You can easily pick up jams, conserves and fruit jellies from the local store, however, nothing can substitute the kind you can make right in your own kitchen. When the season is right and juicy plums are available in abundance, you might consider cooking up some great homemade plum jam for your family.
It is ridiculously easy to make, yields more for the money you spend on a single bottle at the supermarket and does not take too long to make. Now that I have given you three great reasons to make plum jam, all you need is a recipe to help you along. So here it is.
- As in all recipes, keep your ingredients at hand. This will include 2 pounds of fresh and ripe plums, ¼ cup of water, 1 ½ cups of white sugar, 1 tablespoon of freshly squeezed lemon juice, 10 gms of pectin and 1 teaspoon of lemon zest.
- You will also need 2-3 small glass jars, preferably with plastic lids. You will also need a heavy bottomed saucepan, scrubbed well so that it is completely free of any stray odors. Preferably, avoid using a saucepan in which meat/fish or meat/fish products have been cooked.
- First, place the plums in a colander and wash them in running water 3-4 times. Use a paring knife to split the plums in half and deseed them. You can also split the plums and add them in with the seeds still inside. Drop the halved plums into the saucepan.
- Turn on the stove and cook the plums on low heat with the ¼ cup of water. If you have not deseeded the plums, you will be able to see the seeds floating separately from the fruit pulp, while cooking. Remove them with a spoon. Continue to cook the plums on low heat till soft and pulpy. While your plums cook, powder the white sugar by running it a few times in your food processor. Alternatively, you can use 2 cups of ready-to-use castor sugar.
- Add the lemon juice and zest. Lemon zest is derived from the skin or peel of the lemon. It imparts that unique tangy flavor that is instantly associated with plum jam. Bring the mixture to boil and quickly add the pectin. Do not bring to boil again. Simply heat through.
- Allow the mixture to cool for a minute or two. You will now see a little foam has risen from the mixture. Since it is scum, quickly skim it off with a spoon, before allowing the jam to set. Wash the glass jars and leave them to dry. Sterilize them and while they are still warm, quickly spoon in the jam. Replace the lids and plunge the bottles into a saucepan of hot water. Remove after a few minutes and allow it to cool.
Tips and Warnings
- You can use any organic or garden fresh variety to achieve the best flavor. The best way to get the zest of a lemon is to grate it. However, remember to grate only the thin yellow outer layer and not further in, as the inner layers give off a bitter taste.
Photo Credit: Andreasrecipes.com/2009/10/03/the-complete-book-of-small-batch-preserving/