Thursday, September 15, 2011

Spiced Plum Jam with Vanilla Bean





This was my first go-around with plum jam so I turned to an expert to see how it's done. I used Marisa from Food in Jars method and ratio here, just switching up the spices to use what I had on hand, cinnamon and cardamom, then threw in a vanilla bean from my stash. I bought a pound of vanilla beans a few months ago and I love being able to fancy up desserts and preserves with them. I guess I didn't have very high hopes for this simple jam because I was totally blown away by how much I loved it's sweet, tart and spiced notes. Slap some on toast or a scone and it tastes just like a delicious plum cobbler.

Spiced Plum Jam with Vanilla Bean
yield 3-4 half pints

5c chopped Italian plums
1 1/3c sugar
2t cinnamon
seeds from 6 cracked cardamom pods in a cheesecloth sack or tea strainer (you want to be able to remove the seeds before canning the jam)
1 vanilla bean, seeds scraped
3-4 sterilized half pint jars and lids

1. In a large bowl combine the plums, sugar, spices, vanilla bean seeds and pod and let sit for at least an hour, the plums will release their juices and the mixture will become very syrupy
2. When you are ready to cook, add the mixture to a large non reactive pot and bring to a boil over medium high heat. Boil the jam for 15-20 min, or until it passes the wrinkle test or if you like numbers you can cook it to 220ยบ. Remove the vanilla bean pod and the cheesecloth or tea strainer with the cardamom seeds. Rinse off the vanilla bean and save it for another use like vanilla sugar or salt.
3. Pour the finished jam into clean sterilized jars and process in a boiling water bath for 10 minutes.

Notes

If you don't have the dollar bills to buy a whole pound of vanilla beans, split it with a few friends and you'll still have a ton of beans at your disposal. Depending on the variety, a pound is usually around 100 beans.

13 comments:

  1. I'm planning on making some plum jam soon- so glad you paved the way! I will definitely consult Food in Jars. Have a great weekend!

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  2. How much did you pay for a pound o' vanilla beans, and where did you find them? I'm so discouraged whenever I go into a grocery store and ten bucks only gets me 2 measly vanilla beans. Thanks for sharing!

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  3. you've so inspired me! I just picked up plums from a local farmer and I will be making it this weekend...my FIRST jam! many thanks...

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  4. Hey witchin - I got my beans through beanilla.com. I went for the Mexican beans because they were on sale and I am super happy with them. I think there is also a seller on ebay that is really cheap and well reviewed, but I can't remember the name.

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  5. Ooh, I just did a plum and vanilla bean jam last month too. It's such a great combination.

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  6. Mm, delicious. We still have plenty of plums here in San Diego, this would be a divine summer finale. I have serious le cruset envy right now, too. I've been looking at a white pot like that for a while now. :)

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  7. Wow, perfect for ringing in the fall! I wonder how a dollop of this would be on a bit of apple tea cake...

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  8. Hi, I've been following your blog for awhile but have never posted a comment. I love your photos and I'm wondering what kind of camera (and film?) you use for your blog. Perhaps you've already written about this before, if so my apologies.

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  9. I love love love all of these pictures! And the recipe sound divine!

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  10. Kelsey - My dutch oven was a hand me down from a friend who couldn't take it with her then we left college. I use it almost every day and it definitely shows, but I love it and I think of her every time I use it. I love cookware with a story
    Hi Meghan, thanks for visiting and asking! I use a pentax k1000 with a 50mm lens and kodak portra film, then I have my negatives scanned at the lab. It's a pretty low tech set up, but I love it so.
    Thanks Steph!

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  11. Thanks Yossy! I still take film photos, yet I haven't tried it with my food photos. That's something though that I want to experiment with.

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  12. Those plums are stunning, I have serious fruit envy. Not to mention vanilla bean envy... I've been meaning to bulk buy online but can never seem to justify it. I've got to get on that.

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