I start experimenting. Here are some of my initial thoughts:
Yellow pumpkin/squash: I’ve seen recipes which get pretty close to the desired colour, though less jelly-like than I would prefer—and it would certainly taste interesting.
Yellow tomato jam/chutney: just the flesh without seeds may work well and should taste interesting; however, I’m unsure how well it would hold its colour and I’m unsure how hard it would be to get the right consistency.
Mango chutney: this would be quite sweet, unfortunately, but I’ve seen several recipes online that look very similar in appearance and texture to what I’m trying to achieve. Another drawback is that it may not work well on sandwiches.
Kaya: this would absolutely be sweeter than I want, but it is also delicious, unusual to Western tastes and can be made to look pretty bright. I’m concerned that it may be more opaque than what I’m going for, however.
Lemon curd: this would do in a pinch, but is still very sweet and a bit pedestrian.
Jam vs jelly vs curd vs chutney vs…: I’m keeping my options open about what sort of preserve to make, and am not sure which would work best.