Friday, 16 September 2016

Homemade Plum Jam

There's something that feels so special (and typically british) about picking fruit from your own garden and boiling and bubbling it up into your own homemade jam. 

I've always loved Plum Jam, I used to have it when I was a younger, but hadn't had it in a while. There'd always be a jar at my dads house, but since I've been at university that luxury was not available to me and I was scrapping out the last of whatever was in the cupboard instead... 

My dad and step-mum had left a huge bag of delicious, straight from the tree, plums and greengages for me when I drove down the other day. They said I could pick more from the tree if I wanted to make jam, so I took the chance to take photos of the plum trees at golden hour and the challenge of making jam as it was one I was most definitely up for.

This recipe is super simple and doesn't involve any faffing about with a thermometer. You can change the quantities to the amount of jam you'd like to make, just make sure you're using equal parts plums and sugar.  
r e c i p e  b e l o w Basket of picked Plums
Ripe Plums on the Tree
Basket of Plums
Ripe Plums on the Tree
Ripe Plums on the Tree
Golden Sunlight coming through the Plum Trees
Basket of plums
Sunlight coming through the trees
Plums on the chopping board
This recipe is by Waitrose
Remember these quantities are completely up to you, but adapt the other ingredients depending on how many plums you want to use. 

What you'll need :: 

2kg English plums - washed, halved & stoned
600ml cold water
2kg Jam sugar (We used preserving sugar, which seemed to work just as well)

1. Prepare your jam jars. Preheat your oven to 160°C, wash your jars in hot soapy water, rinse and dry them thoroughly. Put them on their sides in the oven for 10 minutes and then turn off the oven until the jam is ready to pot. 

2. To prepare your plums, cut them in half along the indentation, twist the halves apart and remove the stones. 

3. Put the plums and water in a wide, large saucepan. Bring to the boil then reduce the heat, simmer uncovered, stirring occasionally with a wooden spoon for 45 minutes - the plums should be soft and pulpy and the liquid should be reduced by about half. 

4. Add the sugar and stir until it has completely dissolved. The base of the pan should no longer feel gritty when stirred with a wooden spoon. Bring to the boil and boil it rapidly for 4-5 minutes. 

6. Remove it from the heat and test the setting point. To do this, spoon a little jam onto a chilled saucer, let it cool for a few seconds, then push the jam with your finger. If it wrinkles on the surface, it has reached setting point and it's ready to put into the jars. If not boil for a further 2 minutes and test again. 

7. Skim off the scum from the surface using a slotted spoon, then leave the jam to stand for 15 minutes, then stir it thoroughly. Set your jars out and pour the jam into the warm jars, right to the top. Cover the jam with a waxed disc (not going to lie, I didn't have these...) and then twist on the lid. Tie a sweet ribbon around the jar, write a little label and your jam is good to go! 

Cutting the Washed Fruit
Cutting the Fruit
Wide Pan of Chopped Plums
Knife and Chopped Plums
Wide pan of stewed plums
Pouring the sugar into the fruit
Buttering Toast
Jam in Kilner Jar
Toast with plum jam

It's absolutely delicious on warm buttered toast or my current favourite, a big blob of jam on top of a bowl of greek yoghurt for breakfast. Delicious. 

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