Our Mirabelle tree is still heavily laden with little plums. Even with sharing the crop with the roe deer, rabbits, squirrels and birds, there is still so much fruit. I have made a Mirabelle tart, a Mirabelle clafoutis and eaten endless raw fruit so what else could I do? Stuart was happy to have more tarts and clafoutis but I thought we should try something different first, so the idea of a jam was born. I have never made jam before so after consulting Google once more and reading numerous websites about jams, I set off. Firstly, we had to pick the fruit off the tree but the morning started out very rainy with thunder and lightning. My jam making would need to wait. A few hours later, the rain let up a bit and I dashed out between showers to pick any fruit that I could reach. This was no weather to take out the ladder and climb to the top branches. The rain started up again just as I dashed inside to weigh my pickings. 1.8kg/4lb, not bad. I was looking forward to getting started but first we had to wash the fruit and remove the pit, then layer the fruit in a large bowl with the sugar. The quantity of sugar used depends on how sweet you want the jam to taste. I do not like my jams too sweet, so I work on a ratio of about 1:3. I used about 600g/21oz, which after eating it for breakfast yesterday, I can say, is a good quantity. The bowl with the fruit and sugar should be placed in the refrigerator overnight. Next day, I poured all into a large pan and cooked it. About 45 minutes later, the jam was looking really good as I ladled it into sterilized jars. It filled 3 large mason jars. It is important to remember to leave the jars upside down until they cool completely, at least 4 to 6 hours to ensure a good seal. Then all that remains is to butter some fresh bread or toast and smear the jam and enjoy. It is really good and very easy to make your own jam. This is the basic recipe for most fruit. I must admit that it feels great to look at the jars in the pantry and know that it is homemade from our own fruit. Seeing how easy this was, and the tree is still full of fruit, I am going to make more jam, maybe after making Stuart another clafoutis. Do not be surprised if many of you receive homemade jars of Mirabelle jam for Christmas gifts.
Wash, drain and remove the pits from the fruit
Place the fruit in a large bowl, alternating layers of fruit and sugar
Leave in a cool place overnight
Pour the mixture into a large pan and slowly bring it to the boil
Boil at high heat for a few minutes then lower to a steady but slow boil for about 30 to 40 minutes, stirring constantly. To know if the jam is ready, place a small drop onto an ice cold plate. If it holds its shape, then your jam is ready.
Sterilize your mason jars, dry them and fill the jars with the jam, close the lid and turn upside down
Leave to cool completely, 4 to 6 hours before turning around