Sometimes in our family we like to take a short break from being chaotic and dysfunctional and do something productive. My boys love cooking and baking and one of our favourite things to make is jam. We made several jars of jam at Christmas which we gifted to friends and family, but this is a great thing to make all year round and not only to give away as presents but to keep for ourselves too!
This is the recipe that we use. It’s never gone wrong and it always tastes delicious!
Plum and Apple Jam
600 mls water
Juice of 1 lemon
Note – Recipes often state that you should use a particular types of fruit, such as Bramley apples, but we just use whatever apples we have in the fruit bowl (which are usually the cheapest apples we can find!) and they always work perfectly well. Also, some recipes state that you need to use preserving sugar or that you should add pectin, none of which we ever have in the house. We use ordinary granulated sugar instead and that works just fine too and we add the lemon juice to help set the jam in the absence of pectin. We don’t have anything as fancy as a preserving pan either so we just use an ordinary, large pan.)
1. Chop the plums in half, remove the stone, then chop roughly into smaller pieces. Don’t remove the skin.
2. Peel, core and chop the apples.
3. Put into a pan with the water and simmer until softened. This took about 40 minutes.
4. Turn down the heat to low, add the sugar and keep stirring until it is dissolved. This took about 5 minutes.
5. Boil rapidly for about 10 minutes. Keep stirring to avoid burning!
6. Test the jam to see if it is ready for setting by putting a spoonful on a chilled plate. Put it in the fridge far a minute or two and if it crinkles when you push it then it is ready. If not, boil for a few minutes more and then repeat.
7. Put into sterilised jars, seal and label.
This fills approximately six 350ml jars.
Note – to sterilise our jars we wash them in hot, soapy water and then rinse them. We set the oven to 140 degrees celsius (fan oven), put a sheet of newspaper on the oven shelf and then put the jars on the newspaper in the oven for about 20 minutes. Meanwhile, the lids are put in a bowl of boiling water for 10 minutes to sterilise them. Then the jars and lids are left to cool a little before filling with the jam.
Whenever we make this for presents we tie some ribbon around the top of the jars to make them look pretty!