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Nan’s Winter Jam by The Cats Mother

A fantastic spiced plum jam, great on toast, or for winter mornings add a few dollops in your porridge! The original recipe, which was my Nan’s and originally in imperial measurements, was for as much sugar as fruit, but I converted it to metric, lowered the sugar and added vanilla essence instead, and use 1/2 sugar, 1/2 Splenda and it works just as well. You just get more like a very thick chutney consistency, rather than a set jam.


Makes: 3 450g jars (roughly)
  • 1.3 kilos pitted and roughly chopped (victoria) plums
  • 500 grams Caster Sugar
  • 50 grams Splenda (or other sugar sub to equiv of 500g of sugar)
  • 5 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 5 tsp vanilla essence

Preparation method

Prep: 30 mins | Cook: 30 mins

Put oven on to 120* C and while it’s warming up pop your jars on a baking sheet and place them on the bottom shelf. Leave in for at least half an hour (good idea to do this, then start chopping and stoning the plums) Also place lids (if you’re using them) in a pan of water and fill to top. Then put on to boil for at least 5 mins to sterilise them. Pop a few (metal) table spoons into the freezer (to test the jam when it’s ready)
Place all ingredients into a large pan (I use my pressure cooker without the lid) give everything a really good mix and put onto to boil, stirring every few minutes. Be careful as it will start to spit as it gets nearer the boiling point! Let it boil for a few minutes, then turn down to simmer and cook for about 30 minutes.
Take one of the spoons from the freezer and dip into the pan. Remove it and (over the sink) hold vertically and blow on it – if it ripples and stays on the spoon it’s ready. If not cook a little longer and try again.
Take a hot jar from the oven, fill with the jam mixture to about 1cm from the top and wipe jar rim clean with moist kitchen towel. Screw lid on tight, place to one side and fill next jar until all are done.
Any jars you intend to store for future use should be boiled for about 10 minutes in a big pan of water (make sure the jars stay upright and are fully submerged at least an inch). This is also known as “processing in a hot water bath.” As they cool the “button” on the lid (the one that doesn’t flex when the jar’s sealed) should pop in and not flex. Store somewhere cool and dark once cooled.
If you are planning to use the jam straight away, allow to cool for about 2 hours at room temp, then place in the fridge. Or if you’re like me, make a brew, slap some on a slice of bread and butter while it’s still hot, and ENJOY!!
Once opened jars will keep in the fridge for about 2 weeks -if it lasts that long!

This recipe/method also works equally well with blackberry and apple jam!

Plum Jam.jpg
made with Victoria Plums from the back garden!