Come And Get It Plum Jam!

Thanksgiving Plum Chutney and Plum Jam variations recipe
Thanksgiving’ s coming soon and have I got an amazing Plum Chutney Jam that’ll replace the cranberry sauce on my family’s table from now on. Then, the day after, we enjoy the Plum Chutney Jam with Turkey Curry Haystack ‘ s (recipe coming soon). I made and then gave samples of my Plum Chutney Jam to friends and neighbors and the reviews were unanimous; “It’s amazing! We can’t get enough of it! Can I put my order in for Thanksgiving?” Then I did the same with the Plum Pepper Jam. “That Plum Pepper Jam is through the roof! The spicy with the sweet is fantastic! I need more! ” With those kind of reviews how could I not share my recipe? Here’s how I got started:
When I moved into my new home this summer I was delighted and scared to find I had fruit trees in my back yard. I remember canning with my mom when I was little bit had never tried it on my own. I decided I didn’t want rotten plums all over my yard so I created a recipe I could use to make different kinds of plum jam. The recipe is easy and does not require pectin to thicken it. This is a freezer jam so it’s extremely user friendly because you just pop it in the freezer and enjoy when you have a hankering for jam. The Plum Chutney version of this jam has become my replacement for cranberry sauce at Thanksgiving! I’ll list some ways to use them and I’ve created a couple of recipes to go with the jams. I’m writing it in a step by step form so beginners can feel confident about trying it out themselves like I did.
Step 1:
3 pounds of plums
Tools needed:
A small paring knife
A Melon baller or a teaspoon
Cutting board
Large plastic or glass bowl
(Don’t use metal because it reacts to the acid in the lemon juice.)
Soft wash cloth
Wash the plums well. You’ll need to wipe the white film off the plums with a soft, wet cloth first. Next take your first plum and using a paring knife you’re going to cut all the way around the plum. Start at the top and you’re going to cut along the natural line going around the plum until you are back in the same spot on top again. Take a hold on each side of the plum next to where you cut. Gently twist and pull apart. On one side you will have a pit. On the other side, no pit! Using the small Melon ball side or the tip of a teaspoon dig directly around the pit and then under the pit. Get as close to the pit as you can. Remove the pit and discard it. Next, using your paring knife, your going to cut 2 “V” notches. Look at the top of each side of the plum where the stem was. Your going to cut a small notch where the top is removing the “bellybutton” of the plum as my grandbabies call it. This gets rid of any left over stem or crusties so it doesn’t go in your jam. No one wants crusties in their jam for sure! Next you will take one half of the plum and slice 1/4″ slices going from top to bottom. Now slice the other half the same way. Place slices into your large plastic/glass bowl. Great job! Now you only have to do the same thing to the remainder of your plums. Slice, twist, pit, notch and slice into slices until all your plums are sliced and in your bowl.
Tools:
Large Stock Pot or 2 medium sauce pans or large fry pans.
Wooden spoon or silicone spatula
Step 2:
Ingredients:
3 cups White Sugar
2 Tablespoons (Tbl.)
Lemon juice, fresh or reconstituted
2 Tbl. Dried Grated Lemon Peel
Sprinkle the sugar, lemon juice and lemon peel over sliced plums. Using a large sturdy spoon mix the ingredients together until all the plums are coated completely. Cover bowl in plastic wrap and let it sit at room temperature for 1 1/2 hours.
After the mixture has sat for 1 1/2 hrs. you’ll notice that there is juice in the bottom of the bowl. (OK time to learn a cool cooking term) Putting sugar over fruit and letting it sit for a while is called Maceration. This process draws out the juice in the fruit and creates a really yummy syrup in the process. Mix the fruit and juices again scraping the sugar from the bottom and pour all the ingredients into a stock pot. If you don’t have a stock pot I also used 2 large sauce pans or frying pans. If you used 2 pans just divide mixture equally so all the sugar on the bottom doesn’t get in 1 pan. Place pan/pans on stove top and cook on high heat. While you wait for the mixture to boil you need to stir constantly with a wooden spoon or silicone spatula. When the mixture begins to boil allow the mixture to get to a rolling boil. This means that as it boils you see more and more bubbles until the bubbles look like they’re moving and rolling all over the mixture (referred to as Jam from here on out). Once your Jam is at a rolling boil lower your heat to low. Adjust it for your stove so it boils on a low boil constantly. You will only stir your Jam occasionally from now on. Wash and dry your plastic/glass bowl while Jam is cooking, you will need it later. While your Jam is boiling get a glass or ceramic salad or small plate and place it in your freezer. This is essential and needs to be frozen by the time your Jam is ready to test. Let your Jam boil for about 30-35 minutes. Jam will look a bit thicker now. To test the jam to see if it’s done yet remove your plate from the freezer. Using a teaspoon place a spoonful of Jam onto the plate and then put the plate back into the freezer for 2 minutes exactly. After 2 min. Remove the plate from the freezer. Using the back of your clean fingernail place your finger right next to the jam on the plate. Keeping your finger on the plate scrape your finger, pushing the jam forward, very slowly through the jam. Watch the jam as you move your finger and see if it wrinkles and is thick and forms wrinkles as you move through the jam. If it does your jam is done. If it stays smooth and runny then it needs to cook longer. If it needs to cook longer put your plate back in the freezer and cook your jam another 5 minutes. Take your plate out again and retest the jam. Keep testing and cooking every 5 minutes until your jam wrinkles and is thick as you push it. Rinse the plate before refreezing it if you need a clean spot to test. Once your Jam is ready pour your hot jam into the plastic/glass bowl that has been washed and dried. Let mixture cool to room temperature. About 3-4 hours. When cool enough pour your jam into freezer safe containers. I used “Ball” freezer containers. Don’t fill to the top. Leave about an inch away from the top of the container. Then screw the tops on and it stays fresh without getting freezer burn. This jam will keep in the refridgerator for 1 month and in the freezer for a year.
Now for the great variations I created:
Plum Chutney Jam
Add to Original Recipe after putting mixture into pan:
1 teaspoon (tsp.) Ground Ginger powder
Or 2 tsp. Fresh grated Ginger Root
2 Tbl. Dried Grated Orange Peel
1 Tbl. Ground Cinnamon
1 tsp. Ground Nutmeg
1 tsp. Ground Cardamom
1 tsp. Salt
Plum Pepper Jam
Add the following to original recipe:
1 pound JalapeƱos, deseeded
1 additional cup Sugar
1 tsp. Salt
Plum Mixed Berry Jam
Add these ingredients to original recipe:
1 pound frozen mixed berries
1 cup Sugar
1 tsp. Cardamom
Try these and any number of variations you can concoct. If you create a new one tell me and I’ll post your variation, too!
I tell you right now, I made this jam and then made bread while it was cooking and there is NOTHING better than homemade jam and bread right out of the oven. Enjoy and Come and Get It!
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