Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Plum Jam

We moved into a new house recently which to our delight has a rather large plum tree in the backyard. Over the last few months we have been watching the fruit develop and start to change colour.

When I found the first ripe plum I was amazed at how delicious it was!

Unfortunately (or fortunately as it turns out) all the fruit began to ripen at once, right when we were going away on holidays. Not wanting to miss out on any delicious fresh fruit, or have it go to waste on the birds, we picked all of the plums... 13 kg in total!

With about 2 or 3 kg eaten in Albury, we decided to take the rest to Ulladulla to make some jam.

Mama pulled out one of her old recipe books - Cookery in Colour edited by Leila Howard and Marguerite Patten, 1960 (it's a kind of encyclopedia for cooking) and found me a recipe for Plum Jam, made from ripe fruit.

The original recipe was 1 lb. plums to 1 lb. sugar, using no water if the fruit is ripe, or 1/2 gill water if under-ripe.

For the first batch of our jam, we used 3 kg ripe plums and 3 kg white sugar.
In a large saucepan gently bring the fruit to a simmer, then add the sugar, stirring until the sugar is disolved. Boil the jam until it sets when a small amount is cooled in a saucer.

As I used ripe fruit, the jam was super sweet, so I decided to tart it up a bit by adding a lemon from mums tree. Mum v-sliced the lemon into small juliennes and we stirred this through, simmering until the lemon was cooked.

When ready, ladle the jam into clean, dry jars. Put the lids on immediately then sit back and wait for it to cool and set.

For the second batch I decided to leave this one a pure plum jam, but used less sugar as the plums were so sweet on their own.
I used 2.3 kg of fruit to 1.8 kg of sugar and simmered it for a bit longer to ensure it would set.


We now have 22 bottles of fresh, home-made plum jam, all of which set beautifully.