I am really hoping you can still find plums somewhere in your part of the world. If not just pop this someplace safe for five or ten months from now when they are back in season, depending where in the world you call home.
Italian prune plums are a favourite of mine and always mean fall to me. A perfect autumn jam for the afternoon tea recipes I have been sharing. This year I found a new variety, President plums. They are about 15-25% larger in size with the same general shape and taste as Italian prune plums.
Plums contain potassium, which can assist in managing high blood pressure which then reduces the chance of stroke. They are also low on the glycemic index which, if you are dealing with diabetes, can help with your blood sugar levels. There is some research that suggests plums can aid in maintaining bone density and being anti-oxidant rich they help to clear up free radicals in the body.
Scott Cunningham writes that dried plums (prunes) were served free of charge in Elizabethan brothels as they were said to “stimulate”. Plums are associated primarily with Venus, water and protection. Plum branches were placed over windows in Europe and the fruit was eaten in Asia with the same protection intention.
You will need:
10 President plums, pitted and diced or 12 Italian Prune plums
3/4 cup granulated sugar
2 Tbsp. lemon juice
Gather your ingredients together and begin to shift your focus into the present moment while washing your hands and finding your apron. Let go of any nigglies that are keeping you from being here now. Welcome the compassionate spirits and taking one or two deep breaths, begin.
The Earl of Raspberry tea is from my favourite tea shop Aromatica Fine Teas, in Chilliwack, B.C. I called Karen and told her my plans. She suggested the Earl of Raspberry and we met in a rainy parking lot on a Sunday morning as she and her hubby were on their way through my town, half an hour away. Can you get better customer service than that? Check them out here.
I would also suggest putting your tea in a tea filter bag and not a tea steeper ball. The plum mixture is going to sit for 8 hours and a tea will have more room to expand in a bag than a tea steeper like the one shown in the picture to the right and there will be no interaction with the metal.
Once everything is stirred together. let the mixture sit at room temperature for eight hours. The juices will be drawn out by the sugar forming a syrup. Stir occasionally, making sure the tea bag in buried in the fruit each time you are finished.
Once the bowl has sat at room temperature for the recommended time, cover and place in a fridge overnight.
The next morning, get out the pot you will cook the jam in and transfer the contents.
Place the pot over medium to high heat and bring to a full boil, stirring often. The tea bag stays in the pot.
Allow the jam to continue cooking at a steady pace, thickening until you reach a set point of 220 degrees (105 C).
I have heard it suggested that once your jam is spitting at you it is thick enough but I would still suggest checking. As the jam gets thicker make sure the bottom of the pot is fully cleared each time you stir.
If you are going to do full water bath processing, I will leave that with you.
I heated my clean jars to 250 degrees in the oven and boiled my lids for three minutes.
I then transferred the jam into the jars, leaving head space of about 1/2 inch and popped on a snap lid and tightened the ring. Ensure the jars have clean tops and wipe away any jam that has happened to drip on the edge as this will hinder a proper seal. If the last jar is not fully filled, use once cool.
As the jars cool, you will hear the lids snap as they are pulled down. Check before labeling and storing by pushing the lid down. If it moves when you can press down then the seal is not good. BONUS! You get to eat it now.
Once cool, label, store and protect. As mentioned yesterday, I took the left overs from the fall tea to a friend the next day and this jam went on the scones as planned…. and the cookies and the cake and what was left stayed at her place, so protecting your stash may be required. Next time I will definitely be making a double batch.
Earl of Raspberry Plum Jam from My Kitchen Wand