Our pear tree is full, the peaches didn’t quite make it, and the plum tree is now bare. The grapes are ready to be stomped, and the quince, sadly, looks like it is going to give up on us this year. I think it was this awfully hot weather that did it. But, 3 out of 5 isn’t so bad.
So, the grapes, as I said, are ready for stomping (yes, you can come over and we can be Lucy & Ethel) and we will be making wine very soon. Later this month, with the help of our leftover plums, we might even make a bit of moonshine, too. Bootleggers, I know.
But, fruit compotes, juices, and jams have already been made. And eaten. Well, some of them. We always dig in just as I start to pour the contents into the jars.
This Plum Cardamom Jam was finished as soon as it was started. I only made 2 pints, but that is because I didn’t think that it would be attacked, literally, within the first three hours. You would be surprised how quickly stuff goes when there’s a chunk of brie cheese on the side and warm homemade bread. And butter.
Great thing about making this jam is that the stove does most of the work. There really isn’t much to it. Add a bit of sugar to the fruit, some water, a stir here and there, and forget about it for the next hour. Or 6.
I normally would not add anything to this jam, the plums alone are quite delicious, but this time I mixed in some cardamom because I have heard that the cardamom adds a bit of a je ne sais quoi, if you will. They weren’t lying. It doesn’t change the taste as much as it adds to the smell. Ohhh the smell… it was amazing! Especially while it was cooking. My house smelled like it for days.
If you don’t care for cardamom pods, (the smell doesn’t entice you, they’re too expensive – $14 for 15 pods) you don’t have to use them. As I said, the plums are delicious all on their own. In fact, you can even replace the pods with a tablespoon of nutmeg. YUM! One other thing; Damson plums make the best jam. My homegrown plums make the bestest jam.
- 6-quart stockpot
- 3 pounds of whole plums, rinsed and destemmed
- ½ cup water
- 4 to 6 whole green cardamom pods
- 2 cups sugar, use 1 more cup if you like your jam sweeter
- Place the rinsed and destemmed plums in a 6-quart stockpot.
- Stir in the water and the cardamom pods.
- Cook over medium heat and bring to a boil; reduce heat to low and simmer for 1 hour.
- Remove from heat and allow the plums to completely cool.
- Place a colander on top of a large deep bowl.
- Once the plums have cooled, pour them into the colander.
- Strain the plums by pressing them with your hands against the colander.
- Pick up the remaining fruit slurry in the colander by the handfuls and squeeze the pulp, skins, and cardamom seeds into the bowl with the syrup, retaining the pits and cardamom shells and then discarding them.
- Put the plum mixture back into the stockpot, stir in the sugar, and bring the mixture to a boil over medium-low heat.
- Turn the heat down to low and let it simmer for 3 hours, or until the mixture has thickened.
- Stir it every 20 to 30 minutes.
- Preheat oven to 200°F.
- Wash the jars with soap and water, dry them, and place them mouth side up, without lids, in the oven for 10 minutes.
- Sterilize the lids by putting them in a bowl and pouring boiling water over them. Allow to dry.
- Spoon the hot plum jam into the hot, sterilized jars and seal.
- Allow jars to cool to room temperature.