As well as making various jams and jellies and crumbles with this years hedgerow blackberries, I’ve also made a few batches of Mirabelle (or wild plum) jam….it’s a beautifully tasting Autumnal jam, and I think suits a wholemeal bread better than white…it’s also a good jam to use in little pastry bottomed tarts
(I use a ratio of 5 fruit to 4 sugar…so 500 g of plums to 400 g of sugar… and the juice of one lemon per every kilo of fruit)
Give the fruit a quick rinse in cold water and dry them. Cut them in half to remove the plum stones.
Put the split fruit into a glass or ceramic bowl, squeeze over the lemon juice and then add the sugar. Cover with a clean tea towel and leave to one side for about an hour.
Transfer the fruit and sugar to a preserving pan, and bring to a simmer. Put back into a ceramic or glass bowl, cover with some baking parchment and allow to cool before putting in the fridge overnight.
The next day, strain the fruit from the syrup. Bring the syrup to a boil, and cook for around 5 minutes.
Add the strained plums and return to a boil for about 3 minutes. Check the jam sets and then pour into sterilised jars and seal with waxed paper discs.
And as well as making regular raspberry jam I’ve also made some using a couple of peaches that were a bit on the wooly side…
Raspberry and Peach Jam
1 kilo of raspberries
800 g of granulated sugar
lemon juice (one lemon per every kilo of fruit)
(I use the 5 to 4 fruit,sugar ratio…… so 250 g of peaches will need 200 g of sugar)
Peel the peaches, remove the stones and weigh. Put into a preserving pan and add the calculated amount of sugar and a squirt of lemon juice (if you are just using a couple of peaches then a tablespoon of lemon juice will be enough)
Gently mash the fruit with a potato masher and then bring to a simmer for a couple of minutes.
Now add the raspberries and the rest of the sugar and the juice of a lemon. Bring to a boil, gently stirring all the while. Allow to cook for at least 5 minutes, check the set by dribbling a little onto a cold saucer, if it doesn’t wrinkle bring up to the boil again and keep checking the set. (it may take up to ten minutes before the jam sets)
Put the jam into clean,sterilised jam jars, and seal with waxed paper discs.
Both the Mirabelle and Raspberry/Peach jams are the most beautifully coloured jams you can imagine, shades of coral, salmon, apricot, bubbling up in the preserving pan…the soft, intense hues of a glorious sunset…..they’re worth making just to see how incredible they look (and your tummy will be most happy too!)