"It is well to remember that the entire population of the universe, with one trifling exception, is composed of others." A.Holmes

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

A Spot of Plum Jam

~Here is a basket of Shiro plums I picked in our orchard. These plums are so juicy and sweet, you cannot eat them without getting plum juice everywhere. They do not keep well so when they are ripe I need to use them right away. Sometimes I prepare the fruit and freeze it to turn it into jam later in the year, but I think the jam tastes so much better when I make the jam right away. ~~~It is raining again today so the weather is perfect for staying indoors and canning fruit.~~~
~To make jam you will need 5 3/4 cups of pitted crushed plums. Leave the peeling on while crushing. Add 1/4 cup lemon juice to the plums. While you are preparing the plums, sterilize your pint or half pint jars, bands, and new lids. Leave jars, lids, and bands simmering in the boiling water until you need the them. ( picture below)
~You will also need 10 cups sugar and a dab of butter or margarine and a box of pectin you can buy at your supermarket. I am using MCP pectin.
~Put the crushed plums in the pan with the dab of butter ( this keeps the cooking fruit from foaming too much) and the pectin. ~~~Bring the fruit, pectin and butter to a rolling boil. This is a boil that cannot be stirred down. Then add the 10 cups of sugar. When the plums and sugar again come to a boil, boil while stirring constantly for 4 minutes. ~~~Immediately after the 4 minutes boiling, remove the jam from the stove and begin ladling into hot sterilized jars. Wipe the rims and tops with a clean hot cloth to clean off any jam and put the lids on and then screw the bands on. Doesn't this look like liquid gold ? I have to label it 'jam' because it looks just like the jars of honey Hubby bottles from his bees. ~Here the jars of jam are placed into my canner. Now for years and years, all us little old jam makers just turned the freshly filled hot jars of jam over, let sit for a few minutes, then turn right side up and VOILA, the jam was done ! Now there are new standards that require we give the jars of jam a water bath. I never had any problem with my jams before, but since we give a lot of our jam away as gifts we play it safe . So.... a hot water bath it is !The jam in the boiling water bath for 10 minutes.
~~~Boiling away~~~
~This yellow plum jam is delicious on toast, but better on ham and pork roast. It is also a favorite jam of many in my family so we rarely have any to spare. After you take the jam out of the canner and place it in a draft free area, you will begin to hear little metallic pops as the seal sets in the jar. Leave the bands on the jars overnight. The next morning, remove the bands ( DO NOT STORE THE JAM WITH THE BANDS ON ) and check to see that there is an indentation in each lid. If not, the jar did not seal properly. No problem though, just pop the jam in the fridge and eat it right away ! ~~~Make some jam. You can get the recipes for your jam of choice in packages of pectin. Follow the directions carefully and you cannot fail. Jam is easy to make and your home made jam is so much more tasty than most of the jam you buy. Jam also makes great gifts. Everybody likes jam!
~~~JAM POEM~~~ from Mrs. Jone's Letter of the Week 'J' Who'll have jam ? There's jam for tea. Jam for Pam and jam for Sam And jam for little me. Who'll have jam, there's jam for tea. Damson jam and Bramble jam, And apple jam for me.

15 comments:

Pamela said...

What lovely jam! Learning to make jam is definitely on my list of things I want to do before I die. (Why is it that the older I get the longer the list gets?)

One question: Why remove the rings from the jam jars? I've always seen this done but never understood why.

Megan said...

We LOOOOOOVE your plum jam!!!!! You sent some home with Ash or my parents once, and it was the first jam Whitney ever had. She was only a year old and just couldn't get enough! :-D

Farm Chick Paula said...

Oh Kathy, I wished I lived closer to you!!! I am a very good jam tester...*hint hint* You could have really used my services!! LOL

Kathleen from Yesteryear Embroideries said...

Making jam and jelly is one thing I have always wanted to try. I plan to start a fruit orchard soon, so I need to get jam making down so I will be ready. Loved your kitty in the basket. Blessings, Kathleen

Lanny said...

ooh ooh, my hand is up!!

Its up...

still up...


uh... wasn't the question, "who wants jam?"

Flower said...

Well, seeing that post was a complete joy!! There is something about taking a simple (delicious) fruit and turning it into jam that is so satisfying! Even lining up the finished jars is nice to look at!! ( I'm not familiar with why you remove the rings?)
I do have a craft room and a craft cottage my husband built. Our kids are grown so I pretty much use the whole place! :)

KathyB. said...

ABOUT THE RINGS or BANDS/The rings, or bands used to secure the lids on the jars of jam are unnecessary , because the lid itself, is what seals the product. The band holds the lid down while the seal is being formed. Also, storing with the band on will not ruin your jam, but usually the band gets rusty, mold might grow under it spreading to more of the lid. It is unsightly.

When entering canned products in our local fairs, the rings are not supposed to be on them, and the canning specifications are pretty strict for the local fairs.

I DO put rings / bands on the jars when I give them as gifts or use it myself, for then the bands are useful for holding the lids on tight in the fridge after the jam has been opened and is in between use and storage.

for the best up-to-date info. on canning go to freshpreserving.com

KathyB. said...
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KathyB. said...
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KathyB. said...

I did it again, I don't know how ! My comment was rejected because I mistyped the verification code...I am wearing my glasses and cannot see close with them on. And those word verifications are kind of squiggly. Anyway, when I re-typed my code accurately my response DOUBLED, then when I tried to delete it the same response popped up again ! GRRRR! KathyB.

noble pig said...

I seriously need to get into canning. I would love to make all these things. What a wonderful treat this will be for winter!

Pamela said...

Thanks so much for clearing up the band question. When my husband cans his salsa, we leave the rings on and I was if perhaps we shouldn't.

Got to tell you, that's some really fine looking jam. Are you going to be entering in any competitions?

KathyB. said...

For everyone asking about canning, it really is easy ! And if you frequent Farmer's Markets and / or have a lot of fruit, it is well worth it to buy the basic canning utensils and start ! I started years ago canning grapes that grew wild around our home in Tacoma. The recipe for grape juice was simple, grapes, sugar, water..and processing. The VERY BEST grape juice we ever had. Our family would save some for our Christmas morning breakfast with the other family traditions...lefse, rosettes, you know. Norwegian foods ! Anyway, thank-you all for your kind responses about my jam. It IS good jam and if any of you are ever in our area ( Puget Sound ) really....give us a call and we would love to provide hospitality and offer dinner with something requiring plum jam ! KathyB. And Lanny, I am bringing some jam to the camp out !

Jo said...

I wonder why I get hungry every time I come over to visit you.

Hmmmm???? *heh*

Omigosh that looks delicious. Wonderful pictures too. My mom used to boil the jam afterwards as well.

You know what that jam would be delicious with? I learned this once when I was in Paris. Get some really nice pรขtรฉ, put it on a cracker, and then put a dollop of the jam on top of that. Try to eat just one! :-)

Gosh, my stomach is rumbling. I wonder what I have in my kitchen....

Daisy said...

Yummy! That jam looks and sounds absolutely delicious. I can almost smell it cooking. :D