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How to Make Plum Jam
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To Prepare the Fruit:
To halve the plums, cut along the indentation in the flesh, twist the halves apart and remove the stones with the tip of a sharp knife.
When the jam has reached setting point, prepare the jam jars so that the jars are ready at the same time as the jam.
The key to making successful jam is to weigh the fruit and sugar carefully. Use jam sugar that contains pectin, which is a natural setting agent found in varying quantities in fruit. Preserving sugar is also available, and contains larger crystals of sugar which dissolve more easily, but do not contain the extra pectin.
To Prepare Jam Jars:
Ensure the jars are free from cracks or chips. Preheat the oven to 160°C, gas mark 3. Wash the jars in hot soapy water, rinse and dry thoroughly. Put the jars on their sides in the oven for 10 minutes, then turn off the oven until the jam is ready to pot.
Choosing your Pan:
Use a large, wide saucepan. The mixture should not be higher than half way up the sides. The pan should also be wide so that the liquid will evaporate more quickly. A large, wide saucepan will also reduce the likelihood of the jam boiling over.
A sharp knife, a preserving pan or large wide heavy-based pan, long-handled wooden spoon, 4 saucers placed in the freezer, a slotted spoon, a wooden chopping board, a heatproof measuring jug, 8 x 450g prepared jam jars, 1 x pack Safewrap Jam Pot Covers.
This recipe was first published in August 2001.