When I planted a satsuma plum tree five years ago I had visions of jars of scarlet, glowing jam and plum pies oozing blood red juice.
Missing from my vision was the amount of effort involved in slicing and cooking and bottling hundreds of plums. While I find the process of preserving home-grown produce deeply rewarding and I smile every time I see orderly shelves of bottles and jars in my cellar and pantry, I’m almost at saturation point now.
Along with plum sauce and plum pie filling, plum cake and plum crumble, over the past week I’ve also made two large batches (nearly 20 jars) of blood plum jam. It’s some of the best jam I’ve ever made and looks absolutely beautiful.
This recipe assumes roughly equal quantities of fruit and sugar and a little lemon juice for pectin. You could use a commercial pectin mix like Jamsetta instead of lemon juice. Follow the instructions on the packet.
To sterilise jars
To seal jars
- 2 kg blood plums, seeded and roughly chopped
- 1.5 kg white sugar
- Juice of one large lemon
- Combine plums, juice and one cup of sugar in a large preserving pan or saucepan and cook gently, stirring occasionally, until plums are tender.
- Gradually add remaining sugar to pan, stirring after each addition.
- Bring to the boil.
- Boil, uncovered, for around 35 minutes or until or until a small amount of jam put on a cold saucer and chilled for a few minutes divides into distinct halves or crinkles when pushed with your finger. Keep an eye on the jam and stir every couple of minutes to prevent it catching on the bottom of the pan.
- Poor hot jam into hot sterilised jars and seal immediately.