Weekend Workroom: Jamstress

**SIDE NOTE: I know this is totally, completely later than anticipated… I’ve been trying to figure out how to hook up our new camera in the little time I’ve had at home over the last few weeks. We’ve been gone back-to-back weekends, first to celebrate my husband’s birthday and then to celebrate my brother-in-law’s 30th, with a few shortened weeks and a couple trips through getting our car back from the shop thrown in there. It’s been a bit crazy, but I finally have a real day off today. I’ll be blogging, meal planning, grocery shopping, and doing all the things that I’ve really been missing about my life… Regardless, I give you jam!**

I must confess, I don’t know if I ever thought of making jam before. There’s been something really cool, however, about making my own tomato soup, and there’s always been a draw for me in the canning process (my grandmother used to can their garden each year and my mom occasionally cans when she finds great deals on veggies and fruit), so I figured I’d give it a try whenever the opportunity presented itself.

So, we had some friends offer us some plums a few weeks back, from the tree in their backyard (Italian plums, the best I could tell). I did some research and discovered a simple recipe that didn’t use pectin, a traditional canning process, or twice as much sugar as plums (believe it or not, it’s common to have a recipe for twice as much sugar as fruit, which just seems silly to me). This was all just an experiment. I don’t even like plums, as a general rule.

But I found this recipe:

And I went to work. I had a lot of plums, and I tried a number of ways to get them out of their skins. In the end, though, what worked best was making sure I had clean hands and using my fingers to remove the fruit… I found I got more of the fruit that way in the least amount of time. It was a really messy process, so make sure you’ve got a space that can take some sticky mess and be easily cleaned afterward.

The main place I deviated from the recipe was that I put my fruit pieces into a blender, rather than let them just cook down to the right consistency. I wanted an even consistency because I’m a odd sensitive-to-texture person, so I did it this way. You could certainly let the plum pieces cook down if you want a fleshier sort of consistency.

If you have a splatter screen, you’ll want to use it. I still have a small mark from where a bit of molten plum mixture jumped up and landed on my arm.

As soon as it was done, I poured it into two clean pint canning jars, using a canning funnel. I made a double batch, or I would have only filled one pint jar. I tasted it while hot and really enjoyed the flavor of the jam. Then, I let it cool and refrigerated both jars, where three can be stored for up to three months. I’m not sure it’ll last until then. It’s pretty tasty.

So, that’s my adventure in jam-making. I like the title “Jamstress,” (Gilmore Girls, anyone?) so maybe I’ll do this again!


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