This year I’ve been overwhelmed by a Plum glut, the largest I can remember since living in Worcestershire. It started in early August with Early Rivers Prolific, my favourite for making chutney, although this year many batches of jam were made with them for the Save Denman Appeal.

By mid August, the Victoria Plum trees were groaning with the weight of fruit. A plum with a delicate flavour, I’ve always avoided preserving them, opting to freeze them for desserts or give them to friends to enjoy. This year, I decided to make jam and I was surprised they made a good fruit flavoured, bright and gelled jam using the Plum Jam recipe below.

By the end of August and at the beginning of September, bowls of Purple Pershores were finding their way into the kitchen. They too made good, fast setting jam and the riper ones are destined for Plum Rum.

Plum Jam Recipe

Makes about 2kg

1.4kg plums
450ml water
1.4kg granulated, cane sugar

1) Wash, halve and stone the fruit, then place in a large preserving pan pan with the water. Using a pair of nutcrackers, crack a few of the stones and remove the kernels. Put the kernels in a small bowl of boiling water and leave for 1 minute. Drain and rub off the skins, then add the blanched kernels to the pan.

2) Slowly bring the pan to the boil, then reduce it to a very gentle simmer until the contents of the pan are reduced by a half.

3) Warm the sugar in an ovenproof bowl in a low oven, 140C (275F/Gas 1). Test for pectin by taking a teaspoon (1tsp) of the juice and pour it into a glass or ramekin. Add 15ml (1tbsp) of methylated spirit and swirl the mixture together. Look for a jelly-like clot in the glass or ramekin.

4) Remove the sugar from the oven and put clean jars into the oven for 15 minutes, then turn the oven off. Add the sugar to the pan and stir until it has dissolved. Bring the pan quickly to a rolling boil and boil hard until setting point is reached.

5) Test for a set after 5 minutes using the flake or thermometer test. As soon as setting point is reached, remove the pan from the heat and leave it to stand for a few minutes. Remove any scum from the surface of the pan to the side and remove it with a metal spoon. Gently stir the jam and pour it into the jars, up to the brim. Seal the jars immediately with new, twist top lids. Leave the jars upright and undisturbed to cool and set.

Links

First Preserves
My Preserves Courses at Denman
My Autumn Jams course at Vale House Kitchen
Saving Denman College
Denman Justgiving Page

September 9th, 2016|Tags: |