Saturday, August 26, 2017

Spiced Blueberry and Plum Jam

I moved to Tacoma, WA this month, and found there's an amazing place near me called Charlotte's Blueberry Park.  It's land that was donated to the city, and has volunteer cared for fields full of five types of blueberries, free to pick.  I went with my sister, then briefly again with my boyfriend, and ended up with about a kilogram of berries, most of which I tossed in the freezer. 

My boyfriend seemed to really get a kick out of loopy me picking berries on 4 hours of sleep (moving always = plumbing and electric emergencies for me, and this time was no exception). My only blueberry picking experiences have been with puny bushes no higher than my waist, so these giant fields have been fun to explore.
courtesy of the boyfriend
I was all excited to make blueberry lemon scones with the fresh berries!  And then I figured out my post move pantry is missing baking soda, baking powder, and salt. 

I'd finally bought my first plums of the season, 5 whole plums that I shoved directly into the fridge, along with strawberries and raspberries I bought to also shove in the fridge, expecting them to probably sit there and die a painful death of neglect before putting out into yard waste...

I had already googled plum and ginger jam, but found I scarcely had a pound of plums, so found a myriad of plum/berry jam recipes. Although I'm nervous to improvise too much as a beginner...just kidding.  I double checked what other herbs/spices went with my ingredients and added rosemary. (Cause I managed to build and stock a raised herb bed before I'd lived in my new place two weeks, you gotta have priorities!)

18 oz blueberries
14 oz red plums
1.75 cups sugar
1.5 tablespoons lime juice
1 tsp fresh grated ginger
Sprig of fresh rosemary
Plum seed kernels

I chopped up the plums & macerated the fruit for two hours ( didn't have the patience to wait overnight!) cooked, then water bath canned the jam.

SO... I'd never heard of using the kernels in stone fruit, but one of the recipes I saw involved smashing the pits open to get them, so I looked into it a bit, and added some to each jar.  I use a big metal meat tenderizer which crushed them a lot and scared a cat in the process, so hopefully they actually do impart a lovely almond scent/flavor to the jam.

The recipe made not nearly enough 2 pints.  The kitchen smelled delicious while it was cooking too.

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