A few months ago one of us and her family got Covid. They are all fine now but because she lost all sense of taste, eating was not so much fun. Being a vegetarian, she rustled up all the good vegies and grains she could find and this is what her Covid breakfast looked like! Delicious!
And then another one of us, who is also vegetarian made these delicious looking carrot hot dogs! You can find the recipe here
We have a plum tree in our garden and every summer we get a lot of plums. This year I decided to make plum jam. It is very easy recipe, only four ingredients: plums, water, lemon and sugar. I had 4kg of plums, if you are using a lesser amount adjust the other ingredients accordingly. I used less sugar and added 1 1/2 kg of sugar to 4 kg of plums. However, generally recipes call for 1 1/2 kg of sugar for 2kg of plums (3/4 amount of sugar for the amount of plums if your plums are ripe and sweet). This is entirely up to you.
It is important to sterlise your jars. Use glass jars with airtight lids. You can use recycled or new jars. Wash the jars thoroughly with soap and warm water. Then place the jars on a baking tray and place the tray in a 130 Degrees C (270F) pre-heated oven. Heat for at least 20 minutes. Let them cool. If the jars have rubber in the lids, do not put that in the oven. Boil the lids and/or rubber seals separately.
Place two saucers in the freezer to test the jam later.
Use ripe, jucy and undamaged plums. Wash them thoroughly.
Cut the plums in half and remove the stone/pits. Leave the skin because it has pectin that is useful for the jam to set.
Place the halved/pitted plums in a wide saucepan or pot. Add water. Bring them to a simmer over a low heat. Use a wooden spoon to stir occasionally.
Cover the pot and cook for 20-30 minutes until the plums are soft and start breaking down. The time will depend on the amount of plums and pan.
If you want to have a smooth jam, take the pot off the heat and then blend with a hand blender. Put the pot back on the stove. (I like chunky jam so I did not do this.)
Add the sugar and lemon juice. Keep stirring till the sugar dissolves.
Increase the heat and bring to a rolling boil. Keep stirring. Keep on the rolling boil for about 10 minutes. The plums should have broken down and your jam should be thicker now. Take it off the heat once it looks like it has reached the setting point (this also depends on the amount of plums, the pan and the heat applied - could be 5- 10 minutes)
If there is scum on the jam, add a knob of butter and mix. This will remove the scum.
Take the saucer out of the freezer and put some jam on it. Once it cools down push it gently with your finger. If it wrinkles (even a little bit), the jam is ready. If it doesn't wrinkle and remains liquid, put the pot back on the heat and cook for another 5-10 minutes or so. Check it on the second saucer. You can also use a sugar thermometer to check if the jam is done, which should be at 104C or 220F.
Let it the jam stand in the pan for about 10 minutes to allow the fruit to settle. Then stir the jam, mixing thoroughly and then ladle it into the sterilised jars. It will be hot so be careful.
Close the lids and keep the jars aside for at least 24 hours to allow the jam to set.
Keep the jars in a cool dark place. When you open a jar to use the jam, store it in the refrigerator afterwards.
The best suggestion I can give you is to use your intuition as far as the timing is concerned. If jam is too liquidy, cook it for longer. I also cheated and did not remove the stones since I don't mind picking out the stones when using the jam. I have stored the jam in large jars and will dish it out into smaller jars for use.
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