Despite living in the country on the outskirts of the woods and having a beautiful garden filled with fruit trees, berries and herbs, I have never made my own fruit jam before. Our plum tree is bursting with fruit and turning succulently ripe at this time of year, so I thought I might give jam making a go as plums are great for relieving constipation and digestive problems, filled with dietary fiber, sorbitol and isatin too.
It’s surprisingly easy to make plum jam, and after searching out some recipes online where vanilla beans and various sugars and extracts were used, I decided to go for the good old fashioned method and make it up as I went along. I started by washing a bowl of plums in cold water, the children picked them from the garden and we aimed for the most purple plums on the tree. They start off a yellow/green colour and gradually ripen in the sun, and the most juicy ones start to wrinkle up as they begin the descent into becoming a prune.
I sliced each plum in half and removed the stone from the middle, leaving the skin on and placing them into a frying pan on a medium heat. I couldn’t decide between using white or brown sugar so I threw in about a half a handful of each and those were my ingredients. The plums soon started to shed their juice as the pan warmed up, filling with it’s own water and the fruit bubbled away lightly as it turned into a gooey mush of deep red and rich purple. I left it cooking away for about half an hour as I pottered about and didn’t tend to it at all.
Once the plums had completely disintegrated I plated the mixture up into a bowl to allow it to cool and hey presto homemade plum jam! I can’t believe how quick and easy it was. It tastes absolutely mouthwatering as the plums are zingy, fruity and fresh and add a zap of pure fruit to a dish. From spreading it on toast for breakfast to eating it with ice cream, cheesecake or pudding rice, there are so many things that you can do with it. I’ve discovered that there is no exact recipe for plum jam as it all depends on the quantity and ripeness of your plums to start with, so you can add as much or as little sugar as you like whilst cooking and keep it in the fridge or freezer after making a big batch.