Every year in March I make Plum jam. This year I have been rather late with my efforts as each time I purchased the quantity that I needed for my recipe, we scoffed the lot! They were delicious.

So, after threatening my family I finally got round to the jamming session.

I like to use a mixture of ripe and less ripe plums. The ripe for flavour, the less ripe for higher levels of pectin. But you can use what you like. Also, a combination of different varieties and sizes is fine.

Plum Jam

  • 1.5 kg plums, skin on, cut into chunks, stones reserved
  • rind of 1 lemon
  • 700 g castor sugar
  • juice of 2 lemons, to taste
  • 1 vanilla bean, split lengthwise

Put the plums, juice of 1 lemon and lemon rind into a large heavy-based saucepan and simmer over a very low heat for about 20 minutes stirring occasionally. Add the sugar, vanilla and some of the stones cracked if you can, which you have tied up in a piece of clean muslin.

Cook, stirring often for another 20 minutes and when starting to thicken and set, test the jam to see if the setting point has been reached.

To do that take out a spoonful of jam and place it on a saucer. Put it in the fridge for a few minutes, then test it by pushing it with your finger. If it wrinkles, the jam is set. If not, cook for another 5 – 10 minutes and try again.

When you have reached setting point, taste the jam for acidity, (I don’t like it to be sickly sweet), and add more lemon juice if you think it needs it.

Immediately fill some jars, I use a mix of jars, which have been sterilised and are dry. Invert them and leave to cool. Once you have opened a jar store it in the refrigerator.

This jam is delicious served on thick slices of sourdough toast with butter or fresh ricotta. But my favourite way of eating it at the moment is with Greek yoghurt for breakfast. Just a teaspoon swirled through the cold yoghurt. Sublime!