rachel swan, domestic goddess
I want to start off by outing myself + my major girl crush on Nigella Lawson. Domestic Goddess was the first cookbook I ever owned, and I think the only reason I bought it was because Nigella is smokin' hot. No, seriously, I love her. She has loads of qualities that I find incredibly important in a life partner: she cooks, she has a sexy accent, and have you ever seen this woman eat?!? Wow. Plus, I once read an article where she said her favorite thing in the whole world is to make a gorgeous meal for her family + friends and just as it's being served she slips upstairs and eats her meal in her comfy beautiful bed, all alone. A girl after my own heart (I know, I wish).
This post actually has nothing to do with Nigella, and everything to do with me making jam yesterday. Would you like to make jam too? Here is my recipe; it's pretty forgiving and feel free to add all sorts of delicious things in with the plums. I chose lavender + vanilla because I add lavender + vanilla to everything these days - I'm pretty sure it's just a phase. A deliciously fragrant phase I'm hoping doesn't end anytime soon.
Plum Jam with Lavender + Vanilla
5 lbs of plums, well washed + stems removed
1 cup of water
a few bunches of lavender
a bit of vanilla bean
4 ish cups of white sugar
Place plums + water in thick bottomed pan. Add water + lavender + vanilla bean and bring mixture to a low boil over medium heat. Turn heat to low + simmer uncovered for 1 1/2 hours. Allow the mixture to cool.
Strain the cooled plums with colander, pressing out the juice with your hands + collecting it in a large bowl. Remove the pits + discard them. Add the skins + fruit slurry back into the syrup, and place back into original pot.
Add your sugar. Cook on very low heat until mixture starts to thicken. To test, drop a spoonful of the jam on a plate and place in freezer for a few minutes; the mixture should be soft-set and no longer syrupy.
Ladle the hot jam into hot, sterile jars, wipe the rims clean, place sterile lids on, and tighten the screw caps. Allow the jars to cool at room temperature and check to be sure that each jar has sealed.
The final and most important ingredient to any successful jam making foray is this incredibly catchy albeit somewhat terrifying song. This is vital, my friends. Especially the killer dance moves.
photo via hanne:: recipe from my aunt lisa (she added cardamom pods!) who also helped me pick the plums off of her trees. she's super generous like that :)