In praise of plums...

Friday, 3 September 2010
How can you not love a plum...
They seem to have been made for blue skies...
As usual, this lady plum sighed relief when I picked her fruit. Happy to let her branches lift back up to where they belonged...
I only picked 2 large baskets because I havent time to deal with them all this year.
Couldnt resist a close up... are you fed up with pictures of plums yet?
The kitchen table was scrubbed ready for the jamming onslaught...
The Blueberries fell in love with the plums and wanted to go into the jam with them...
The marraige ceremony...
The happy couple(s)...

Rens Blum Jam

2 pounds of blueberries
6 pounds of victoria plums
half a pint of water
8 pounds of granulated sugar

First put the kettle on and make a BIG pot of tea... drink it all and wonder why you put yourself through jamming every year... remember why, then start making the jam...
Sort through your fruit. Do not cut up and stone the plums though. You need the pectin they give for setting!
Find your big preserving pan (the one you could boil a small child in) and put the fruit and the water in.
On a low to medium setting let it stew for quite a while. Have another pot of tea at this point because its going to take over an hour... I usually knit at this point...
Once its all nice and soft and the plums have 'squashed' against the back of the spoon and side of the pan its time to add an avalanche of granulated sugar. Turn the heat down to its lowest setting at this point. Give it a good stir and then stir occassionally until all of the sugar is dissolved. It can take a while for all of that grainyness to go so be patient.
Now its time to turn your preserving pan into a hubble bubble toil and trouble moment...
Turn up the heat to just below maximum untill you have a peaked rolling boil in the centre of your pan. Remove all offspring from the vicinity of the volcano at this point.
Boil until setting point is reached.
Ive given up on cold saucers and wrinkly skins (not mine, the jam...) and now use my sugar thermometer which very cleverly has a little line pointing to the word jam on it! When it reaches JAM I switch off and bottle it up! Before bottling though you will notice a little flotilla of plum stones on the surface. Carefully pick these out using the back of a spoon. It takes about 5 minutes. Put them in a glass jug and when youve got them all out cover these stones with boiling hot water and stir. Strain this purple delight into a large cup and have a treat!

Label and stow away for the coming winter and serve on crusty homemade bread in front of the fire with your knitting bag at your side, a fresh tray of tea on the table beside you, cat at your feet, snow outside...

Ren x


  1. This looks absolutely delicious, as did the rather nice fairysteps wallet that turned up at our house this morning, I was only allowed a look and feel as its destined for someone else :(

  2. Aw nice! I used to make blackberry jam all the time from the wild picked berrys. They look purely devine! I envision all of this in front of your fireplace..

  3. so sweet! you live in an endless garden of fruit, veggies and yarn and make bags and shoes...bliss! Ali xx

  4. Ooh, delicious! I have three crates of apples that the children gathered yesterday awaiting stewing, and jamming, and chutneying, and anything else we can think of to do with them! I feel exhausted just thinking about it :)

  5. I'm jamming later today as we've a ton of blackberries to deal with. I'd love a plum tree at some point but we've enough work with the apple glut at the moment.

    Your jam looks so delicious and you describe the process so beautifully :D