Monday, June 25, 2007
We be Jammin....
Mom and I made plum jam this weekend with the plums from her Santa Rosa Plum tree (those are the plums in question to the left). All and all the jam turned out good, a little heavy on the cinnamon, but once you spread it on your toast it mellows out and well I really like cinnamon and I made it to my taste. We made a ton of jam and didn't even make a dent in the tree and now we are thinking about selling some of it (my mom and I will also be giving it out as home made holiday gifts, I hope my dad's staff likes jam) I will need to refine the recipe a bit. Speaking of recipes, the plum jam recipe is as follows:
5 1/2 cups finely chopped Santa Rosa plums (we hand chopped about a third and then pulsed the rest in the food processor. This worked well, leaving some bigger chunks of fruit in the finished product)
1/4 c balsamic vinegar
1 table spoon cinnamon (use half a table spoon if you want a more subtle flavor)
1 package pectin (dry)
8 1/2 c sugar (granulated)
In a large shallow saucepan mix the fruit, vinegar, and cinnamon. Stir in the pectin over a high heat and bring to a boil. Add the sugar and bring back to a boil (stirring constantly). Cook for 4 minutes at a boil (don't stop stirring). Remove from heat and skim foam from the top. Filled prepared jars (run them through the dishwasher and let the lids soak in hot water). Place filled jars (with the lids on silly) in boiling water (water should cover jars) for 10 minutes. Remove from boiling water and let cool on a towel. When you hear the lids popping (or if you press down on the lid and it does not pop back up) you will know the jars are sealed. Store in you pantry and enjoy later.
This was a fairly easy process though time consuming and a little dangerous with the boiling liquid and the constant stirring. My mom and I picked and prepped the fruit on the first day and then made the jam on the second. A well organized kitchen and work space will help speed up the process. Amounts of sugar and pectin vary for different fruits. The plums are high in pectin and take less sugar than say strawberries. Most pectin packages come with a recipe. Keep to the sugar/fruit/pectin ratio and experiment with the rest. We choose balsamic vinegar instead of lemon juice to provide the acid and tang and added spices to our liking. Making jam is fun experiment and enjoy yourself.