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.
(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.