I am so pleased that cooler weather is here. Today the rain is bucketing down again in Rome, but I have no complaints after the long, dry summer here. I am reading cookbooks and thinking what about what to cook. It was hard moving back in February, going into two months of lockdown in March, adapting to working from home and being worried about our mortgage and the pandemic. Now suddenly it feels like a shift in gears has kicked in, and life is more manageable. Which is nice. We had a couple small trips away this months (Arezzo, and Sperlonga) which really helped. More to follow on those.
Rome was very, very quiet this August. Empty streets, quiet nights, and more shops closed for longer. No wonder, after the months of lockdown and uncertainty. The border closures have been stressful for us, as for many. It’s been hard not going home this summer, but the fear of bringing contagion back to our parents remains. I miss the Norwegian summer and cool green forests, picking blueberries with family, and the odd spot of jam-making. Making this plum jam on a warm day in August was a sweaty but comforting small step to feel connected..
August Plum jam
2 kg yellow plums (with a few fresh apricots thrown in)
100 ml water
600 gr sugar
70 gr dry fruit pectin (a vintage sachet from 2012…)
This is pretty flexible as recipes go, it depends on the plums you have. I added some apricots that were lurking in the fridge, which gave the jam an even nicer golden hue.
Wash the plums, chop in two and remove the pits. This is easy if the plums are ripe. Otherwise, if the plums are a little hard, you can cook them and fish out the pits later. Use a wide saucepan if you have one. You will not need to add much water if the plums are soft. Cook the plums gently in a little water for 8-10 minutes, stirring now and then until the plums are cooked through and collapsed to be jam-like.
While the jam cooks, sterilize your jam jars. I do that in a saucepan with boiling water, jars and lids.
Add sugar and pectin to jam, and bring to the boil again until the sugar and pectin have dissolved. Then take jam off the heat and carefully fill the jars with jam, keeping the lip if the jar clean, and seal swiftly (this will all be quite hot). Set jars upside down to cool. Store jars cool and dark.