Recipe: Plum & Elderberry Jam
As promised, here is the recipe for the elderberry and plum jam I made last weekend! I took a jar to our local flower show to try and win a prize but alas, it didn’t place. Olive won third prize for her picture though! I helped her make a cyanotype of leaves she collected, then she coloured over it with oil pastels and POSCA pens. Tres avant-garde. As for my jam, the judges commented it was ‘well set’ and they liked the ‘interesting’ flavour combination, so I’ll accept the defeat and up my game for next year’s show. Elderberries are one of my favourite hedgerow fruits and there have been loads of them in the south east this year. The plums were from my sister’s old house - I’ve always been a big fan of them so she harvested a few for me before they moved last week. Fortunately they have an even bigger plum tree at their new house - and a massive fig tree! How exciting. I also used a cooking apple from my mother-in-law’s apple tree for extra pectin. All in all, a lovely treat for the summer-to-autumn transition which I’ve been enjoying on hot buttered toast.
Note: I adapted this recipe to fit the weight of plums and elderberries I had gathered, so feel free to half/double/triple the amount to suit your quantities.
150g elderberries, removed from stems
150g plums, stoned and roughly chopped
100g cooking apple, peeled and roughly chopped
Sprinkle of cinnamon
Squeeze of lemon juice
1. Put a saucer in the freezer to test the jam later.
2. Put the elderberries, plums and apples into a pan with 50ml water, bring to a simmer and cook for around 10 minutes until everything is tender.
3. Add the sugar, cinnamon and lemon juice, then stir for 10 minutes as the sugar dissolves.
4. Increase the heat and bring the jam to a full rolling boil for around 5 minutes. To test if the jam is set, spoon a little bit onto the cold saucer, wait a few seconds and push the jam gently with your finger. If it wrinkles, the jam is ready! If not, cook for a few minutes before and test again.
5. Take the jam off the heat and allow to cool for 10-15 minutes, then ladle into sterilised jars, seal and leave to cool.