Never ever take the simple things in life for granted – like a good jam. I scold myself every time I leave the grocery store with a jar of jam and always think “what don’t you just make some?” Well, I finally gave in and asked Mum for her jam recipe, to which she replied that its not so much a recipe as it is a fool-proof formula.
Fool-proof she says?
So with nerves a plenty and a bag full of plums I set to work on my first homemade jam. Really its not that hard, but it does require a little bit of intuition in my opinion – its about knowing when the jam has transformed into a not too runny and not too thick status – and that can be difficult to pick. My Mum calmed my nerves by revealing she’s let a few go either too far or not far enough, but assured me that’s part of the joy of getting it right. So to get it right on my first attempt was a real triumph, I’m hoping to continue this form into the future but admit that this attempt may have been down to dumb luck.
Homemade jam makes a wonderful gift too. As soon as I had made mine, I drove over to my parents house and proudly presented my Mum with a jar full of plummy goodness. Also, don’t stress about the jars you use – I think the stranger the better. As long as they are clean and have been properly sterilized you’ve got nothing to worry about!
Makes 4 – 6 medium sized jars
1kg Tegan Blue plums (or whatever other type of plum you like)
1 lemon, juiced (reserving the pips)
- Preheat your oven to 100°C
- When oven comes to temperature, place your glass jars onto a tray and into the oven. After ten minutes turn the oven off but leave the jars inside.
- While the jars are sterilizing, prepare your plums but cutting into evenly sized small dices.
- Into a large pot place your plums, sugar and the lemon juice and pips (lemon pips help the jam set), bring to the boil.
- The jam mixture will, once at the boil, start to bubble rapidly creating an almost pink foam – this is good. Continue to boil the fruit for 5 – 10 minutes or until the plums start to completely breakdown. At which point take a teaspoon of the jam and put onto a plate, if it wrinkles and forms a skin as it cools down the jam is set.
- While the jam is hot, pour carefully into your jars and put the lid on immediately, the hot air will re-seal the jar sucking down the safety seal. This process allows your jam a long shelf-life. Store in a cool place and out of direct sunlight.