Saturday, September 02, 2006

Jam-making


I'm turning into my mother. It's official and there is no denying it. How can I tell? Easy - I made jam today. For a little more than twenty years I have been eating mum's jams and marmelades but it was only last year that I first had a go at making my own. It was a success so I made some more today. I think it's best to go and see what's the ripest and yummiest-looking fruit available rather than to pick a recipe first. I bulk-bought small, sweet and juicy plums and made

Plum and cinnamon jam (makes about 4 jars of 2.5 dl)

You need:

- 1.8 kg plums
- 1.2 kg sugar
- 1 large cinnamon stick
- juice of 1 lemon

- halve the plums and remove the stone
- put in a heavy-based pan with the sugar, lemon juice and cinnamon
- bring to a boil, stirring carefully, until the sugar has dissolved
- remove from the heat, cover and let the fruit steep for two hours
- put back on the heat and boil for about seven minutes, stirring frequently
- place a small spoonfull of the jam on a saucer (which you've placed in in the fridge beforehand) and check whether the liquid sets
- fill into sterilised jars and screw the lids on.

A word about the sugar: some "schools" say to use 500g of sugar for 1kg of fruit, while others say 750g for 1kg. This recipe uses quite a lot - experiment and see what you like best. I wouldn't go lower than the 2:1-ratio, though.

In order to sterilise the jars, I fill them with boiling water and I put the lids in a pan of boiling water. Then I empty the jars and fill in the jam without drying them first. If the jars are filled right up to the brim, they don't have to be turned upside-down in order for the jam to keep.

I think this will taste good on buttered slices of fresh bread or spooned over plain yoghurt. And it will make me feel quite grown-up and a little like someone out of Country Life - after all, I make my own jam.

3 comments:

Orchidea said...

Nice recipe... this is what I miss from living in Italy... every summer my parents have so much fruit from the trees in the garden and make jam... so delitious. Your jam is very interesting, I never tried this combination...
Ciao.

Honeybee said...

It must taste even better when you use garden-grown fruit! It's actually the first time I made this plum jam with cinnamon. I hope it'll taste nice!

mellie said...

I love plum jam - and the addition of cinnamon is just wonderful!

If you are turning into your mother, then I surely must be turning into my grandmother. She was the jam maker in my family, and it is a skill I too have only picked up in the last year.

Keep up the good (...and yummy) work!