Tuesday, June 28, 2016

How to make plum jam that quickly disappears

My husband, A, decided to make plum jam on Sunday. I wholeheartedly supported him with words of encouragement and appreciation whenever my mouth wasn't full of delicious plums and jam. Thank you, A.

This is a guest post from the chef himself (with some comments under the pictures from me) - a beginner's guide to making plum jam.

Enjoy. I'm off to lick up some more...

Step 1: Get some plums - preferably sweet and preferably free

Lie in your hammock and wait for plums to appear in June

Stare at the plums and wait for them to ripen

Pluck when the plums are red, not green or yellow. It's fine if they are hard 

Announce a round of family plum picking and enlist resourceful members (Can you see A, who scampered up the tree? My dad is helping him)

Create a family event and get little hands to pick fallen plums

Step 2: Wait - for kids to be asleep, plums to ripen [if not quite sweet per step 1], and spouses to give you a day to just get it done



Taste to test

Step 3: Pit the plums - do it alone or enlist one father-in-law to make an assembly line of it. Expect to get your hands squishy, plummy, and quite wet.

Step 4: Boil the plums - with a hint of water added; also separately boil the pits; when done boiling the pits, strain the juice into the plum boil.

Step 5: Hand puree the plums as they boil to get a reasonably even consistency and eliminate big chunks of fruit

Step 6: Walk out to your garden and pluck a lemon from the lemon tree

Step 7: Squeeze fresh lemon juice from your lemon from your lemon tree into the boiling plum mixture.

Step 8: Add cinnamon and sugar to taste - if in doubt, add a lot. This is jam or preserve - sweet is good.

Step 9: Cut an apple [preferably from tree in your garden] and drop the chunks into the boiling plum mixture. Natural pectin (thanks KJ)

Step 10: Keep boiling till everything comes to an even boil, tastes sweet and reasonably thick. Typically about 15 minutes or more. If the jar boils over, let it [the cooled jammy mixture is yummy to taste!]. If the foam bothers you as this mixture boils, add some butter and the foam vanishes.


Step 11: Pour this hot mixture into sterilized mason jars / cans and follow instructions to seal and store.



Side profile is just as gorgeous
Step 12: For any jar filled, you can either give it to someone, eat it yourself, or give it to your kids to gobble up. [Half a pint per meal seems to be the going rate with our kids]

To get some sterilized mason jars/cans, boil the germs out of them for at least 10 minutes. Cool them down without touching them by hand.
[If you cannot do this, then be prepared to eat all the plum jam you can in one sitting.] 

The plum jam is so delicious, I doubt there will be any by the time you read this and demand some. Just like that, poof! Going, going...almost gone

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