July to October means plum time in Britain and Ireland, so it's time to make plum jam. This plum jam recipe has a little ground ginger added in which gives the jam a lovely warm taste; ginger and plums are so, so good together but if you don't like ginger, simply leave it out.
The jam is quite quick and easy to make, you may want to have a quick look at my hints and tips on making jams and jellies.
You will also need to think about the jars you want to use, and before you start, to sterilize them.
OPTIONAL: Below are instructions for removing the kernels from the plum stones. You don't have to do this, however, adding the kernels to the cooked jam imparts a lovely soft, almondy flavor to the jam.
- 2 lbs (1 kg) Victoria plums (or other plump, juicy)
- 2 lbs (1 kg) sugar (granulated)
- 1 lemon (juiced)
- Start your jam by halving the plums, remove the stone and tip the plum halves into a large roasting tin. Keep 10 - 12 plum stones, discard the rest (if you want to use the kernels).
- Sprinkle the plums with 4 tbsp of the sugar. Cover with a tea cloth and put to one side for a couple of hours, preferably, overnight if you have the time. After a few hours, you will see the sugar has melted and the plums rendered up plenty of juice; time to make the jam.
- Place all the plums, the juices, the remaining sugar and the ginger, if using, into a large, heavy-bottomed pan or preserving pan.
- Place over a medium heat and stir until all the sugar has dissolved. Raise the heat until the jam begins to boil. Boil for approx ten minutes.
- Meanwhile, place a clean saucer or tea plate into the freezer. Take each of the plum stones you put to one side.
- Crack the shell ( I find a rolling pin works well for this) and remove the tiny kernel inside. Place the kernels in a tea cup and cover with boiling water for one minute. Pour away the water and the skin should come away from the kernel easily. Keep to one side.
- After ten minutes of hard boiling, take the saucer or plate from the freezer, take a small spoonful of the jam and place onto the saucer and pop it into the fridge for a few minutes.
- Then push the edge of the jam on the saucer and if it wrinkles the jam is ready, if not, continue to boil. Repeat the jam setting test until the jam wrinkles when pushed.
- Once ready, turn off the heat under the jam and leave it to stand for approx ten minutes.
- Take your, hot, sterilized jam jars one by one and using a jug and a funnel, carefully fill to the neck of the jar. Once all the jars are filled, divide the kernels between the jars.
- Cover the surface of the jam in the jar with a wax disc - this will help prevent mold forming during storage. Seal the jar with a tight-fitting lid or a cellophane disc secured with an elastic band. Leave to cool.
- The jam can be stored for up to a year in a cool, dark place (cupboards or even the garage are good) only once opened should they be stored in the fridge.
Best served on fresh home-made bread or use in a jam tart recipe. NOTE: Always use clean, sterilized jars. To sterilize, wash in hot soapy water, rinse well and place upside-down in a cool oven for at least half an hour.