Arts & crafts



    Plum Jam

    Katie’s been really rocking these jam sessions lately (all the puns intended). For Week 15 of Day in the Life: Katie Shelters At Home, she covers another recipe from her Boise chef idol.

    Family of plum jam

    Following apricot jam season is plum jam season. So off I went back to Joey’s house to pick about 8 pounds of plums from his plum tree.

    I used Natasha’s Two-Ingredient Plum Jam recipe (yes, Natasha of the 8-Layer Russian Honey Cake fame). Like apricots, plums contain a moderate-high amount of pectin, which is the natural ingredient in the peel that helps jam to gel. Plums will break down when heated so it’s not necessary to finely chop them. The main difference between the plum’s jamming process and the apricot’s is that the plums require multiple rounds of simmering and cooling to thicken the jam, which means that plum jam can take up to two days to make. Last year, I got distracted during one of the simmer rounds and ended up burning the whole batch. I really did not want to make that mistake again this year (although truthfully, the burnt jam tasted pretty good).

    On the second day of cooking the plums, I realized I ran out of jar lids. I quickly rushed to Target and Michael’s, but they were both sold out of the normal canning lids and rings. Evidently, everyone is jamming these days (perhaps they are tired of baking). Instead I bought the plastic twist-top kind, which I honestly wasn’t mad about because that meant less jars to can. I also learned that lids are only supposed to be used once for canning.

    Hodgepodge of jars (mostly vintage!)
    Only canned half the jars in the water bath

    The plum jam came out thicker than any jam I’ve made before. It is a bit on the tart side, but hopefully that balances out with bread or pancakes or ice cream.

    plum jam on

    I think I’ve had enough jamming until next year.

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