Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Plum jam

Last year my mother-in-law made enough strawberry freezer jam to supply a developing country... or so we thought. The cartons of jam took up half of my chest freezer but every time a brother- or sister-in-law came to visit they would help themselves to the jam. Last week they took the last 2 containers and we are out of jam.

Joe's boss has a plum tree (not the regular purple plums, these are green/red on the outside, bright red inside and more tart) with tons of fruit. He invited us over to pick plums and we got enough to fill a large stock pot. And so we begin the jam-making process again.

I didn't want to go through the process of removing the skins, so this is how I made the jam. I guess technically it would be called jelly - except that doesn't sound as fancy. Anyway, wash your plums and chunk them in a big pot. Put in a cup or so of water and slowly bring it to a boil. Crush the plums with a potato masher to release the juice. The fruit will scorch if there is not enough liquid.

Keep mashing and stirring until it all comes up to a boil - let it simmer until the fruit is soft and mushy. Strain the juice out with a colander or cheese cloth.

Once you have your plum juice you can follow the directions for jam (or jelly) on the package of pectin. Just make sure you have:

1 box of pectin for every 6 cups of juice
oodles of sugar
clean mason jars, rings and lids
a deep pot so you can water bath the jars when they're filled with jam

The whole process is pretty easy but it does take a considerable amount of time. I suggest putting a good movie in so you can listen to it while you're stirring/mashing/waiting/stirring. I have a set of project movies for when I'm quilting or working on things like this (they need to have good music, be fun to listen to even if you can't see the picture the entire time and be long enough that you're not switching out the disks all the time). Some of my recommendations are:

My Fair Lady
North and South
Pride and Prejudice
Lord of the Rings

I bet other people could suggest some other great ones in the comments. Enjoy!

1 comment:

Ali said...

The Sound of Music! But I doubt you'll ever find me making jam. Or jelly, for that matter.