A broken oven is never good news. For someone who is so into baking, it is a disaster. But things are looking brighter because the oven repair man is coming today! Lucky for me, just a few days ago I got these gorgeous plums (from a friend’s backyard) and since I can cook jam, I didn’t waste a minute. So, I cooked the jam, sterilised the jars and packed all in the same day! Even decorated and wrapped the jars nicely so I could give them away as presents. An act of a nervous woman I’d say. I kept myself busy…
Mornings are always better with a good breakfast and my family are lately enjoying butter and jam on a nice baguette as a favourite breakfast. Even the little one likes it (his favourite is strawberry jam though). I made breakfast for us and then, because it seemed a good opportunity to record the moment, I decided to take some photos.
That is me reflecting in a shiny spoon, standing on the ladder and leaning dangerously towards the table. We have all done it many times, I know. The question is, how many of you have fallen over the table, spilling all the jam over the floor minutes before a person who is going to fix the oven is about to knock on the door.
Now, I don’t really want to distract you completely from a nice and sweet jam like this one so let’s get back to making a simple jam recipe with an organic fruit. I especially like the part of having healthy and fresh fruit, which gives the process an extra nice feeling.
Plum jam has to be one of my favourites. It’s a jam my mum cooked every year for us and I loved it. The plums she used to use were a different shape and colour though. I believe their name is “Marjorie’s Seedling” and they are perfect for jams. Very sweet and not so juicy so the jam was very sweet and thick, almost too hard to spread on bread.
The oven is working again! and I am about to bake a rye flour tart but that is another story…
1 kg plums
1 small green apple
500 raw sugar
1 start anise
1 vanilla bean scraped
Wash your fruit even if its organic to remove all the dirt. Pit the plums and although I know it’s not an easy job, there is no way around it. Just cut them into halves and take the pip out. Place a heavy pot on the medium heat, add plums and sugar and stir a few times using wooden spoon. Add green apple, cored and sliced first. Stir again and add vanilla bean and star anise. I don’t mind if any of these spices end up in my jar but you can take them out at the end of cooking.
Cook jam for about an hour, stirring occasionally and the most important thing, take out the hull which is going to separate from the juicy part minutes after cooking starts. It’s the old fashion way but it works and I don’t mind doing it.
Basically you need to cook the jam until you end up with the colour and thickness you like. When cooked, leave to cool slightly before pouring into sterilised jars (you can check this post for an extra explanation) or you can just use dish washer for sterilizing the jars. Pour into jars and use when needed. I always leave some in a container to use straight away, because I know we will. One of my favourite desserts lately is jam poured over Greek yoghurt! You should try that. Yum!