The 2018 preserving season has finally begun! A little late, it's August :-) First out of the gate (really the kitchen) is a delicious purple plum jam with Grand Marnier.
The recipe originates in the most inconspicuous little cookbook titled The Good Stuff Cookbook by Helen Witty. It offers probably the best collection of recipes for the pantry. This is one book I have owned, consulted, cooked from over the past twenty years.
This rich, flavourful jam is enhanced by a "tease" of orange liqueur.
To make seven 250ml jars.
4 lbs blue (or black, or Italian or prune) plums
2 cups water
1/4 cup lemon juice
4 cups sugar
1/2 cup Grand Marnier
Rinse, drain and pit the plums. Put them in a large saucepan with the water, bring to a boil and simmer gently until they are very soft and most of the liquid has evaporated, about 30 minutes.
At this point, you can use a potato masher to break down the plums (still leave pieces) or press the plums and their liquid through a food mill. Combine the pulp, lemon juice, and sugar in a preserving pan and stir the mixture over medium-high heat until the sugar has dissolved. Cook the jam at a brisk boil, stirring often until it passes the jelly test (or reaches 220 on the thermometer), about 10 minutes. Add the Grand Marnier and cook the jam another minute or two.
Ladle the hot jam into hot, clean 250ml jars, leaving 1/4-inch headspace. Seal the jars with canning lids and process 15 minutes in a boiling-water bath. Cool, label and store the jars. The jam will keep for at least one year in a cool cupboard.