I have been making low-sugar jams or preserves for a couple seasons, after having helped my Mom for years during my childhood. I usually make small batches which can be refrigerated or frozen, so the memories of canning (hot kitchen, no air conditioning, bushels of produc) have faded. Now it is something I really enjoy & it is easy and healthy. So I found myself with a lot of plums, which of course, all ripened at the same time. And I thought plum preserves & next came Google. Plain jam just doesn’t do it anymore and I am so enjoying adding fresh herbs or spices, especially since I use the end result with cheese & crackers more than with peanut butter.
I found this great recipe on Food in Jars for Plum Jam with Star Anise. She calls it jam, however if there is no pectin involved, I call it preserves. And this one hits the spot. The addition of anise with the plums creates an exotic experience…..even with cream cheese. And, it is so simple. Pit the fruit….no peeling…..and let it juice up. Then boil until it gels. One of the best parts of this recipe is the addition of the ‘plate test’ which I have always used with my Concord Grape Jam. But then that is in big batches of 80-90 jars, so it is almost essential to ensure it will setup. With plums or any stone fruit, it is more like making a ‘butter’…….and the skins just disappear. Well worth trying this one ?? Ciao !!!
Plum Preserves with Star Anise
(from Food in Jars)
- 2 1/2 cups chopped Italian plums
- 2/3 cup granulated sugar
- 3 star anise blossoms
- Combine chopped plums, sugar and star anise blossoms. Let sit for at least an hour, or until the fruit has gotten quite syrup-y.
- Put fruit in a medium-sized pan and place over high heat. Bring to a boil and cook for 10 to 15 minutes, until the jam thickens and passes the plate test.
- Because this jam has such a small yield, you can skip the canning step and just pour it into the jars and pop it into the fridge.
- NOTE: you can also use small plastic containers, either round or rectangular