Some days

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Some days, I want to dance my way down the street.

Other days, I don’t

Some days, actually most days, I want to pull the covers over my head in the morning and catch ten more minutes of shut-eye.

Other days, I bounce out the door surprising the whole family.

Some days, I am super-organised and make jam in summer so I can still enjoy stone-fruits in winter.

Other days, I drift through the whole season neglecting to eat any persimmons, until I wake up one day and discover they are all gone.

Some days, I call them biscuits.

Other days, I call them cookies.

Either way, they are just as delicious.

So tasty you’d want to eat them – everyday.

May your day be filled with a bit of sunshine, and a few cookies.

Plum Jam
(based heavily on Marmellata di susine, in “Twelve” by Tessa Kiros. Don't the Italian words sound like Sunshine Marmalade? It does to me at any rate, and it certainly tastes like it!)

First up I must tell you I am a jam novice. Which means I know absolutely nothing about preserving jars or boiling jars etc. I went about this the simplest way I know how, by washing clean, used jam jars in really hot soapy water, then laying them on their sides to dry in a warm oven. The jar lids were just air-dried. I filled the warm jars with hot jam and quickly put the lids on. When completely cool, I stored the jars in the fridge. We ate the jam too quickly to tell whether this method of preserving could withstand the test of time.

I liked this recipe because the sugar to fruit ratios weren’t as high as other jams I’d seen. The recipe calls for roughly 2 parts fruit to 1 part sugar (1.2kg plums to 550g sugar to be exact)

Plums - I started with about 1 kg
Caster sugar – about 450g
Just under half cup water
Grated zest of 1 lemon.

Wash then quarter the plums. Discard stones. A tip I’d read somewhere is to use young fruit as it contains more pectin. I used really firm, almost tart plums.

Place plums and water in a heavy based saucepan and cook on medium heat for about 15 minutes until the plums soften. Stir with a wooden spoon to prevent the plums from catching. When plums are soft, add the sugar and lemon rind and cook very gently until the mixture thickens. Stir often – it’s ok to move away for a couple of minutes but try to stick around near the pot to keep an eye on it.

If you like the jam smooth, puree with a stick blender – I left mine “pulpy”.

Test for set – place a dollop of jam on a cold plate, then tilt the plate slightly, the jam should just slide down slowly rather than “run”. Note- the jam will be “runnier” than supermarket jam.

Bottle as above or do it the proper way with preserving jars and boiling.

I made about 3 cups of jam (I think).

To make the cookies in the picture, I used a basic sugar cookie dough and cut out flower shapes. I then used the back of a large piping nozzle to cut out the middles from some of the flower shapes. After baking, I sandwiched the hot cookies together with a little jam.


Heavenly Housewife said...

beautiful recipe, lovely cookies. I've never made my own jam. I love Tessa Kiros's cookbooks. I have the Falling Cloudberries one.
*kisses* HH

Hungry Dog said...

Love the jam, love the flower cookies, love this post. Thanks for a little sunshine this morning, shaz!

Anh said...

I have some plum jam in the fridge. Home-made a few months back. So lovely…

chocolatesuze said...

aw here's to more sunshine! the plum jam sounds so tasty!

Lisa said...

I just made my first homemade jams and jellies a few months ago, spurred on by the orange tian challenge, and I now have too many jars cluttering my kitchen lol I want to try your delicious sounding plum jam! I love the cookies and the write up was exactly how I feel sporadically, except for calling cookies 'biscuits' lol

Vanille said...

I'm really fond of this kind of cookies... Yum !

Trissa said...

Love the biscuits,... err cookies... err biscuits... err cookies! :)

grace said...

cute post, shaz--i think you just spoke for all of us (although i never call cookies biscuits). sunshine marmalade? i see where you get it and i think it's a great alternate name. delicious.

3 hungry tummies said...

some days I wait for my friend to turn up with jars of homemade jam or cookies! :)

Barbara said...

An adorable post, Shaz! The plum jam looks delish and the sweetly shaped cookies are little gems!

Juliana said...

Oh! I love homemade jam...and plums ones are delicious. The cookies are soooo cute :-)

Lori said...

Those are adorable little cookies. I imagine they tasted heavenly.

shaz said...

Heavenly Housewife - that's one cookbook I'd like to get actually. I like the writing style and the pics of course :)

Hungry Dog - anytime Hungry Dog, anytime.

Anh - I think next to cherry, plum is my favourite jam flavour.

chocolatesuze - oh it is, very tasty.

Lisa - ha ha, we call your kind of biscuits - scones. All a bit confusing :) I actually have half a jar of lime marmalade left from that Tian challenge, but I realised no one actually likes marmalade in our place but can't bring myself to throw it out yet.

Vanille - thank you dear

Trissa - I definitely feel like that some days :)

grace- the other kind of biscuits would also go well with jam don't you think ? :)

3 hungry tummies - yes, wait till I invite myself over for dinner next time I'm in Melbourne :)

Barbara - aw, thank you so much.

Juliana - I definitely enjoyed making these

Lori - they were very popular with everyone, especially the girls.