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Monday, October 1, 2012

Plum Jam

This time last year I was busy working on some future Christmas gifts.  One of them was plum jam.  I had made jam before, but never plum jam.  I had a ton of plums that were about to spoil and I needed to use them.  I had remembered from the movie Calendar Girls that they loved (in your best British accent) Plum Jam.  I figured why not give it a try.

My Dad hasn't met a jam or jelly that he doesn't like love.  I knew making plum jam would be something he would love.  I made him two batches which gave him about 8 half pints of jam.  He is almost out of it, so I guess I need to make some for this Christmas.  My mom even used it on pork chops and said it was delicious.

Plum Jam Ingredient list

5 cups of cut up plums (de-pitted and skinned)
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1/2 cup water
7 1/2 cups sugar
6 tablespoons classic pectin or 1 3-ounce box of pectin

The plums I used were the dark black kind.  They were starting to get smushy (technical term there). I took the skin off all the plums that were still firm.  Some of them I was able to just smash with my hands.  Make sure to remove any skin and the pits.  You can smash with a fork or spoon or a potato masher works well. Here is the start of my mashed plums.

Once you have 5 cups ready, move it to a large enough pot for boiling.  You will want to add the lemon juice and water to the plums and stir well.  Gradually stir in the pectin. Bring the mixture to a full rolling boil, over high heat, stirring constantly.  I used a canister of classic pectin versus the box kind so that I could perserve the pectin better. (see picture below)

Add all your sugar and stir constantly to dissolve.  Return the mixture to a full rolling boil.  Boil for at least 1 minute, stirring constantly.  Remove from heat.  Your mixture so have decreased significantly.  There may be some foam on top like pictured below.  You will want to skim that off the top.  I have read that you can add butter to the mixture and that will help reduce foaming.  Surprisingly, I didn't use butter for this batch, but a little butter never hurts!

I followed the directions for proper canning from Ball.  You can find all kinds of tips and recipes on their site.

I put all my jam in half pint jars.  I could have made each jar fancy, but I knew my dad would be happy just with the jam alone!

I hope you enjoyed this recipe and that you try canning some jams or jellies this fall.  Do you have a favorite recipe or flavor for a homemade jam or jelly?  I would love to try something new!

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