Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Plum Vodka Jam

Plums are in season at the moment and now is as good a time as any to make some jam. Plum jam is very versatile and can be used not only on bread but as a delicious sauce for ice cream.

This year the plum tree gave me a reasonably good crop which the birds kindly left alone. I have fourteen jars of plum jam safely stowed away in the cupboard. This should last us until next year.

Homemade Plum Jam
Makes 7 x 400ml jars

2.6kg plums (skinned)
¼ cup water
1.75kg sugar
2 Tbsp vodka (optional)

1. Put 2 saucers into the freezer for use later to check the jams's setting point.

2. Plunge the plums into boiling water for 30 seconds. Remove to a bowl of ice cold water. Make a cross at the bottom of the plums and peel the skin.

3. Put the fruits with the water into a pan. Bring to a boil and cook slowly until fruit is soft and pulpy.

4. Add sugar and boil rapidly (stones may be picked out as they rise to the surface) until jam sets* on cold saucers . Taste. Spoon off the scum.

5. Add vodka and use a lighter to burn off the alcohol or just stir to mix.

6. Pour into hot sterilised* jars, seal, label and store in a cool place.

Plum Vodka Jam

Note :
1. The weight of 2.6kg plums is after removing the skin.
2. Amount of sugar requires depends on the tartness of the plums. My plums are the sweet variety.

Setting Point
Test for setting by dropping a small amount of jam onto a cold saucer. After a few minutes, push it with your finger. If it wrinkles and forms a skin it is ready. If it does not, boil longer and try again.
Alternatively test with a thermometer. Setting point is reached when the temperature reaches 105C.

Plum Jam
Sterilising jars
To sterilise the preserving jars wash them in soapy water and leave to soak in a pot of boiling water for 5 minutes. Remove and put the glass jars into an oven at 120°C for 15 minutes or until the jars are required. Do not at any stage dry the jars with a tea towel.


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