Does home-made jam remind you of childhood? Did you used to visit your grandparents during the summer and they were always making something delicious, including jam? Well, if you want to feel like that again, why not have a go at making your own jam? If you have kids, maybe you could start a new tradition of making food together and pass this knowledge onto the next generation.
For all you organic food lovers out there, we have some great news. This recipe only has a few ingredients and it does not include pectin. If you grow your own fruit, you definitely do not want to risk adding some potentially GMO-containing store-bought pectin. Furthermore, if you don’t like the gelatin-like texture that the pectin produces, this is definitely the way to go.
So, if you’re looking for some yummy jam that is also organic, take a look at this easy recipe.
What’s In It?
- 5 cups of Chopped plums
- 2 cups of Sugar
- 3 tablespoons of Lemon Juice (optional)
How Do I Make It?
First things first, find the ripest plums. Look for those that are already on the ground or are just about to fall off. If you’re buying them at a farmers’ market, ask for the ripest ones they have. Plums that are too firm are not the best for making jam.
Wash the plums and remove the stones. Then cut the fruit into small pieces. Put them in a big bowl, add the sugar and make sure to mix the ingredients well.
While you could put the plums and sugar in a pot and on the stove right away, you should consider macerating them. Let the mixture rest in the refrigerator overnight, as that way the fruit will release the juices and the sugar will dissolve. This means that the jam will cook much faster the following day and it will have a fresher flavour.
Before you start cooking, put a ceramic plate or metal spoon in the freezer. This will help you check whether the jam is cooked enough.
It’s best to use a wide pan for this. Cook the mixture over a medium heat and once it starts boiling, reduce the temperature and let it simmer until the fruit is tender. Make sure to stir it to avoid sticking. The colour will slowly turn darker and once the mixture is thick and you see a lot of foam, the cooking process is done.
Checking whether the jam is ready is the next step, so you should take out that plate and spread some jam over it. Return the plate into the freezer for a minute and if the jam does not run after you’ve taken it out, it’s ready. If it’s still runny, cook it for a few more minutes on low heat and repeat this test until you are happy with the consistency.
You also have to decide whether you will keep the jam chunky or mash the pieces to get a smoother texture – it’s entirely up to you!
Don’t forget about the storage jars. It’s always a good thing to get more jars than you think you need. Who knows, maybe you’ll have more mixture or you just didn’t estimate correctly how many jars you’ll need. The jars should be sterilized in order to remove any bacteria and protect the food. There are a few ways how you can do this, but the most common one is by putting them into the oven at 130 °C for at least 20 minutes. Seeing as how you should not put hot jam into cold jars and vice versa, make sure to plan this properly. Leave half an inch of space at the top of the jars and seal them. Put them in a boiling water bath for around 10 minutes and then let them cool.
Once everything is done and properly sealed, you could get a little bit creative and label your jars. Look through some interesting fonts and print your labels. That way, you will always know what is what and when it was made.
One last thing, you should not keep the jars in direct sunlight. Store them in cool, dry places, and if you live in an extremely hot area, store them in the fridge.