|Framework Picking Team getting stuck into the job|
The recipe for making plum jam is very simple. Plums contain pectin, which is what makes the jam set, so there is no need to use special preserving sugar. We've also modified the recipe since last year to make it even simpler and quicker to cook by leaving out the water - we found we didn't need it, but the plums were very ripe and juicy. You will need a jam pan or other large and heavy-based pot to make this amount at once, as the jam will take up a lot more room as it boils. Our pans can take 9 to 10 litres, to give you an idea of the size. Also, it helps to have a long-handled wooden spoon and / or oven gloves to protect you from splashes of boiling jam.
5lbs damson or plum flesh
knob of butter
Wash and stone the fruit. Put fruit into a jam pan or other large heavy-based saucepan. Add the sugar and a knob of butter, (the butter helps stop a build up of foam on top of the jam) and begin to heat the mixture. Stir until you can't feel the sugar on the bottom any more, then taste it, because the fruit can vary a lot in acidity depending on how ripe it is. You can add another pound of sugar if necessary. Now bring it to the boil and boil hard for about 15-20 minutes. (NB. We were using very ripe plums. If the fruit is hard you might want to add a little water and boil it without the sugar until it starts to break up. )
|You need a specialised pan for a large amount of jam. A large, heavy-bottomed|
saucepan will work but the jam ingredients must take up less than half its volume.
Then start to test for a set - put a few drops of jam onto a china plate, let it cool slightly then push it with your finger. If the surface forms wrinkles, the jam is ready. Turn off the heat and ladle the jam into sterilized jars. It also helps to have a jam funnel so you get more of the jam in the jar! NB. Always use a ladle - boiling jam could injure you if not handled with great care, and you should never put it in jars by pouring from a full pan.
|Now - spread on good bread and tuck in!|
Meanwhile - more on the clay oven
The clay oven needs to dry fairly slowly, so our next stage was to clear out the dome and create a chimney area for it. Mark and Jon from Framework helped us to finish mixing the next layer of clay, and we set too.
Mark and Jon also get stuck in - literally!
Clay oven with chimney after removal of sand