Tuesday, 2 August 2011


Over the weekend I was a busy bee making jam.
Our lovely neighbour gave us a big bag of yellow plums from her garden, as she's had a bumper crop this year. Also, we've had lots of rhubarb (our garden's big success this year), so roll on plum jam and rhubarb jam...

For both recipes I used my 1970's copy of the Good Housekeeping cookery book, which is filled with lots of wonderful recipes and used the "plum jam" recipe for the plums. Here are the jars of jam:-

I used the pressure cooker to cook the plums, in the hopes that their colour would stay better if I cooked them under pressure for 5 min vs. 30-50 min in a normal pan. As the pressure cooker is stainless steel, it's also the ideal place to make the jam.

While the plums cooked I found a recipe to use the rhubarb in, the imaginatively named "Rhubarb Ginger" which, believe it or not, has rhubarb and ginger in it.

Here's some of the rhubarb:-
Yay - we grew this!

There was no added water in the recipe, and the way to deal with this was to prepare the rhubarb the day before making the jam, by chopping it up and layering it with the sugar:-
This was covered with a tea-towel and left overnight, and by the magical process of osmosis the water from the rhubarb seeped out into the sugar, and made it all ready to cook.

Fresh ginger was cooked in with the rhubarb and then removed, crystallised ginger (made by cooking fresh ginger in sugar syrup) was added for the jamming process. My jam thermometer was great for the process, and I learnt with the plum jam to trust it more (it didn't seem to be setting so I boiled it longer, ignoring the thermometer, and the plum jam is now set rock solid).

Here's a picture of my final hoard from a weekend boiling fruit in sugar:-


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