We all do it, walking down a country lane we all have been guilty of picking the odd blackberry along the way. Growing up in the countryside, for years my dad would take us on walks where he knew blackberries would be or stop the car in the middle of a country lane to pick up a few. This problem has been made worse since we moved to Norfolk and recently we traveled 60 miles to go to one car park where we knew there would be plums. This got me thinking, it is a very 1930's-40's sort of thing, in the second world war rationing meant that people couldn't get what they wanted, so roadside bushes were the thing to utilise.
So back to this car park, last year me and dad accidentally found it and decided we would go back. We made 33 jars of yellow and red plum jam last year and as we are now setting up a business (B&B) we could use some more. So after my graduation we popped over the the car park (as it was en-route home) and picked up 28lbs of plums - however we couldn't deal with them quick enough and had to throw many of them in the compost. So on Monday we went back and picked 24lbs of the yellow plums (which were now ready) and since then I have spent the last two days de-stoning them and freezing or making jam with them. I think the lesson I learnt is only pick what you can use...
Plum Jam Recipe:
- 4lb of plums (stoned)
- 16 floz of water
- 3lb of sugar
- Tip your stoned plums into a jam making pot or a big casserole dish. Add the water and let the plums simmer - I let this happen for about 20-30 minutes.
- Tip in the sugar and stir thoroughly until it has all dissolved. Continue to simmer, stirring occasionally. It usually takes at least 20-30 minutes to to get to the stage where you can test it to see if it has set.
- Put a saucer in the fridge with a bit of jam on it and leave it to cool for 3-5 minutes. Run your finger through it to check if it is set, you will see it is ready when there is a skin on the top or when both sides don't meet again in the middle.
- Ladle into jam jars using a funnel.
- And that is how I made 20lbs worth of plums into jam. The best part is all I had to pay for was the sugar!