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I have jam! - Helen's journal and online home — LiveJournal
In which an old dog attempts to learn new tricks.
I have jam!
39/52 for the group 2015 Weekly Alphabet Challenge

This week's topic was: Less is more

I have been busy making plum jam.

Ingredients: plums, sugar, water. That's all. No glucose-fructose syrup, no gelling agent, no citric acid, no sodium citrate acidity regulator, etc etc, as is found in shop bought jams.

Jars of homemade plum jam

And I'm delighted to say that it has set! I was a bit worried about it yesterday because it still seemed runny, but left to cool fully overnight it has now set properly. I've never made plum jam before, so this was a new achievement.

The plums were bought in the supermarket, which kind of feels like cheating, but I didn't get so many blackberries this year and I wanted more homemade jam than the two jars of seedless blackberry and 2.5 jars of jostaberry that I've made so far. Actually, we probably did have as many blackberries, but they came ripe in stages so got eaten in pies and crumbles instead of coming ready all at once and thus prompting a jam making session. Also I made the blackberry-and-apple jam seedless this time, so the fruit I did gather on my blackberrying expedition didn't go as far. It's amazing how much of a blackberry is made up of seeds!

Current Mood: accomplished accomplished

9 comments or Leave a comment
From: cmcmck Date: September 25th, 2015 04:46 pm (UTC) (Link)
pennski From: pennski Date: September 25th, 2015 05:24 pm (UTC) (Link)
Oh hurrah! These look lovely.

I thriftily got a jar of damson and apple cheese out the squeezings from the pulp I used for the jelly.
I know it has all set now - I'm just not sure whether it has turned to rubber.

Did you use the plumstones in a bag to help with the pectin? I tried that once and it felt like it worked, but may have just been wishful thinking.
heleninwales From: heleninwales Date: September 27th, 2015 03:57 pm (UTC) (Link)
I actually just put the plums, along with the stones, into the pan and cooked everything up together, as per the instructions in Mrs Beeton. I did cut the plums in half, but didn't remove the stones. I simmered everything gently for 15-20 minutes, then added the sugar and, once it had dissolved, boiled vigorously, whereupon the stones (as predicted by Mrs Beeton) did indeed rise to the top where they could be fished out one at a time. Possibly having the stones in there helped the jam to set, but as it's the first time I've made plum jam, I don't really know.
pennski From: pennski Date: September 27th, 2015 04:39 pm (UTC) (Link)
Aha yes, I vaguely remember my Mum doing it that way years ago.
heleninwales From: heleninwales Date: September 27th, 2015 05:05 pm (UTC) (Link)
There is always the danger of missing a stone using that method. However, it's just occurred to me that next time I ought to count the plums, then I can count the stones as I fish them out. Then I could be sure I'd got them all.
karinfromnosund From: karinfromnosund Date: September 25th, 2015 07:10 pm (UTC) (Link)
Sigh. It looks delicious.

I keep saving jars, for precisely this purpose.

Perhaps I could practise a little in winter, with shop-bought fruit?

heleninwales From: heleninwales Date: September 27th, 2015 03:59 pm (UTC) (Link)
I don't see why you couldn't practice with shop bought fruit. It's not going to end up as cheap as using free fruit picked from the garden or hedgerow, but it should still work out cheaper than buying "homemade" high quality jam.
khiemtran From: khiemtran Date: September 25th, 2015 09:04 pm (UTC) (Link)
Looks great! When we make "pickled" vegetables which actually tend to eat them within a week, so that feels like cheating too - all we're doing is adding flavour and wasting a lot of vinegar in the process. But I guess it's good practice...
heleninwales From: heleninwales Date: September 27th, 2015 05:03 pm (UTC) (Link)
I don't make pickles because G doesn't like anything with vinegar and though I used to eat pickles perfectly happily in my youth, they now seem to upset my digestive system. But I think adding flavour is a perfectly valid thing to do, so the vinegar is not exactly wasted if it's making the food more enjoyable. :)
9 comments or Leave a comment