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Sunday, March 27, 2011

Eat. . . "Bargainaceous" box of plums

A week ago I was at the fruit and veggie shop when my eye was caught by something on the "Reduced to clear" table. That something is pictured above - a ten kilogram box of Hawkes Bay "black amber" plums for only NZ$2.99. That's about £1.40 or US$2.26 for 10 kg/22lbs of plums! Incredible value or what?!! "Bargainaceous" even!

Needless to say, those plums came straight home with me! Although the plums were obviously past their best (hence their vastly reduced price) I managed to retrieve approx 6kg of plum flesh after the stones and rotten/mouldy bits had been removed. I froze just over half for use another day, and set about making jam with the remainder. This might seem inconsequential, but what you probably don't know is that I haven't actually made any jam since I was about 12 years old, back in the early 1980s. Chutney, marmalade and lemon curd - yes, but jam? Nope!

I used the plum jam recipe in the NZ classic Edmonds Cookery Book …

Plum Jam

2 kg plums, halved and stoned
1.5 cups water
7 cups white sugar

Put plums and water into a preserving pan.

Boil until soft and pulpy. Add sugar. Stir until dissolved. Boil briskly for 15 mins or until setting point is reached. (I used my cooking thermometer to make sure the temp got to 105C, by which point most jams will set.) 

Pour into sterilised jars, a few of which I have photographed below. . .

Makes about 6 x 350 ml jars. 

This jam has so far been pronounced delicious by all who have tasted it, even Sonny Jim, who is usually monogamous to raspberry jam! So there may just be a few more jars of jam gracing these pages at some point now I have rediscovered my inner jam-maker!

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