One of the great things about making your own jam (and this also holds true if you make your own wine too) is that once you tell people about your hobby, you will never be short of the raw materials. Anyone who has a fruit tree in their garden will soon be presenting you with carrier bags and boxes full of apples, pears, plums and anything else you can comfortably grow in your back yard.
This free food is amazing, and the generosity of friends is very much appreciated, but it does beg the question of why the purveyors of fruit aren't turning them into jams, wines, pies, crumbles and assorted other goodies instead of passing them on to me. I for one am not complaining (and never having owned a fruit tree, perhaps the quantities produced are enough to satisfy anyone's fruit-lust and still have some to spare)
So here we go with another jam recipe, this time a spiced plum jam. I love plums, can't get enough of them - they are perhaps my favourite fruit. I have a habit of liking them very un-ripe and sour, and as a consequence, I get told off for eating them before anyone else has a chance to. The plums we were given were a lot more ripe than that, which is better for making jam with (and also stopped me from eating too many when they were being pitted, which is probably for the best).
This recipe only makes 3 jars - I only had a limited amount of plums and wanted to do a few different things with them. Feel free to increase the amounts should you have bushels of plums (can you measure plums in bushels?)
650g Plums (pitted)
Juice of 1 lemon
1/2 Cup Water
1 Cinnamon Stick
8 Cardamom Pods
1/2 tsp Ground Allspice
1/4 tsp Nutmeg
Pit and chop the plums, then wash them. Place them in a large pan with just enough water to cover them. Add the sugar, lemon juice and spices, heat the mixture to dissolve the sugar and then simmer for 10 minutes. The plums will start to break up as they cook. At this point, you can fish out the plum skins if you don't like them
in the jam - it's easier than trying to peel the fruit beforehand.
Also, remember to put your jam jars in the oven to sterilize (120ºc for about 20 minutes should do it)
(A good tip is to remember how many cardamom pods and cloves you put in, so you can check they all come out again at the end!)
After 10 minutes, bring the mixture to the boil. Boil hard for another 10 minutes and then test to see if the jam has reached setting point.
As usual, you can check this by putting a saucer in the fridge to chill. Drop a
teaspoonful of jam onto the saucer. Let it cool. If you can push a
jellied trail through it with you fingernail, it’s ready.
Remember to fish out the cinnamon, cardamom and cloves, then transfer the jam to the sterilized jars and store in a cool dry place.