Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Plum-Vanilla Bean Jam

Plums are falling off trees left and right, so if you have some or a friend has a tree, go pick them now and make this yummy jam!

This jam gave me a bit of a headache. My intent was to make it sans pectin but to no avail, after an evening of pure frustration, I broke down and added the pectin, and more plums since I originally added too much sugar to compensate for lack of pectin. Plums are suppose to have a lot of natural pectin in them but I used too many over-ripe plums and its just ripe or not so ripe plums that contain the firming agent. So if your plums are pretty ripe, be sure to add the pectin!

A hint of vanilla really goes well with this jam and livens it up a bit. I would suggest this as an ice cream topper or even a pie filling, as well as on toast or waffles!

(Organic) Plum-Vanilla Jam
Makes ~54 ounces

6 C Plums-Organic if available (Chopped)
3.5 C Sugar
3 Tbsp + 1 Tsp Low-Sugar Pectin
1/2 Vanilla Bean

-Prep the Plums and place in large stock pot. (You can peel them if you like, I left the skins on)
-Cut the Vanilla Bean lengthwise and scrape the seeds out into the pot, then add the bean pods.
-Add 1 cup of Sugar to fruit and bring to a slow boil over medium heat.
-In a separate bowl mix 1/2 cup Sugar & Pectin and set aside.
-Cook fruit for about 15 to 20 minutes, stirring often, then let cool slightly.
-Either take an emulsion blender to the pan, place the fruit in a food processor/blender, (but be sure to remove Vanilla Bean Pods before blending then return after) or use a potato masher and mash/puree fruit as fine or chunky as you desire.
-Return to heat, stir in Sugar-Pectin and bring to a rolling boil for 10 mins.
-Add remaining 2 cups of Sugar and return to a boil for 1 min.
-Remove Vanilla Bean Pods if still in pot.
 -Pour into small sterilized jars and either seal and place in refrigerator or process in a water bath.
-Water bath processed jams will stay good stored in a dark & cool place for one year, refrigerated jams will stay good for about 3 weeks.

NOTE: I doubled this recipe and it came out great but you can also half the recipe for a smaller batch.

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