A delicious (gently) spiced plum jam.
Jam is so easy to make that when I occasionally make it I always wonder why I don’t do it more often. The spice is very subtle, so feel free to increase (or change) the spices to taste, along with the sugar. Plums are fairly pectin rich but the riper they are the less pectin they have, hence the mix of jam and standard sugar. This recipe will fill 2.5 litre jars.
Before starting make sure your jars are sterilised (see e.g. here) and put a couple of saucers in the freezer. We’ll use the saucers later to test if the jam is ready. Wash the plums and remove the stalks. Cut around them vertically, twist to separate and then remove the stones. Chop into fairly large pieces (they will reduce in cooking) then add to a large heavy bottomed pan with the water and lemon juice. Simmer for 30-40 minutes until nicely softened, stirring regularly. With the heat low add the sugar, and stir continuously until dissolved – you’ll be able to feel the sugar ‘scratching’ until it is dissolved. Add the cinnamon and ginger, then bring to a vigorous rolling boil for about ten minutes. Take one of the chilled saucers and dribble a little jam onto it. Leave to cool for 30 seconds or so, then push your finger through it. If it wrinkles then it is done. If not, boil for a further 5 minutes then try again.