|My friend beside a giant plant (Gunnera) in her yard|
Yesterday I began tackling the plums—soft, very sour and each with a pit that needed removing.
After washing, picking them over, and cutting out any dark soft spots, I decided to soften them in the slow cooker before pitting. A few hours on high brought them to the mash stage, but steaming hot. So I set them aside to cool till later in the evening when I began the onerous job of removing every pit.
top left: jam colander || top right: pits and pulp
bottom left: cooking || bottom right: the jam set nicely
Mom's old jam-making colander to the rescue! I can't remember the last time I used one of these, but I'm sure glad I never gave it away. I dumped the mashed plums into the hopper and after a few minutes of working the mash through the mesh, I was left with this stony, pulpy mess. I suppose I could have discarded it, but I wanted the plum skins in the finished jam. So one at a time I fished the pits out of the pulp, returning it, now pitless, to the strained mash.
I found a super-simple plum jam recipe on Mama Knows website and simplified it even more. "Yellow Plum Jam" called for lemon juice and water, both of which I omitted. But I added the amount of sugar it called for (4 1/2 cups to 6 cups of plums). I cooked the jam this morning, boiling the mixture for twenty minutes as it suggested, then I bottled and sealed it.
It was great to see that as it cooled it set up beautifully and without an added crystal or drop of artificial pectin! The finished jam is very tart but yummy! As well as a great spread for breakfast toast or waffles, I think it would work beautifully as a condiment for pork or Oriental food like egg rolls.
That was fun!
My recipe for:
Yellow Damson Plum Jam
6 cups of prepared fruit (pits removed)
4 1/2 cups of sugar.
Combine all ingredients and bring slowly to boiling, stirring occasionally till sugar dissolves. Boil briskly for 20 minutes, stirring often to prevent mixture from scorching. Pour boiling hot into sterilized jars and seal.