This is JAM-HOT- JAM-HOT!
Cherry plums- irresistible little flavour bombs that are everywhere at the moment and so delicious! There seem to be a glut of them growing around our new house, and the little ones whiled away some time this morning collecting over 2 kilos (and eating a lot too!)
We decided that there was only one thing for it- JAM.
Here is our recipe:
2 kg freshly picked cherry plums
1.75kg jam sugar (sugar with pectin added- widely available in the supermarket)
2 tsp ground ginger
2tsp ground cardamom
Few drops of vanilla extract (to your own taste)
1/2 pint water
Firstly wash and then weigh out the fruit.
Then add to the pan with half a pint of water and gently heat until they start to break up a bit- about 10 minutes or so.
Once they've started to break up, add the jam sugar. Stir until it has fully dissolved and then heat the mixture until it is fiercely bubbling (around 20/25 minutes).
Just time for a lovely cup of coffee from our friends at Roundhill Roastery in Somerset- available as retail bags and as one of our guest coffees at the cafe! And let the children do some more of the work for a change......,
We then added the vanilla essence, cardamom and ginger to the mix. You don't have to do this, but these are flavours we felt go well with plum and as long as you don't use too much, they just round the flavour out whilst hardly being noticeable.
You could use a jam thermometer to gauge when the jam is ready, but we did the time-honoured 'wrinkle' test. Use a cold plate that has been in the freezer for 15 minutes and put a teaspoon of the jam mixture on the cold plate. Leave for a second or two and then turn the plate on its side. You're looking for the jam mix to 'wrinkle' and start to set, not run away. If it fails the test put the pan back on to simmer for a few more minutes, then try again.
Once the jammy mixture has passed the wrinkle test, we poured into the sterilised jars and sealed them up. We made 12 jars in total, most of which are safely in our larder, but a few will be available to buy in Coffeesmith.
Making jam may sound like a boring way to spend a few hours, but it is strangely satisfying. I completely zoned out whilst sifting the stones, and then I rejoiced in the fact that the house smelt of delicious hot sugared fruit all morning! Best of all, one of our regular catering customers placed an order for Afternoon Tea to be delivered to their office in Witney tomorrow- they will be the lucky recipient of the first jar of amber joy, and I spent the afternoon baking buttermilk scones for their order too. They are also having finger sandwiches, clotted cream for the scones and jam and a cake- what a place to work eh?!