I’ve recently got into jam making @ Chez Foti and I’m totally hooked. My Dad’s an amazing jam, marmalade, chutney and pickle maker and has been supplying Family Foti with his wonderful retirement hobby preserves for years. To be honest when we lived in the UK and had his ready supply I never even considered making my own (and had a distinct lack of time with two very little littlies!), but now we’re in France and one and a half of the children are at school (Little Miss F full time and Master J part time) I finally have a few snippets of time for jam making. Plus we’ve had an amazing abundance of wild fruit at Chez Foti this summer and autumn. The old plum tree and five greengages have been weighed down with their fruity wares this year, none of which bore a single fruit last year. We’ve also a crazy amount of blackberries, a couple of apple trees and three old but exceptionally fruitful pear trees. And plenty of neighbours with unlimited kilos of figs going spare.
It’s been surprisingly easy to get good results with the jam making, but then I could be having a long spate of beginners luck!. So far I’ve made four different batches of plum or greengage jam, using different sugars and adding or omitting cinnamon, but the recipe below is my favourite. I’m not even a jam gal normally, much preferring my marmite, peanut butter or (dad’s) marmalade on my toast in the morning. But now we have jars and jars of the homemade stuff I can’t resist, and the same for the kids who’ve never really liked jam much before. Mr F however is and always has been a BIG jam eater, and nothing else for him will ever suffice on toast. Needless to say he’s one happy husband these days loving my latest foray into the world of jam making!.
Last autumn I tried my hand for the first time at chutney making, again with some very pleasing beginners luck results. As yet I haven’t got around to chutneying this year, though have all the ingredients and a garden and potager full of waiting wares, so watch this space!. I should also mention I recently made a huge batch of the most wonderful Fig Jam flavoured with port and lemon following a recipe from a new-to-me-blog The Garden Deli. Please drop by and have a peruse at this gorgeous blog, and if you happen to have a kilo or three of figs going spare then you MUST make this jam, equally wonderful on toast in the morning or as a savory preserve served with goats or sheeps cheeses.
As the theme of this month’s Tea Time Treats blogging challenge, held jointly by Karen @ Lavender and Lovage and this month by Kate @ What Kate Baked, is Jams, Chutneys, Curds and Conserves I’m entering for the first ever time!.
Cinnamon Greengage or Plum Jam
To make 5 average sized jars:
1.5 kilos of plums or greengages, washed, halved and stoned
400ml of water
1.25 kilos of granulated sugar
2 heaped teaspoons of ground cinnamon
Place the halved and de-stoned plums or greengages together with the water in a very large pan, preferably a jam or maslin pan. Place on a medium heat and simmer for 10 to 20 minutes until the fruit and skins are a little softened.
Stir in the sugar and cinnamon and raise the heat. Bring to a simmer and allow to boil reasonably furiously until setting point is reached, either by a thermometer temperature of 104.5 or by testing a drop on a cold saucer (place a couple in the fridge at the start of the jam making process). If you can wrinkle the jam (just a little) after a minute on the saucer it’s good to go.
Immediately pour into sterilised jars and top with a wax disc and the jar lid whilst still piping hot.
October 13th, 2012 at 3:15 pm
I like the idea of adding cinnamon to the jam – will definitely be trying that! Also a bit envious of your baskets full of greengages. Our tree was covered with blossom earlier in the year, but not a single fruit has appeared. Thanks too for your kind comments about the fig jam!
October 15th, 2012 at 1:28 pm
I’m so loving your jam too! We didn’t have a single greengage last year on any of our trees, so we’ve been really lucky this year….and probably none again next year!
October 13th, 2012 at 5:38 pm
I love making jams! I do mostly savoury ones though, as that’s what I always like having to hand.
p.s. Little Jacques is adorable!!
October 15th, 2012 at 1:34 pm
Thanks Emily! I’m going to try my hand at a few savoury jams too, I’ve bookmarked your Chili Marmalade obviously….and I want to make a chili and tomato jam too. Still have way too many tommies to get through!
October 13th, 2012 at 11:41 pm
LOVELY entry for Tea Time Treats! I have the same plums in my garden, but I always know them as Mirabelles……love the idea of adding cinnamon to the jam too, great idea! Karen
October 15th, 2012 at 1:37 pm
Hi Karen, I never really know what to call them, mirabelles or greengages. People seem to call them both, but because mine are generally slightly greener than most mirabelles I’ve called them greengages! I should really find out what they are!
October 14th, 2012 at 9:51 am
I do occasionally add cinnamon to plum or damson jam but not to greengage jam.
I never add any water, nor do I halve and de-stone first (just scoop the stones out when the fruit is bubbling away). If you use frozen fruit, add a bit more sugar.
My top tip, the juice of a lemon into bubbling greengages makes all the difference. I’ll post my recipe and give you a shout 🙂
I’m jamming and pickling this week (greengages, damsons, cucumbers, beetroots) x.
October 15th, 2012 at 1:40 pm
Oh thanks Lesley, the Jammy Queen! Was considering adding lemon juice and might do this next time, and never thought about leaving the stones in and picking them out as they bob up…would save oodles of time! Hoping to get a bit more jamming action in later in the week and some chutney too. It’s so hectic this time of the year isn’t it?
October 14th, 2012 at 9:14 pm
You’re making me feel like Jammin too, as is Alex Stevenson in her ‘We’re Jammin’ blog at http://www.florasposts.co.uk. I love greengage jam, our greengage tree only planted last year and zero fruit this year. Very envious of yours.
October 15th, 2012 at 1:45 pm
I have to say I’m really quite partial to this jam, not being a jammy person ordinarily! Hang on in there for some jam in a year or two. I’m loving http://www.florasposts.co.uk – another fab new blog to me, thanks. Louisa
October 24th, 2012 at 7:28 pm
Thank you very, very much for your lovely entry into TTT! Really delighted you entered and we discovered your great blog!