Tuesday, February 15, 2011

More runny jam

On my most recent visit to Raeward Fresh, I picked up a couple of 99-cent bags of plums, with the intention of turning them into jam. Two bags ended up being more than enough, as you'll see from the next couple of blog entries.

The messiest and most time-consuming part of making plum jam (p227) is halving and stoning the plums. Unlike apricots or peaches, plum stones don't come away from the flesh very easily. In fact, it's a total mission getting the stone to come out without taking half the fruit with it.

Once I'd got the hang of it, the de-stoning went a bit quicker - but I still got plum juice all over the kitchen, and came close to taking chunks out of my fingers more than once when the knife slipped. It was really a miracle that I produced a potful of stoned plums with 0% blood content.

A little water and a lot of sugar joined the plums, and I put the pot on to boil for 15 minutes. Towards the end of this time, the jam was approaching a suitable consistency, but the plum skins weren't breaking down. I decided I didn't want big lumps of plum skin in my final product, so I grabbed a slotted spoon and scooped out most of them.

During the scooping process, I noticed the jam was starting to look quite thick. Not wanting to over-thicken my jam, I cut short my scooping and checked to see if it has reached setting point. It looked alright, so I took the pot off the heat and poured the jam into jars.

While I was filling the jars, I noticed the jam didn't seem as thick as I'd thought; in fact, it was quite runny. Several days later, it still hasn't thickened up at all. So it seems I still haven't learned to judge the setting point very well. Possibly, leaving the skins in is essential to making the jam set.  If not, I guess I just should have boiled it for longer.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Popular posts this week