The subtle plum and orange for autumn

plum and orange jamI’m poised to broach this first jar of plum and orange jam with my breakfast toast.

But before I get sticky fingers I thought it best to write the recipe down and post the pictures.

I’m undecided if this jam is a success. I found it in the newspaper last weekend and the author is the peerless Diana Henry, a wonderful cook.

And we all know that tearing interesting recipes out of newspapers or weekend magazine supplements is a Recipe For Disaster. They get piled up. They get filed, they get mislaid. They create clutter.  ingredients plum

So I have decided to just make everything I find and not reflect on whether they might or might not work.

And it just so happened that I was rummaging about for a suitable plum jam recipe.

I had picked a few kilos from a burgeoning tree at Rousham last month.

I had no idea what I was going to do with them. So I took out the stones, halved them, and shoved them in the freezer. What? That’s not the normal response?

Now plums, especially these pale coloured ones, can be bland. Dare I say anything that comes from the magic of Rousham is bland?  They just need funning up.

recipe 10 plums to freezeAnd I guess that is what Diana Henry decided. Her recipe, which I have adapted, is full of citrus fruit.

And cardamoms.

And I was feeling particularly nostalgic for that wonderful spice in jam as my purple figs didn’t ripen this year and give me enough for my favourite jam.

The original recipe calls for 20 pods. I just can’t do that – there is a rather strange effect from overdosing on cardamom. A rather fast rush to the bathroom effect.  And you could say that 20, crushed to dust, and diluted in a huge pot of jam wouldn’t make a difference, but I decided on a wimpy five pods for the whole batch.

Flecks of black in a jam is never a pleasant look, so this isn’t the prettiest pot.

Pause while I have my toast. I’m starving. And the verdict? Basically, you are making a marmalade with plums to bulk out the product. But it is flavoursome.  And rather good for those of us just counting the months until deepest winter when the Seville oranges ripen and we can just make the classic marmalade.

I normally can get a batch of jam sliced, prepared, measured out and made in about 30 to 40 minutes. But you do need to cut and then soften the oranges first. So expect the whole process to take about an hour. Time enough to shove all your jars, ladle, lids and funnel into the dishwasher and run a cycle. That way your equipment will all be sterilised in time for potting up.

Find your camera to take shots of the glowing jars, and send them to me as proof I’m not just writing these recipes on my blog so I don’t have to file away or lose an article torn out of the weekend magazine!



Plum, orange and cardamom jam