Friday, September 21, 2012

Autumn Spiced Plum Jam


A bag of plums from our friends’ tree is a welcome gift this week. Italian prune plums are like late-season zucchini right now: in abundance!  And I appreciate how versatile these little beauties are for snacking, baking, pickling and jamming. Not too sweet and full of luscious flavor, they take well to different spices and can go both sweet and savory.

Even though we are relishing our late summer sun and warm air, I am beginning to crave the fall flavors that are just around the corner. Dare I say it? Soups and stews are on my mind, even as I slip on my flip-flops. I baked the first apple cobbler of the season this week and now warm spices, such as cinnamon, ginger, cloves and nutmeg are filling my thoughts. Oh, and pumpkin pie. Soon enough!


With autumn tastes swirling in my head, I gaze at the bowl of purple plums, eat a couple and ponder how to transform them. I didn’t make nearly enough jam over the summer, so to hold onto these last whispers of summer but also welcome fall, I decide on a jam spiced with ginger, cardamom and cloves. Buckwheat honey from our Rosh Hashanah dipping adds a touch of dark, earthy sweetness.


Fragrant, rosy, lightly spiced and bursting with fresh plum goodness, it made a delightful breakfast this morning when spread on a sea salt baguette (a Mazama Store favorite) alongside a steaming cup of green tea. I’ll be making this jam again before the season ends (and I wouldn’t say no to another bag of plums either ...).

Autumn Spiced Plum Jam
Makes 1 pint

2 pounds Italian prune plums, pitted and chopped into halves, or quarters if large
1/4 cup honey
1/4 teaspoon cardamom
1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice

Have ready a clean, sterilized pint jar and lid. In a large sauce pan, combine all of the ingredients over medium high heat and stir. Bring to a boil, lower the heat and let cook at a lightly bubbling simmer for about half an hour, stirring often to break down the fruit. Watch closely to be sure it does not begin to scorch and lower the heat further if needed. When the plums begin to thicken and coat a wooden spoon and have a jam-like consistency, remove from heat and let cool. Spoon the jam into the pint jar, cover and store in the fridge for up to one month.

29 comments:

  1. You had me at cardamom. Is there anything that isn't made delicious with cardamom? I've even had it in coffee! Happiness.

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    1. Mmm, cardamom in coffee is divine! When we hosted our exchange student from Saudi Arabia he made coffee with cardamom for us. So good! Hope you have a great weekend!

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    2. Last year when Starbucks had their 'vanilla spice' lattes, it was just made with cardamom. So I made a syrup with homemade vanilla extract, sugar, stevia, and cardamom to use in my coffee. So yummy! You should try it.

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  2. Oh, wow. This sounds so good! I have been looking for a plum recipe to make, and I think this might be the one. I love that it just makes one pint! Small batch jams are the greatest--at least for students like me!

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    1. Thanks, Brianne! My storage space is limited, so small batch/fridge jams work best for me. I hope you enjoy it! Enjoy plum season.

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  3. I LOVE this, plums are my favorite jam, hands down. The addition of spice is perfect. Have to see there are any plums at the farmers market. After making the plum jam last month I am hooked. This sounds absolutely delicious.

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    1. Thanks, Suzanne! Plum is my favorite kind of jam, too. I'll be making more before the season is over. I still have some plum baking to do now ... I do love plum cakes!

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  4. Love it! I'm definitely going to have to bookmark this for your next year's plum harvest. :)

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    1. Thank you, Eileen! I hope you enjoy the jam - I've decided plum is my favorite kind.

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  5. The other day we had plums that look very similar to yours, but didn't know what they are. Maybe these are the same as the one we had! Wow, your jam looks sooooo good! I love cardamom (I put a lot for my morning chai) and how nice to use it for this jam. I love this recipe Hannah!

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    1. Aw, thank you, Nami! When we first moved to Seattle we had an Italian prune plum tree in back - a new discovery for me, and a lovely one! They are wonderful to bake with and terrific for jam. Your morning chai sounds like a great way to wake up!

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  6. Our plum tree is out of control! My aunt has made plum jam, plum jelly, plum chutney...it just doesn't stop!

    :-)

    happy Friday to you!

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    1. The plum harvest is bountiful, that's for sure! Mmm, plum chutney sounds appealing - I may try that! Hope your week is going well. :)

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  7. Mmm, beautiful jam! And so nice and easy just to make 1 jar and stick it in the fridge. Very nice!

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    1. Thank you so much, Christina! I tend to make small batches of fridge jam since space is limited - it works well!

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  8. Beautiful....and all those lovely spices....especially love cardamom. Love how you can just make a little bit too.

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    1. Thanks, Mairi! Cardamom evokes fall for me - I'm looking forward to more of it soon!

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  9. I love that photograph of the plums so much. Beautiful! If you're looking for plums for one last jamming hurrah, the ones we've been getting from Tonnemakers are fabulous. (And they're at the Saturday U. District farmers market.)

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    1. Thanks, Emmy! And thank you for the tip on Tonnemakers - I stopped by today and loaded up on 2nds of plums and tomatoes. Can't wait to try your sweet & spicy tomato jam!

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  10. I have a pot of this gorgeous jam on the stove right now, I didn't have Italian prune plums I used empress and simca. I can't wait for it to be done, it already smells amazing.

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    1. I'm delighted, Suzanne - I hope you enjoy it! Please let me know how it turns out with empress and simca plums. And enjoy your fragrant kitchen - love that part of jamming, too.

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    2. It's beyond delicious, I gave a jar to my daughter who LOVED it! Kept two for me. It is delicious with the plums I used. It's a deep jewel red and tastes amazing. I love this jam!!

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    3. Big smile here, Suzanne - thank you so much for letting me know! :) I'm making another batch of plum jam today with 2nds I got at the market this weekend. I saw quite a variety there and I'll look for empress and simca next time. Happy October to you!

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  11. Hi Hannah. One of my favorite fruits! I usually either dry them or can them in a sauce, just cooked prunes, nothing added. I made some sauce yesterday with the last of the prunes. Then last night I found your post through emmycooks and have put them back on the stove this morning to cook down into jam. Yay! I am so excited! Thank you.

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    1. Hi - I love plums' versatility! I need to try drying them. They make my favorite jam by far. I'm delighted you made some jam and hope you enjoy it. Happy you stopped by! :)

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  12. I would love to make this recipe! What do you suggest if I want to increase the recipe.?I'm wanting to make this for Christmas gifts so I need a bigger batch.
    Thanks!
    Katie

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    1. Hi Katie! I think you could successfully multiply the recipe by 3 or 4 times for one batch (depending upon the size of your pot - that could be the limiting factor). So you may have to make multiple batches if you are planning on a lot of jars. You can do some taste testing as it cooks, too, to adjust the spices to your liking. Just be sure to include a note to the gift recipients advising them to keep it in the fridge. It'll keep well for a month or so. Homemade gifts are the best - I'm delighted you'd like to share this jam! Please let me know how it turns out and if you have any other questions. :)

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  13. I just made this. So divine. Thank you for the recipe!

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    1. I'm so happy you made the jam, Jardi! Thank you for letting me know. I think plums make particularly good jam - definitely a favorite of mine. I'm happy you stopped by!

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