Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Plum Jam

Last year was my first foray into the world of canning.  I made an applesauce (that had a little too much cinnamon in it) and a pumpkin-pecan-maple butter (that was to die for). Everyone always seems so impressed when you tell them that you canned something.  And while I like feeling awesome for a few minutes, I always have to tell them that it's not hard, it just takes time- lots of time. Canning can be fun- ha, ha.  I think it's the prep work that gives people pause (in terms of equipment and sterilization).  There are a few steps, and not all of them are fun, but I guess that's what canning is all about- the process (hmm, sounds sort of like life).So let the second year of canning begin!

Yesterday I purchased three pounds of small, juicy, nearly overripe plums at Red Fire Farm in Granby.  I ate one, you know to make sure they were good, and saved the rest for today's first jam session. I prepped the fruit last night by quartering and removing the pits and then combining the plums with three cups of sugar. The concoction got left in the fridge overnight in order to get intimate. 
Plums soaking in sugar, or is the sugar soaking in the plums?
So this morning before breakfast I filled my largest pot with water and put it on to boil. I read somewhere that you should start your water at least an hour before you plan to start. Whoever said that is right, that water takes its sweet time coming to a boil. I sterilized the jars, lids, and utensils in the dishwasher and then it was finally time for the fruit.  
Ready to make some jam

I must admit I can't wait for my five burner stove (which is currently sitting in my garage) to be installed because canning pretty much requires all my burners.  I had my boiling water on one burner, my lids in barely simmering water on another, the fruit boiling down on the third, and the tea kettle on the fourth (ready to top off the pot if I was in need of more water).
A packed stove
According to the recipe I was using (from Williams and Sonoma's "Art of Preserving" cookbook) the plums only had to cook down for ten minutes.  Well, after ten minutes they were no where near the "setting" point so I let them continue to reduce for at least a half hour more.
Looking jammy
When the jam was finally ready it had reduced down to a little more than four cups so I was able to fill 4 pints with the reddish-orange jam.  I even have a little left over for breakfast tomorrow morning.
The finished product
The jam is tart but sweet (hey, there's 3 cups of sugar in there).  It seems to dance on your tongue.  I've never had plum jam before (my husband claims he's never even heard of it) but it is DELICIOUS!  Definitely, one of my new favorites.

1 comment:

  1. You have me wishing I could make some jam. Or at least come and steal some from you.