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Until this summer, I never understood the work that comes with having fruit trees. Now I get it. We have eight fruit trees. Over the past few months I’ve spent countless hours in the kitchen washing, slicing, pureeing, drying, cooking and canning. After, searching the internet, I used three different recipes as inspiration for my Spiced Plum Jam Recipe.
I made jam for the first time this summer. After just a couple months (and about 15 jars of jam), I feel like a pro. I never realized how easy it is to make and can really good jam. I was always super intimidated by all the steps. Okay, so the actual making of the jam really doesn’t have many steps. It’s the canning part that has a lot of steps–but is still surprisingly simple if you have the right tools.
Okay, so before I launch into my Spiced Plum Jam recipe, I’m just going to go out on a limb here and assume that some of you reading this might be beginner jam makers or beginning canning people like I was. So, before I reveal my amazing Spiced Plum Jam recipe to you, let’s go over some basic things you’ll need to do the canning part of the process.
Basic Canning Tools
– Canning jars. I like to use the 8 oz. jam size jars so the time the jar is opened until the time we finish off the jar is shorter. If you go through jam really fast you can also 12 oz. jam jars.
– Water bath canning tools. Water bath canning is the recommended way to can fruit. I picked up this starter canning tools kit for really cheap on Amazon.
– A large canning pot. Since we have a glass top stove we can’t use the large water bath canning pots. After lots of frustration trying to find canning setup that would work with my stove, I ended up investing in a Ball Electric Waterbath Canner that can cooks from the countertop.
Okay, now that we’ve gone over some of your basic canning tools…
Spiced Plum Jam Recipe
Wash and pit your plums. Depending on the type of plum you have you may be able to cut all the way around your plum, twist and pull your plum apart, and then pull the pit out. If your plums are like mine you’ll need to cut each pit out. It is a bit tedious, but the result is totally worth it!
Combine all your ingredients into a large pot (mine was a 6 quart and was a bit too small) and slowly bring to a boil (medium heat). You’ll notice that the recipe calls for a bit of butter. The butter will help reduce the amount of foam the jam produces as it cooks.
The mixture will begin to thicken–make sure you keep stirring occasionally. Cook up to 45 minutes. Once the jam mixture begins to gel off the spoon (when it doesn’t drip fast off the spoon like liquid anymore) it is done. Keep in mind that the jam will continue to cook and thicken while in the waterbath.
Remove from heat and ladle jam into hot, clean jars, leaving 1/4 inch of headspace (the space between the top of the jam and the top of the jar).
Process for 15 minutes in waterbath canner. This article on the Ball website has just about everything you need to know to learn how to do waterbath canning. Make sure you take note of the link to the altitude adjustments if you live at a high altitude. For example, I have to increase my waterbath processing time by 10 minutes because I live at 4500 feet above sea level.