Wednesday, 6 October 2010

Autumn's Harvest

I can't resist the 2 for 1 offers on late season English plums in the local supermarket; plums being one of my most favourite seasonal fruits; but even I can't eat 2kgs of plums in the few days before they become overripe.

Variety - Sunset
Three seasons ago we planted a young apple tree, the variety Sunset, and this year we had a very reasonable crop from such an immature tree.  They are lovely eating apples but I have been pleased to see how well they hold up when used in pies and crumbles.  With a few remaining I thought I'd try to combine them with the supermarket plums in jam making.

Gleaming jars of lovely jam

The result is a beautifully rich coloured and fine tasting jam - so why not make the most of the supermarket offers or your own harvest or, like me, a combination of shop bought and homegrown - cost effective and delicious!

Plum and Apple Jam
Makes just over 2lbs
1lb plums, halved and stoned
1lb apples, peeled, cored and sliced
18 fl ozs water
juice of half a lemon
1.5 lbs granulated sugar

Put the plums, apples, lemon juice and water in apreserving pan and bring slowly to a boil.  reduce heat to obtain a fast simmer and leave for about one hour, stirring occasionally, until the fruit is very soft and the mixture reduced by about half.

Take the pan off the heat and add the sugar.  Stir until the sugar has completely dissolved, then stir in a knob of butter.  Return to the heat and bring back to a fast boil, after about 10-15 minutes the jam should have reached setting point, if using a sugar thermometer this will be temperature of 105C.

Remove the pan from the heat and using a slotted spoon lift off any scum.  Now pour the jam into warm sterilsed jars and seal immediately.  Allow to cool, then label and store in a cool, dark cupboard.

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