Greengage plum jam with lemon and bay leaf

Another September, another plum jam. As predictably as a pavlovian reflex, I make plum jam in the autumn. Jam sometimes alarms as quite an undertaking, but with just the right amount of nonchalance, it happens with barely an effort. The worst bit here is pitting the plums.

I much prefer fresh bay leaves to dried ones and have grown bay for as long as I can remember, whether on windowsills, balconies, or now in our small garden. It’s very easy to grow, and it is imperative to know your bay leaves when cooking with them, as some can be extraordinarily potent. Leaves from my sister’s tree in Brittany have such an intense flavour that a single leaf nearly overpowered a ratatouille for ten. My potted plant is much tamer and I used three small leaves in this jam.

Greengage plum jam with lemon and bay leaf

1.1 kg greengages (to yield 1 kg once pitted)
800 kg sugar
1/2 a lemon cut lengthwise
One fresh bay leaf (depending on the potency of the tree)

Wash and pit the plums. Keep 6 to 8 pits to cook with the jam (remember the number in order to know how many to remove once the jam is cooked). Cut each plum into quarters, and each quarter in half crosswise. Place the plums in a heavy bottom saucepan. Add the sugar and stir to coat the plums.

Cut the half lemon into thirds lengthwise, very thinly slice two thirds into delicate wedges, and juice the last third into the plums. Add the lemon slices and bay leaf to the plums.

This preparation can sit for a few hours or overnight, or be cooked immediately.

Bring the plums to a lively boil and cook for about 20 to 30 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the mixture sputters lanquidly.

Meanwhile sterilize a few jars (about 5 medium-sized jars for this quantity) in boiling water for 5 minutes.

Once the jam has thickened (place a spoonful in the refrigerator to check whether it has set), remove the pits, immediately ladle into jars, and close tightly.

Related posts:

Damson and Victoria plum jam with lemon and ginger
Plum jam with candied ginger

 

One Response to “Greengage plum jam with lemon and bay leaf”

  1. Seasonal | What to do with all the plums | Nettle and Quince Says:

    […] Weaving food memories past, present, and future « Greengage plum jam with lemon and bay leaf […]

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