I have recently re-used an old Victoria Plum Jam recipe, here’s a jar I have made this year.. This brought to mind an event in early July 1981. At approximately 10:30 pm, on NTM 873V, she was a beautiful Moto-Guzzi V50 II, To me the epitome of Italian style and class, as Italian as a gelato, an espresso, a cinquecento. I digress though, what has this to do with Plum Jam?
Well, that early July I was on a late shift at work, riding home. As I came around a corner, a Ford Escort Estate car was across the middle of the road. We collided and my new bike was broken. As for me, it turned out that I had a tibia and fibula broken as well as a fractured kneecap and cracked ribs.
I was still living at my parent’s home so with my leg in a full plaster after treatment I was bored and stuck at home for a few weeks. My Mum is a keen cook, she was out at work, so left me with some cooking ideas to make myself useful whilst at home. I made jam, chutney, Christmas puddings and cooked a number of dinners. We all really enjoyed the food and as a family we had all sorts of preserves for a fair few months.
Here’s this year’s crop of the Victoria Plums looking great on our tree in the picture below.
I have been away from work for a while this year, it bought to mind that time way back when. Alison and I are looking to enjoy ourselves by better utilising what we grow, being more efficient and cutting down our food miles quota. We have had a fantastic crop of Victoria Plums in our garden this year, the poor tree was struggling to cope with the weight of fruit on it’s branches, they are absolutely gorgeous, both aesthetically as well as gastronomically. They are ripe for use in our Victoria Plum Jam recipe.
The tools we used for picking the plums – shown below.
So this August we have picked more than 50 kilos of fruit from the tree, we have shared them using the barter economy, given them to family and friends and I have made some Jam with them. It was fun, really motivating and requires a little care and attention to get the consistency correct. Assessing when to cease the boiling satisfies the creative element of my character. Putting the jam in to our re-cycled jars is also satisfying from a re-use perspective, the labels have been produced “in-house”.
Shown below is some of the crop ready to prepare and use in our Victoria Plum Jam recipe.
Here’s the Victoria Plum Jam recipe
(btw I made double this amount)
- 1.8Kg Plums
- 150ml Water
- 1.8Kg Preserving Sugar ( I know, but it is the best way to make Jam)
- Wash and wipe the plums.
- Place them whole, (stones in) in a large pan with the water, simmer gently until the fruit is soft. Occasionally gently press the plums against the side of the pan to break them open and release the stones.
- When soft, remove from heat, allow to cool for a little while and then remove the stones.
- Add the sugar, stirring until it has dissolved.
- Place back on the heat, bring to boil and boil rapidly for 10 minutes until the jam sets when tested . (Test with a spoon of the jam, put in to a cool container, the jam should set rapidly)
- Remove remainder of stones as they rise to the surface.
- Remove the top surface cloudy material.
- Place in sterile pots and seal whilst still hot.
- Allow to cool naturally.
- Place in a secure location for storage.
- Enjoy this Victoria Plum Jam recipe especially good on home made bread.
Our Victoria Plum Jam recipe has turned out really well and my “inner cook” has been re-ignited.
Ah, you may ask, what happened to NTM 873V?
As was often the case in the early 1980s the accident was deemed “no fault” the bike was returned to me. I did not receive any claim and it was “no-one’s fault”. So I repaired her over a period of a couple of months, kept her for a further 5 years.
I still ride, I am just between machines right now, but I really enjoyed making this Victoria Plum Jam recipe again.