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Sunday, November 14, 2010

gettin' with the program.

I wanted to make plum jam. My Grandmother Sue,who can can with the best of them,she made plum jam forever ago.She also still at 91 makes these sweet pickles that are more candy than pickle.You can eat them like candy or eat them on a leftover pot roast sandwich with a little yellow mustard,mmm. It was my favorite when I was 5 and still my favorite to this day,hands down the best...oh right plum jam!
 Moving on,so my fantastic Grandmother Sue used to make plum jam and I fell in love with it.I could easily find lots of reasons to eat plum jam.

And I did,none to worry.

So I was super excited to find this orange plum jam recipe.I got the plums.I got to prepping the ingredients for the recipe and then I got with the program.I had enough plums to make two batches of orange plum jam and the lightbulb went off.I could make one batch with some vanilla sugar and one batch with lavender sugar.I had the jars filled with this amazing infused sugar in my pantry just waiting to make their debut.All the  cool kids use infused sugar. 

It's so easy to make:For the vanilla sugar:take one vanilla bean,cut it in a few pieces. Pour some sugar in a quart mason jar,split open the vanilla bean pieces and scrape out the little black specks of vanilla goodness. Layer the vanilla bean pieces between sugar and fill up the jar. Screw on the lid and set it your pantry to rest. The lavender sugar is even easier: You need like 1/8 cup of lavender flowers,not that many make a BIG statement.Layer them between sugar in a quart mason jar,screw on the lid and set it in your pantry to rest.Leave the jars in the pantry for about two weeks,shaking occasionally just to mix things up.To use the sugar just carefully sift out the vanilla bean or lavender flowers from the amount of sugar you need to use.Replace the sugar in the jar and continue to enjoy the flavors that come from those jars. Now onto orange plum jam folks,oh the flavors. The vanilla brought out every sweet note in the plums you could imagine. The lavender brightened up the plums and made the orange flavors shine,what a treat this jam will be. Enjoy!

Orange Plum Jam
adapted from The Ball Complete Book of Home Preserving
page 36
Makes about six 8-ounce jars
5 cups finely chopped plums
2 TBL grated orange zest
1 package (1.75 oz/49 - 57 g) 
   regular powdered fruit pectin
5 1/2 cups granulated sugar
***(at this point I used 3 1/2 cups regular sugar
       and 2 cups infused sugar)***
1/4 cup orange-flavored liqueur (optional)
1. Prepare your canner,jars and lids.
2.In a large,deep stainless steel saucepan,combine plums and orange zest. Whisk in pectin until dissolved. Bring to a boil over high heat,stirring frequently. Add sugar all at once and return to a full roiling boil,stirring constantly. Boil hard,stirring constantly for 1 minute. Immediately stir in orange-flavored liqueur if using. Remove from heat and skim off foam.
3. Ladle hot jam into hot jars,leaving 1/4 inch headspace, remove air bubbles and adjust headspace,if necessary by adding hot jam. Wipe rim. Center on lid on jar. Screw band down until resistance is met,then increase to fingertip-tight.
4. Place jars in canner,ensuring they are completely covered with water. Bring to a boil and process for 10 minutes. Remove canner lid and let that roiling boil calm down.Wait 5 minutes,then remove jars,cool and store.

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