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    Greengage Jam

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    Greengage Jam

    Perfectly sweet and honeyed when absolutely ripe, greengages are perhaps my all-time favourite plums. They also make a superb jam, with the bonus that they are high in pectin so there is rarely any problem with the set. You don't even need to stone them, as the stones will rise up to the top of the boiling mass of their own accord, and can be skimmed off easily.

    • Vegetarian
    • Preparation time: 15 minutes
    • Cooking time: 55 minutes
    • Total time: 1 hour 10 minutes 60 minutes 10 minutes

    Makes: around 2.5kg

    Ingredients

    • 1.5 kg greengages
    • 1.5 kg granulated or caster sugar
    • 2 vanilla pods
    • 15g unsalted butter

    Method

    1. Check over the greengages as you wash them and eat any that are so ripe they are squishy (they may spoil the keeping qualities of the jam, so you might as well). Throw out any that are damaged or mouldy. Slightly underripe fruit are fine.
    2. Put the whole greengages into a pan with 250ml water and the vanilla pods. Simmer quietly for around 30 minutes until the fruit is extremely soft. Draw off the heat and stir in the sugar. Keep on stirring until it has all dissolved, then return the pan to the heat, add the butter and bring back to the boil.
    3. Let it boil hard for about 10 minutes, by which time the stones should be rising to the surface. Lift them out with a slotted spoon. Keep on boiling the jam until setting point is reached. Skim off scum, fish out the vanilla pods (rinse, dry and bury in a jar of sugar to make vanilla sugar), then ladle into hot sterilised jars, seal tightly and leave to cool.

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