Victoria Plum Jam

Okay Victoria, this ones for you! The most basic recipe for jam is plum jam. It is the easiest and quite simply, one of the best. The darkness of the outcome is dependent on the ripeness of the plums. Two punnets ended up being 700g once halved and the pits removed. Into a pan (no water), just several squeezes of pre squeezed lemon juice from a bottle. Gently bring up to the boil.

You want the fruit to boil down for ten minutes, stirring occasionally.

Once your mixture looks a little stewed, now is the time to add 700g sugar. Please note NO pectin is needed for plum jam as plums are naturally very high in pectin. Cook on for another ten minutes. Your jam will become more glossy and translucent.

Skim the top to remove any of the scum that forms as and when. When it starts to look a little more gelatinous after maybe ten more minutes, you will find it falls from a wooden spoon less rapidly. It will kind of hold together a little. Do not cook (in total) for more than 30 minutes. If you do the jam will take on a heavy, jammy taste that is not so good. You don’t want to overcook your sweet nectar. This is the time to remove any remaining, whitish scum from the top

I’m using a jam funnel but as long as you go slowly with the kitchen ladle (no spills on the rim of the jar etc), you should be okay. Please note that the jam jars, lids, ladle and funnel have all just come out of the dishwasher, so they are completely sterilised. This said, do be careful not to touch anywhere other than the outside of the jars and lids. Leave the jam several millimetres below the top of the jar and screw on the lid tightly. You may want to use a tea towel as the jar will be hot. Now place the jam jars in the biggest pan you possess and cover with water. Boil the jars for twenty minutes to finalise the sterilisation. I think that Nigella doesn’t do this, rather she will just tip the hot jam jars upside down. This kills any potential bacteria below the lid. I opt for the traditional method however. If you don’t have a pan big enough, do it Nigella’s way.

Hey presto you have a real treat ahead. The children will love it, but you might just want to keep it for the grownups, mixed with a small splash of water and drizzled over Greek yoghurt or ice cream.

Got to go as Thor is upstairs shouting rather loudly when he should be having his nap. Just me this afternoon as Sindy our nanny is off. I will update you as and when!

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A Gay Dad reflecting on life in the Shires of England with my not so famous five and two rapscallion Dalmatian hounds

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