If you’ve been following my obsession with preserves with some amusement (or growing concern) but never tried to make any yourself, this here is the recipe to get you off the bench. This is not your grandma’s jam (unless she was a bit of a lush) and it isn’t for your grade-schoolers lunch box (unless you want to train them up early in the family tradition of drinking before noon). I’m assuming the booze boils out, but the taste is strong (particularly if you double the rum…)
All that being said, this is the best, most wonderful, most forget-the-bread-just-bring-me-a-spoon jam I’ve made so far. While you can still get good farmers market plums, I suggest you all go make this. Even if you don’t can it, it should last in your fridge a month or two.
Start with 2 1/4 lbs plums. (Note I finally got a kitchen scale! YAY!) You can use any type of plums, and there are plenty of varieties, but if possible use tree ripened local plums. They are sweeter and more flavorful than the imported from California, god knows when they were picked, variety.
Cut them in half and remove the pits. No need to peel and I like some chunks of fruit so it is better (and easier!) to leave them in half.
Add 1 1/4 cup of water to the pot and bring to a boil.
The recipe calls for 6 cups of sugar. That’s a lot of sugar. I actually reduced it to 4ish cups and then added some reduced sugar pectin. Boil it all up for 5 to 10 minutes until it passes the set test. Remove from heat and add the magic ingredient….RUM.
Also, I doubled (ish) the amount. I know, I know, shocking. (To give you perspective, that is a four cup measuring cup there.)
My recipe called for 3 TBS, which is about 1/4 cup. I added half a cup…ish. I might have thrown in another dollop. Its a matter of taste.
Stir it in and put it up. The recipe calls for hot water bath processing for around 5 minutes. That doesn’t seem like enough so I let it go for 10 which is more standard. But you could also just refridgerate it and eat it “immediately,” as in this month, not in 6 months.
The Plum Rum Jam was the hit of our vacation. Everyone (except little Riley who is still not wise to the wonders of alcohol flavored food) loooooved it. It is definitely rummy, but after the Rum hits your palate, it recedes and the lovely juicy plum flavor coats your tongue, soothes your mouth, and lets you know the world is a beautiful place.
This jam would be good…anywhere. Eaten by spoon? Check! On cheese? Check! My dad ate bacon and jelly sandwiches with it for several mornings strait. It was so good I came home and made another batch.
So here it is folks, your chance to get preserving. As Nike would say “just do it!”