Reaching the final of Masterchef 2007 was a rollercoaster of emotion, with huge highs and lows, but I loved every minute and learnt a huge amount. I owe a great deal to John and Gregg who had faith in my ability when I did not believe in myself. Since competing on the programme my life has changed considerably. I now write cookery columns for two magazines, give cookery demonstrations and am just working on my 13th cook book - unlucky number for some but not for me!!! I love all forms of country cooking, using seasonal and locally sourced produce. This blog is to enable me to share with you a few of my recipes and baking ideas. Enjoy Hannah xxxx

Tuesday, 7 August 2007

When we were growing up, my Dad was not a great cook. I'm sure he won't mind me mentioning this (will you Dad?) and to give him his dues he is a lot better at cooking now and even made toblerone tiramisu the other week! The one culinary skill I did learn from my Dad was jam making. My dad was a prolific jam maker and the jam pan was often bubbling on the stove. Now we regularly exchange jars to see who makes the best! By some miracle, I managed to beat the wasps to our yellow plums and picked them all at the weekend. So Dad, this recipe is for you to try!

Yellow Plum and Vanilla Jam

2 kgs yellow plums (or any plum will do), stones removed and chopped

1 kg preserving sugar

450ml water

1 vanilla pod, split in half

Place the plums and the water in the jam pan, bring to the boil and simmer until the fruit is soft (approximately 30 minutes). I left the fruit and water in the pan on top of my aga overnight and it was ready by morning, although I added a bit more water. Add the sugar and vanilla pod, bring to the boil and then keep at a gentle rolling boil for approximately 20 minutes. I use a jam thermometer to test when the setting temperature is reached. Place a saucer in the freezer. When the jam is thick and syrupy, remove the saucer from the freezer and drop a small amount of jam onto it. Leave it for a minute to cool. The jam is set if, when you push the jam with your finger, the top wrinkles and a light skin has formed. Pour into sterilised jam jars and seal. Makes 3 jars.


PG said...

Excellent, I have a huge bowl of ripe plums, and was debating whether to do my usual chutney or try jam...I think I'll try jam for once now.

Magic Cochin said...

That jam looks beautiful Hannah - just right to go in the middle of a fluffy yellow Victoria Sponge made with freshly laid eggs from your own hens (when are the girls arriving?)


Hannah said...

The posts were concreted in at the weekend so just waiting for the wire to go up and I will be off to get my hens - fingers crossed for next weekend! I can't wait! Think I will have to ask for name suggestions on the blog!

Victoria sponge with plum jam sounds delicious!

Happy jam making PG!

Brieannon said...

That sounds terrific! I may try it if I can get some plums. I recently made plum rosewater compote, which was exquisite, and I highly reccommend it. It was a recipe I found online through Tastespotting.

Marie said...

Beautiful looking Jam Hannah. I always made my own jams, pickles and preserves when I was bringing up my family. With five growing children, I always had more than enough hungry appetites to satisfy! I used to put up about 52 quarts of dill pickles each year alone, not to mention blueberry, blackberry, raspberry, strawberry etc. jams, plus pickled beets, chutneys, chow chows, fruit relishes etc. My how I miss it now that my nest is empty and there are just the two of us. My house in late summer and the autumn used to be filled with the constant smell of vinegar, spice and sweet fruit. Lovely entry Hannah, as always.

Anonymous said...

can you use liquid or atificial vanilla? or do you think that would ruin it? i just moved to a new place with tons of plum, apple and blackberrys and have been canning like mad (just sat down tonight after making a pectin free batch of blackberry apple jam) and was wondering how to use up those plums. and this sounds wonderfull! what are some of the ways you use this jam? on bread?

Hannah said...

A good quality liquid vanilla extract would work fine in this jam or you can just omit it if you prefer. The jam is lovely on bread or scones or sandwiched in a victora sandwich cake. Hope you have fun making it