Stone fruit season is one of my favourites. We love to eat them fresh, but always get extra to make jams when the prices are at their best. I picked some up at the markets for $2.00 a kilo the other day and used this recipe from the book Basic Basics Jams, Preserves and Chutneys, by Marguerite Patten
. This book is full is simple recipes that are great for the beginning jam maker, and then, following the recipes, Marguerite gives you some interesting variations you can try as you get more experienced.
- Plums: 450g
Water: Up to 4 tbs.
1. Halve the fruit and carefully remove the stones. If the fruit is too firm to halve before cooking then allow 550g of fruit and remove the stones when the fruit has softened.
2. Put the fruit into the preserving pan. If the plums have been halved and they are very ripe do not add any water at all, but if very firm and under-ripe use up to the 4 tablespoons
3. Simmer the fruit gently until a soft pulp.
4. Add the sugar and stir over a low heat until this has dissolved, then raise the heat and boil rapidly until the setting point is reached.
5. Spoon into hot jars and seal down with new lids
If you have any difficulty achieving setting point and you want a quick and easy short cut, add pectin at the same time you add the sugar, bring to the boil and boil vigorously for 5-10 minutes. Do not over cook, as this will cause the pectin to break down and you will end up with a runny jam.
6. Process in a boiling water bath
for 5 minutes. Remove from the hot water when the time is up. Use of a jar lifter
will prevent you from burning yourself.
7. Label, being sure to include the date made, and store.
Now I have jam in the pantry and I can guarantee there are no preservatives, food colourings or other chemical I am sure we were never meant to eat in them.
Happy jam making.