Friday, 22 February 2013

Classy girls.

Aaaaand today's offering, Plum Jam. 

I like plums. Sweet and cold and juicy. Slightly inferior to a nectarine, but still somehow worthy of poetry. Pick 'n Pay had some organic plums on sale, and by coincidence the Sunday Times had a recipe for plum jam. 

When everything you thought would happen suddenly changes, it is as though you are walking into the ocean, and out of the blue (haha) the waves have washed a dip into the sand and bam! you can no longer stand. Time to sink or swim. 

So making plum jam is reassuring, because although it is a new recipe and could flop, the territory is familiar none the less. And it came out really well. High-5-ing myself for the little achievements of the day (others include washing the dishes or repacking everything in sight). 

The recipe is as follows: 

Simple Plum Jam (adapted from the ST Food section, 17 February 2013, p.6)

1kg red plums, halved and pitted
1kg sugar
Juice of 1 lemon
4 star anise
4 cardamom pods
1 cinnamon stick

Layer the plums and the sugar in a large dish, and leave overnight. 
The next day, place the plum-sugar-mix into a saucepan, and stir over a low heat until all the sugar has dissolved. 
Add the lemon, star anise, cardamom and cinnamon and bring to the boil sans stirring. 
Here I went full-steam boiling, which was a mistake because part of the jam boiled over. So on a scale from 1-6, I'd stick to a 4. 
Boil for about 40min, and scoop off the bubbly top layer. It's not essential, but the jam looks cleaner later on. 
Drop a spoonful of the jam in cold water, and if it doesn't dissolve it is ready. This method has never worked for me, so I kind of judge the level of blubbly-top layer. If it looks very sticky, like golden syrup, the jam is done done done. 
Then you just fill it into sterilised jars and seal them. 

The original recipe was double as much as I made, although I added more spices. You could also leave out all the spices for a simple plum jam, but this stuff is quite ttttasty. 

Here you can't see it all that well, but with the "bubbly top layer" I mean the whitish stuff. When this gets to be a lot more, you are done. 


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