Monday 18 February 2013

Delicious Plum Jam

The humble plum is much overlooked among today's vast selection of seasonal fruit. Many of the trees that once grew in everyone's back yard have been felled in favour of less maintenance intensive specimens. As such, many of my plum supplier options have dwindled. So when I spotted a case of Black Doris Plums in our local growers market, I knew they just had to be coming home with us. So many plums, so many possibilities, so getting riper by the minute. I just love plum jam. It's generally better to make small batches of jam, however, care of the chef, almost all of the case load was waiting all stoned and ready to make into after work jammy goodness.

I used the old standby recipe ratio of equal parts fruit and sugar by volume: 2 litres of cooked fruit pulp and 2 litres of sugar. Put the clean jars into the oven - set at 120deg. C - for about 15 minutes to sterilise them.

Add a little water to the pan to help the fruit cook down into  pulp. Use a potato masher to encourage the fruit to break up. Once the fruit is pulp, add the sugar and stir until the sugar has dissolved.

My Grandmother would have told you that you shouldn't stir the jam until the sugar has melted, but I am not willing to risk the fruit catching on the bottom of the pan and burning. 
Boil the jam for about 10 minutes.

Take the pan from the heat and test a tablespoonful for setting by putting it on a plate in the fridge.

It will form a skin on top once its sufficiently set.

I also checked the temperature with a sweet thermometer. It should reach 104Deg C. If the jam hasn't reached the setting stage return it to the heat for another few minutes.

Use a jug to pour the jam into the hot jars and seal immediately. Leave to cool before storing in a cool dark place.

I always put a little of the newly made jam into a small container ready for my morning toast. 

At winter's height, there is nothing more satisfying than getting the home made jam out to fill a cake or make a jam tarts.

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