A naturally sweetened and delicately spiced sweet/tart plum spread that’s easily made in the oven.
It’s jam season, that wonderful time of year when the trees are heavy with the ripest, juiciest fruit. If you’re lucky enough to have a fruit tree you know that moment, the one when every fruit on the tree reaches its peak at once and it’s either eat them until you’re stuffed silly or make jam.
Even if you don’t have a fruit tree (or know someone who does) you can still enjoy the simple pleasure of a pot of homemade jam.
A lot of people are put off by the idea of making their own jam at home, but it really doesn’t have to be a complicated affair. With even just a pound of fruit from the farmer’s market or grocery store you can make a jar of jam. There’s also no need to fuss with special jam equipment or sterilizing jars when you’re making a small batch, all you need is an oven and a pie plate. That’s right, you can make jam right in the oven, and it’s ever so simple.
I started mine with an armful of super ripe red plums I had sitting on the counter that needed to be put to good use. (I like the flavor and color of red plums the best for this jam but any variety you find will do, just make sure they’re nice and juicy.)You first macerate the fruit with your sweetener and any spices you’re using; I used maple syrup, cardamom and half a vanilla bean for a subtle but warm and spicy undertone.
Once the mixture is nice and syrupy you pop it in the oven for an hour and let it bubble away (just give it a quick stir every once in a while.) You’ll know it’s ready when the plums have slumped and softened into one another and the ruby red syrup surrounding them clings to a cold spoon. Once cooled the jam can go straight into the fridge where it will keep for several weeks (much longer than it will take for you to finish it.)
What you end up with is a sweet/tart, soft set jam with hints of warm spice flavors from the cardamom and vanilla. It’s the perfect accompaniment to pancakes or waffles and delicious swirled into yogurt or chia pudding for breakfast.
Happy jam making!
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