Fresh cranberries are just starting to come into season and plums are on their way out. The peak time for both these crops overlaps for very little time – in September and probably a little bit of October. Fortunately last week I was able to find good quality cranberries and plums at the supermarket last, so I made a jam out of them. I flavored the jam with some lemon balm (lemon verbena will do well too) and some good quality lemon essence. The jam came out really delicious – sweet and sour and with just the right consistency because plums and cranberries have natural pectin in them. It’s great to have homemade jam because it has no artificial ingredients or colors in it – this deep maroon color of the jam is from the fruits I used. I have jarred this jam in little containers and am hoping to enjoy the goodness of these fresh fruits a little later in the year when I won’t be able to find them in the supermarket.
1. 16 ounces of fresh cranberries
2. 12-14 fresh black plums
3. 2 cups of sugar
4. 2-3 sprigs of lemon balm or lemon verbena or just 1 teaspoon of fresh lemon zest
5. ½ cup of water
6. 1.5 teaspoons of lemon essence
1. Wash the cranberries and the plums under a stream of cold water and dry them with paper towels.
3. Placed the chopped up plums in a large heavy bottomed pan and let them cook on low heat for 4-5 minutes.
5. Add the water and cover the pot and let the fruit cook for about 30-35 minutes. Stir frequently and if it looks like the fruit is sticking to the bottom, add a little bit more water and stir. Again cover the pot.
9. Add the lemon essence to jam and cook for another 4-5 minutes. Stir frequently because after you add the sugar, the jam can get burnt very easily.
10. Let the cool down completely before you put the jam in jars.
11. Serve on a hot buttered toast or with cheese and crackers! I can eat it all by itself – by the spoonfuls!