Plum-Ginger Jam with Red Wine
Okay, thanks to a really good sale on black plums last week and a box of Pomona’s Pectin (which I reviewed last summer), I now have 7 half-pints of lovely delicious plum-ginger jam in the canner…
The thing I love about Pomona’s Pectin (I get it at my local Whole Foods, but I think it’s also available from Amazon and the like) is that you aren’t boxed into (no pun intended) set batch sizes and recipes. It’s incredibly flexible, and you can just kind of make up your own recipes and be fairly assured that they are safe and actually going to work. Last year I made Apricot-Ginger jam, and that was probably my all time favorite jam like ever (or at least since my mom used to make us help pick wild beach plums at the dunes in Ocean City, MD and make jelly out of them, but those plums and the dunes they used to grow on are long gone). Since I tend to think a shot of fresh ginger makes everything just a little lovelier, I thought I’d try it with plums this year.
Try this. It took under an hour start to finish, and is delicious.
Plum Ginger Jam with Red Wine
(Note: Pomona’s also has low-sugar and no-sugar instructions in the box; I made this jam with about half the sugar a normal pectin or no-pectin recipe would call for, and got a good bit more jam out of it…next time I’ll try even less.)
- 3-4 lbs sweet plums, pitted and cut into small pieces. (Or mashed/chopped, but I like the pieces)
- 2-ish cups sugar
- 1 tbs. fresh minced or crushed ginger
- 1/3 cup red table wine
- 1/4 cup lemon juice
- 1 box (you won’t use it all) Pomona’s Pectin, which includes pectin and powdered calcium; follow instructions for mixing the calcium water, and save the rest. This is the only extra step in this product, and it’s painfully easy.
- Place cut up plums, ginger, wine, and lemon juice in a bowl with 1 cup of sugar. Let sit a few hours or overnight. (Optional–this is a step not included in any jam recipe I’ve ever seen, but in recipes with several flavors it gives them time to blend really nicely and creates a lot of nice juice. If you want something more preserves-y, skip this.)
- At “jamming time,” put your canner water on to boil. Sterilize your jar lids and rings in it while it’s boiling, if you like. (Follow your own safe canning procedure; pickyourown.org has great instructions.)
- Here’s where the imprecision begins: Measure out how much fruit you have before putting it into your large saucepan to boil. This is what tells you how much pectin to use–if you have 4 cups of fruit, you’ll probably go with 2 tsp. pectin and 2 tsp calcium water. Read the package instructions; it’s easy.
- Mix the appropriate amount of calcium water into your fruit, and bring to a boil on the stove at medium or so heat
- Decide how much sugar you want: I generally do 2 cups sugar per 4 cups fruit, which is half what other recipes let you do, although I’ll probably cut that back next time. You’ve already put 1 cup sugar into your fruit, so you need one more. Add appropriate amount of pectin powder to your sugar and mix well.
- When fruit comes to a boil, add sugar/pectin mixture and stir in well. If you like, add 1 tbs. oil to prevent foaming. Let fruit boil for a few minutes (pectin package says 1-2 minutes; I usually give it 4-5 since I use bigger fruit bits). Remove from heat.
- If you like, this is where you could test the gelling–put a plate into the freezer earlier in the process (or forget the plate and use the tupperware lid of something already in there, which is what I usually do). Drizzle a little jam on top of the cold surface and put it back for a few minutes; if it’s all wrinkly on top when you touch it, your jam is fine and happy. I forgot to check this time, but…it’s fine and happy.
- Distribute jam among clean jelly jars, put lids and rings on, and process in hot water bath for 10 minutes. Take out, let cool, enjoy the happy little “pop!” sound you’ll hear from the jars as they come out telling you the jam is sealed good in there. Enjoy making just enough more jam than you meant to that there’s some leftover stuff that didn’t get canned, which means you can refrigerate it and eat it right away.
OMG guys, this is LOVELY jam. The ginger blends in with the plum, and the wine cuts the plums sweetness just enough that it doesn’t overpower. Next time I might put a cinnamon stick in during the overnight sit…