Thursday, August 11, 2011

Celebrating the Summer with a Spiced up Plum Jam

Three stone fruits that I can't keep my hands off in summer are - Plums, Peaches & Cherries. Having played with peaches & cherries I was dying to do some thing new with my bag full of plums from a recent trip to farmers market. My Son loves Jam on his toast & my husband adores it as well. Hence I thought I'd give a shot at Plum Jam recipe. As you see the recipe & results are pretty unconventional, the out put is pretty rewarding though. And mind it all vanished in no time. So lets see how we go about spiced plum jam !!!


Ingredients
2 cups pitted, chopped plums
2 1/2 cups white sugar
1/2 teaspoon butter 
2-3 cloves
1 small piece cinnamon
2-3 Black pepper corns (freshly ground)
Juice of 1/2 Lemon - Freshly squeezed


Method
Carefully cut plums into pieces (1 plum into 4 parts) taking the skin away & removing seeds.
It is said the working with pieces is always better for jam than working with fruit crushed in processor.
Combine cut plums & sugar in a pan.
Heat the mix , bring to boil & keep heating on medium heat for 30 minutes stirring regularly.
To impart a great RED color (and some Tang !),  we will treat some Plum skin in lemon juice for ~15 mins + 1 spoon of sugar in a separate pan for 5-10 minutes on medium.
You can add cloves, cinnamon, ginger powder & black pepper to this part of our mix at this stage.
This step is useful as it releases a bright red color from the skin that we peeled earlier & flavors from the spices.
Now we will add this to our main mixture only after passing through a fine mesh strainer.
You can also add butter one you combine moth mixes, it helps to reduce foaming.
This helps sugar mix really well with fruit pectin & prevents any chance of burning.
After 30 mins skim away foam if any - Reduce heat to low, cover, and simmer for another 5 minutes.  
Sterilize the jars and lids of the containers you plan to use in boiling water for at least 5 minutes. 
Unload the plum jam into the hot, sterilized jars, filling the jars to within 1/8 inch of the top.



A good practice is to run a knife or a thin spatula/spoon around the insides of the jars after they have been filled to remove any air bubbles. 
Wipe the rims of the jars with a paper towel to remove any moisture. 
Top with lids, and dont tighten at this stage. 
Leave your Jar in hot water bath to process for a minimum of 10 minutes.




Remove the jars & place on a wooden rack until cool. 



Once cool, tighten & seal the lid.
Store in a cool, dark area. 



Refrigerate & you are good to go for a few weeks.
Use the way you like it - on a toast, in a shake or just like that.

 

Our jam is free from preservatives & powdered pectin.
And as we have added the peel extract+spices it is a bit less firm & more turbid.
But, it has what you want - It is sweet, sour, spicy & Yummmmmmm !!!!!!!!!!

My 2 Jars vanished within 2 days..... which suggests that the boys loved it :)
Hope you'll give it a shot & tell me how it worked for you.

Love...Sonia






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