PLUM & PORT JAM

Splurge with this adults-only jam packed full of flavour from locally grown plums and a nip of your favourite port. Delicious on toast, crackers, sandwiches or stirred into homemade yoghurt. Or how about warming a few spoonfuls of this jam and use as a glaze for chicken or pork, grilled or stir-fried with noodles and vegetables.
   
Ingredients for PLUM & PORT JAM

Yield: around 9 cups
Plums, Finely Diced
(Fresh or Frozen)
1.3kg (3 1/2 pounds)
Port
1/4 cup
Powdered Pectin
(i.e. JamSetta)
50g (1 sachet)
White Sugar
8 cups
Port, Extra
1/4 cup
   
METHOD: 
1. Sterilise all equipment by washing in hot soapy water and rinsing well before use.
2. Wash plums and drain well. OPTIONAL: Dip plums in boiling water for 30-60 seconds to slip off their skins, or peel manually and use the peels for another preserving recipe (you can leave plums skins on if you wish, they do add more colour to the jam, especially if the plum flesh is pale). Remove stems and blemishes. Cut plums in half, remove pits and dice. Place the fruit and
1/4 cup port into a large pan. Bring to a boil, then simmer gently (uncovered) for 15 minutes or until fruit is soft, stirring every now and then. Remove from heat. Carefully blend into a puree using a stick blender in the pan (for a smooth jam) or mash by hand for a rustic/artisan jam texture.
3. Cover jars with water and bring to a boil, boiling for 10 minutes. Once the time is up, turn the heat off and leave jars in the hot water until ready to fill. 
4. Place lids into a bowl of boiled water. Remove the lids from the water when you are ready to place them onto the jars to seal.  
5. Sprinkle pectin (i.e. JamSetta) over the surface of the plum puree and whisk well. Bring to a boil.
6. Add room temperature sugar to the pan all at once. Whisk over medium heat until the sugar has dissolved.
7. Boil the plum & port jam as hard as possible for 1 minute (begin timing once it is boiling hard – known as a rolling boil. It cannot be stirred down).
8. Remove the jam pan from heat. Discard any foam that appears on the surface of the jam. Add the remaining port and whisk well.
9. Immediately ladle the hot jam into the hot jars, filling to 0.5cm (1/4 inch) from the rim.
10. Using a non-metal utensil, remove any air pockets and add more jam if required.
11. Wipe rims with a clean, damp cloth to remove any food residue.
12. Add pre-warmed lids and twist to secure.
13. Place sealed jars into a pot of boiling water and boil for the processing time stated below. Start the timer once the water comes to a full boil.
14. Turn off the heat source once the time is up. Remove jars from hot water after 5 more minutes. Cool jars overnight on a heatproof surface. Do not adjust lids during this time.
15. The next day, check jars have sealed before labelling and dating.
16. Store jars of plum & port jam in a cool, dark and dry place for up to 12 months (lower-sugar jam will not keep as long). Jar lids should not flex up or down when pressed.
17. Refrigerate jars upon opening and consume contents within 6-8 weeks.
   
Processing Time for PLUM & PORT JAM in a Boiling Water Canner
Jar
Size
Altitude
≤ 1,000 feet
Altitude
1,001 - 3,000 feet
Altitude
3,001 - 6,000 feet
Altitude
≥ 6,000 feet
Hot Pack
≤ 500ml
(pints)
5
minutes
10 minutes
10 minutes
15 minutes
   
FLAVOUR IDEAS:
o    Add other flavouring/s i.e. allspice, black pepper, cinnamon, cloves, ginger, lemon, nutmeg, orange or vanilla bean (or several of these). 

NOTES: 
o   Low-sugar, no-pectin jam: chop 1kg plums (washed, stones removed) and mix in a non-metal bowl with 300g raw sugar (or sugar of your choice, 1/4 cup port and 1 finely sliced lemon (seeds can be tied into some muslin for boiling in the jam). Mix, cover and rest overnight in the refrigerator. The next day, boil mixture until set, discarding seed bag before adding remaining 1/4 cup port and bottling (follow processing method above).
o   Low-sugar, pectin jam: use no/low-sugar pectin instead to cut the sugar in our recipe back to 1/2 cup (or to taste) using sugar, honey or stevia, and then follow the main method. Remember reducing the sugar does affect the jam consistency so trial with a small batch of jam first.
o   Remove skins from your jam by running through a fine sieve before adding the sugar.
    
Author: Megan Radaich          Image credit: Megan Radaich          
Publication: www.foodpreserving.org
  

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