Although we haven’t had an allotment long enough to finish clearing it, let alone get it planted up and yielding produce, I’m already thinking ahead. Some day, we’ll have a glut of something, and rather than let it rot (perish the thought!) I’d like to learn what to do with it. So I’ve got hold of a preserving pan, some jars, and a jam thermometer, and I’m trying to learn how to make jam.
The first attempt, at an “easy recipe, good for beginners”, didn’t go too well. I tried to make a small batch of plum jam. As plums are high in pectin, this is meant to be a doddle, but somehow I managed to mess it up. The jam got to 98/99C quickly, but wouldn’t reach 102C, setting point. While I was still trying to coax it up there, it started to burn, and the end result was a sticky mess.
So I now have no plums, a lot less sugar, a pan with a thick layer of plum syrup welded to it, and, crucially, no jam. What I need is a jam guru to show me the way of preservation.