What do you when you get given,by a friend, a lovely bag of garden Plums, the purple variety..Not so big a bag, but enough to make a small batch of jam..
Now if anyone follows me on Facebook they know that I love playing with flavours and taste combinations.. I usually add almond with Plum but wanted something a little different , just enough to temper the sharpness of the Plums..
soooooo here it is..
2lb Plums…finished weight after stoning, roughly chopped.
2lb Granulated white sugar
splash of lemon juice
2 cups water
I sachet whitworths Powdered Pectin..
a good handful of fresh basil
Put the plums in a pan , with waterand Basil, cook gently till softened..Add half the sugar, heat slowly till dissolved.
Remove mixture from the Pan , put in a ceramic or glass bowl, cover with cling film, let cool and put in fridge overnight to infuse.
Next day, mix the pectin powder with the remaining half of sugar..
return the fruit mixture to the pan , add the pectin/sugar and heat slowly to dissolve.. Add the splash of lemon.Then following directions on pectin packet, bring to a fast boil, stirring the mixture, for about 4 minutes.
Have a cold saucer to hand, to do a gel test..put a little jam from your spoon/spatula on the cold saucer, turn the heat off while you do this. and leave for a few moments..when pushed with your finger and it wrinkles ,its ready to go..if not return to heat for a another minute, and redo the gel test.. and so until you get a set.. With powdered pectin you should get a very rapid set.
skim off the foam from the top of the jam onto a spare saucer.and the basil leaves..and you’re ready to put the jam in jars.
Have ready some scrupulously clean and scrubbed jam jars..you will probably need 4 for this recipe.. I get 2x 1lb jars and 2 12oz jars.. and some lids obviously..
I always put my jars in a small dish of very hot water, to keep the jars warm, this will stop the jars cracking from thermal shock i.e. hot jam straight into cold jars can make the jars crack. After all that prep that’s the last thing you want to happen.
So, using a jam funnel, ladle the jam into the jars..leaving about half inch head space. If you get jam around the rims ,I wipe off using vinegar soaked paper towel..
Now put on your lids and turn tightly..your Jam is ready..
BUT…. I do take the next process of Boiling water Bath the jars for 12 minutes..this sterilises jars and lids and makes a shelf stable product!
Have a large pot , with a trivet at the bottom, fill with water and a splash of vinegar, you will also need a jar lifting tool..which is invaluable and safe practise when dealing with putting jars in and out of very hot water..
Lift jars into water and when water is boiling rapidly, time for 12 minutes, then have a towel or wooden board ready to lift them onto. Again this will reduce thermal shock.. leave to cool, then wipe down and label, ready for storage.
If you have children around ,please use extra vigilance , with such hot products of sugar and water around..