Red plum jam

A bucket of prized red plums from Pablo meant one thing: plum jam. We have been spoiled for red plum jam ever since the gift of a single jar from a friend, Ginny. Hers was simply the best-ever plum jam we have tasted and, since then, we have always longed to make our own. So this was our chance. jam on toast 22-7-14red plums 20-7-14This is a Marguerite Patten recipe and makes 1⅔lb/750g jam. As always when making jam or chutney, pre-prepare your sterilised jar.

450g plums [weight when stoned]
Up to 4 tbsp water
450g sugar
Juice of one lemon [to aid setting, this is our amendment to the recipe]

Halve the fruit and carefully remove the stones. These can be cracked and the kernels added to the jam just before setting point is reach [we didn’t do this]. If the fruit is too firm to halve before cooking, allow 1¼lb/550g fruit and remove the stones once softened. If you do this, you can still use the kernels.

Put the fruit into the pan. If the plums are ripe, you won’t need water. If the plums are firm, add up to 4 tbsp. plums - softening in the pan 20-7-14Simmer the fruit gently until a soft pulp.

Add the sugar and lemon juice, and stir over a low heat until the sugar has dissolved. jam - boiling in the pan 20-7-14Now, raise the heat and boil rapidly until setting point [see below] is reached. testing the set 20-7-14

The final stage, recommended by our friend Ginny, is to sieve the jam to remove skin. Finally, spoon into hot sterilised jars, seal and label. setting in the jar 20-7-14About setting point: some jams reach setting point in three to five minutes, especially if you are making a small amount. Always remove the pan from the heat while testing for setting. Spoon a little boiling jam onto a cold plate. Allow the preserve to become cool, then push it with your finger. If the top has set, and the preserve wrinkles when you touch it, it is set. If it wrinkles only slightly, return the pan to the heat and boil it for another one or two minutes before re-testing. spoonful of jam 21-7-145 to remember
un cubo – a bucket
valorado/a – prized
solo/a – single
un tarro – a jar
mermelada de ciruela – plum jam
The Basic Basics Jams, Preserves and Chutneys handbook by Marguerite Patten 20-7-14

‘The Basic Basics Jams, Preserves and Chutneys Handbook’ by Marguerite Patten [pub. Grub Street]

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