Friday, 30 September 2011

Yummy Plummy Jam

I know, the recipe is a day later than intended, but last night I was on a mission to complete the 'Mr & Mrs' pillowcases I was making for a wedding gift.  Job, done... now for the jam!

This recipe is one that has come from my Good Housekeeping Recipe Book, a fab recipe book that I wouldn't be without, but one that I scoffed at when my husband came home with it!!!

If you have never made jam before, read the notes I have done at the bottom of the recipe.

The recipe makes about 4.5kg (10lb) of jam

2.7kg (6lb) plums
900ml (1 1/2pts) water
2.7kg (6lb) sugar
knob of butter

1.  Put the plums and water in a preserving pan and simmer gently for 30mins until the fruit is soft and liquid well reduced.

2.  Remove from the pan from the heat and add the sugar, stirring until dissolved, then add the knob of butter and return to the heat.  Bring back to the boil and boil rapidly for 10-15mins, stirring frequently until setting point is reached (please read notes).

3.  Take the pan off the heat, and use a slotted spoon to remove the plum stones, and any scum from the surface of the jam.  Pot and cover.

NOTE:  If dessert plums are used, add the juice of 1 large lemon.


*  Don't use over ripe fruit when making jam as this can cause your jam to mould.

•  Use a preserving pan or very large pan so that you can maintain a fast boil without everything boiling over.  Make sure your pan is never more than half full when you start.  If you don't have a big enough pan split the fruit in half before adding the sugar and do in two batches.

•  How do you know when you have reached setting point?  It is important to test frequently for a setting point as if over cooked the jam will caramelize   The easiest way is with a sugar thermometer.  It is at setting point at 105°C (221°F).  If you don't have a sugar thermometer you can do the saucer test.  Put a couple of saucers in the fridge before you start making your jam.  At the end of step 2 put a little of your jam onto the saucer, push your finger across the jam, if it wrinkles and is beginning to set it has reached setting point.  If not boil jam for another 5 mins and repeat the test.

•  You must use spotlessly clean containers.  Use hot soapy water to wash, rinse thoroughly and dry in a warm oven.  Stand upside down on a clean tea towel in your oven until the jam is ready.  Cold jars are likely to crack when you pour the hot jam in.  Fill the jars almost to the top and immediately seal with a wax disc.  Leave to go completely cold before covering with dampened cellophane and securing with an elastic band.  If the jam is warm when it is sealed mould will grow on the surface.

Jam making is definitely a job where you need a pinny.  These would be my favourite jam making pinnies, but I have more in my shop here if you fancy treating yourself before you start!

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