Hi, possums got into our orchard this year so no fruit of any variety. I have some bottled plums from last season. Has anyone successfully made jam with bottled plums (or other fruit), I think the syrup added to the jars was a 1/3 solution? Don't want to waste the fruit if is not recommended, though a failed result could be frozen for some other use I guess. Any advice welcomed.
If your bottled plums are still sealed, even if they have lost colour over the last 12 months, will still be perfectly ok to eat. Eat your plums when you are ready for them and if you want jam, buy a reputable brand. I expect the pectin would largely be gone in the bottled plums and to make them set would require a bit of effort. If you do try and it fails, you could put the result through a mouli and freeze it for use as an icecream topping or similar. Frozen jam doesn't quite freeze which is good as it allows you to take out small quantities as required.
Thank you for the suggestions, the lack of pectin was what I suspected, but am not keen on using commercial pectin. So am going to have a go at the jam, without extra pectin, and see what happens. If it ends up in the freezer as something else that will be OK too!!
This is a receipe for Plum Chutney, and I think you could convert your bottled plums to something like this. 4lb ripe plums (skinned and stoned) (I put mine into the pot cooked them with some water, and as the stones showed up pulled them out, and I did not worry about the skins) 1lb Apples, peeled and cored, Boil with 1 1/2 brown sugar, for 15 minuites( I added the sugar after getting the stones all out, and I did not have that total amount of sugar, so added some white to it) then add 1 1/2 lbs sultanas, (stoned and chopped) ( I just chucked them in as they were) 1 onion cut small, 1/2 oz chillies, and 1 oz ground ginger. I did not add that much as I felt it would not be eatable. Boil 3 hours and strain through a colander before bottling ( I got the wizzer mixer and gave the whole lot a good wizz, and then bottled the result. (the receipe says to put into jars and cover while hot. It is delicious and you have to go by taste as to what chilli and ginger you add. This is out of an old TRUTH receipe book that was my mums, YUMMY, and a great way to use up a mixture of plums and apples you may have on hand.
You're quite right Kai - but one has to feel comfortable about things eh? And it seems like cheating!! (the pectin I mean - not the sodium chloride). I can imagine my old granny saying "and how do you think WE managed", but then preserving, pickles, jam making and all the other practical life skills modern society has forgotten were part of her daily life.
I sometimes think the store of common knowledge doesn't get larger, we just gain new information and skills, and lose an equivalent amount of the old!
Well you could strain off the juice and cook with some apple or blackberry both of which are high in natural pectin , lemon juice and sugar to get a mixed jam with a tang.
Or by adding apples. We had strawberry and apple, rhubarb and apple, blackberry and apple....the apples were all windfalls from the next doors tree. Mum used to spend hours at the kitchen table cutting all the rotten bits out, but she never wasted a bit.
Made the jam last night, drained the plums, measured pulp (2 cups including skins and stones) and added same amount of sugar, syrup just short of a cup so added a little boiled water (no more sugar as it was very sweet already). The mixture was thicker than if using fresh plums, and once on the boil had to be stirred frequently to avoid "catching". It made two 400g jars plus another quarter (still with skins and stones). The Jam is firm, slumps just a little bit. A bit sweeter than normal. Thank you all for your thoughts and advice, I am going to add lemon pips to my next batch, and try apples in a batch after that, and have copied the plum chutney receipe for future use, but the pectin content is going to be the major factor I suppose. For me cooking is a chore, and each small success is a relief!