So far I have made plum, apricot and greengage jams but still have damson and blackberry jams to make plus when the tomatoes finally finish growing. I'm afraid the old tomatoes have been a little late this year. Cucumbers now those I've got loads of them so many I shall have to start giving them away.
|One of my champ cucumbers|
Pectin for those of you do not know is what makes the fruit set. Fruit like oranges, lemons, grapefruit, apples, gooseberry, loganberries and cranberries have high levels of pectin. Whereas, strawberries, blackberries,figs,peaches pears and plums have low levels of pectin. If you have a fruit with low levels of pectin you can buy pectin from the supermarket in liquid or powder form. This pectin additive is normally derived from apples and therefore natural and organic to use.
Anyway if you want to give it a go here's the recipe
2kgs Plums washed and stoned
125ml lemon juice
1 litre water
2lgs jam sugar
plus pectin ( one sachet or liquid Certo)
Clean and chop plums place in heavy based saucepan and add water and bring slowly to the boil. Cook at a simmer plums until soft. This will take about 50minutes depending on the fruit.
|I always think that it looks very unpromising to begin with looks as if it will never set|
Add lemon juice and sugar. If you use powdered pectin add it with sugar. For liquid pectin follow instructions on bottle.
Gradually heat until sugar has dissolved then bring to the boil and keep at biol for 20 minutes. Then test for setting. You will find the setting point is reached by placing a spoonful of jam on a cold plate or saucer and then using your finger see if the surface wrinkles up when you drag it through jam. If this does not happen cook for longer.
I have also found, since I make a lot of jams, a sugar thermometer is useful as it is marked with a jam setting temperature.
Once the setting point is reached you can then remove any scum from the top surface and then having stirred mixture decant jams into warmed jars. Seal jars and for 2 minutes turn jars upside down allowing fruit to settle.
|Yum yum plum jam|
Then once cooled label jars and store in cool cupboard . Note jams will keep for 6-12months. When opened its best to store in the fridge.
I think jams and preserves make great gifts at Christmas.I always try to make extra jars.To make them a little fancier I cut out fabric covers for the tops and put on fancy labels and box or basket them up with other goodies such as home made truffles. I must say they are always very well received and in the years when Ive not had time to make them up they have been missed.
Having also tasted some of the jam Ive got to say its really fruity this year