Plum treeIt is that time of the year: plums! Our old plum-tree provides us yet again with lots of plums. We have the early version, so we can pick plums in July, or sometimes June, when we have an early hot Summer. Double plumBirds like our plums too, and even I really permit the birds their snacks, these plums are forbidden territory for them. So haste is necessary. It is a good thing that K works at home this week so he can pick kilos of plums in the evening. Plums                                       And I wash them thoroughly (I am rather fussy) ….Cleaning plums                                                           cut them in halves ….Cleaning plums                                                                         remove pits ….Plums                                          throw them in a pan and add sugar …. and make jam.Plums cooking

I am so happy with all my empty Bonne Maman-jars (a gift from my in-laws, after they stopped with their B&B).Empty jars

You might want to know what my recipe is? Well, it’s an easy one. Most jam-recipes involve one kilo of sugar and one kilo clean fruit (without any pits and other ‘useless’ bits). I don’t like that. Waaaaaay too sweet for my taste, my waistline and my teeth. I am a bit anti-sugar, you know. But for proper jam making you can’t do without it. So I use ‘Van Gilse Geleisuiker Speciaal’, that is 500 grams per packet and that sounds much better than one kilo! The instructions tell you to use 1250 grams of clean fruit and one packet. Me being pig-headed, I use at least 1500 grams of clean fruit. Last year I added to one of the portions one ripe banana, some raspberries (sifted) and cinnamon, so I like to experiment. The plum-raspberry-banana-cinnamonjam tasted absolutely delicious.

When using ordinary sugar you have to add pectin and lemon acid. In the UK you can use Silver Spoon, but I do not know what the instructions on the packet say.
So, this is what you need:
1 packet (500 grams) of Van Gilse Geleisuiker Speciaal (a Dutch brand)
1250 till 1500 kilograms of clean fruit
a funnel
a spoon (I use a soup ladle)
a big pan
clean jars
a (wooden) spoon to stir in the pan
a few drops of vanilla essence

Let it come to the boil and cook it for one minute (I usually do 2 minutes. Pig-headed, remember?).
Wait a bit till the foam disappears and gently pour it (be careful, it is VeRy, VeRy HOT!!) in clean jars. I use a funnel, because that keeps the edges of the jar clean. One time I forget to remove a pit –yes, but it only happened OnCe- and it luckily got stuck in the funnel and it didn’t fell into the jar. One portion in the pan is enough for about five jars. Of course it depends on what sizes of jars you have. I also use pasta and pesto jars. These are smaller and also nice to give as a present.

Put the lid on, make sure it is very tight, and put the jar upside down for at least five minutes. After those five minutes I move my jars to the cellar floor. Be careful, the jars are still hot.PruimenjamHappy jam making!

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