It's time to JAM!!
There's nothing more relaxing than slow jams on a Sunday morning. I traveled back to the crime scene of the sushi party, (A's house) to put some of the plums from his plum tree to good use and to also use the remainder of some cherries that Elise gave me...
And the sparkling wine...
OK, so back to the jam...
Here are the plums, straight from the backyard.
The chopping and pitting of fruit commences...
Here are the cherries all set to go!
The jars, all ready to be filled... Will the jam turn out properly? A. had made some jam one week prior and it turned out quite nicely. It had a great fruit roll-up flavour. Like a lemony-grapish-cherry if you can imagine that. :)
We decided to flavor the plum and cherry jam with vanilla. And, we wanted the flavour to be as concentrated as possible. So, to do that we used a Madagascar Vanilla Pod. I received a pod like this from Garrett and I will be using many more samples I got from him and a very generous vanilla distributor in upcoming recipes. Ice cream will surely be one of them. Thanks Garrett and Beanilla!!!
I am carefully extracting the beans from the pod. First I sliced it open and then I used the blunt end of a knife and ran it across the pod.
This is the contents of about two pods.
And here is the gorgeous SMELLING vanilla sugar I made to go in the jam. I pressed the sugar and the vanilla beans together in the bowl with the back of a spoon like a mortar and pestle to release the oils of the vanilla beans. Yum.
We brought the fruit to a boil and reduced the heat to simmer for five minutes.
Then we added the pectin and a little sugar. We also added a little butter in the mix to prevent foaming. Then we brought the mixture to a rolling boil.
Then added the remaining sugar... The VANILLA sugar. We returned the pot to a rolling boil and started the timer for exactly one minute more.
Then it was time to fill the jars.
And place them in the cauldron to seal them.
We filled the jars and put the lids on... but not too tight... and placed them all in the cage to be lowered into the boiling water.
And two and a half hours later... We had 12 jars of delicious Plum Vanilla Cherry Jam! I am going to try again with different fruits because jam making is not difficult. Just time consuming. But, it was WORTH the time. I am giving some out to friends and my sending some to my mom. Since I am considering entering this jam in a contest, I am not going to disclose the recipe at this point. But I am ready to fill a cake with this stuff... or spread it on some crepes or french toast with Nutella. Uh-huh! Thanks A. It was so much fun! xo