Italian Plum and Coronation Grape Jam

1

PREP TIME

30 min

TOTAL TIME

1 h 30 min

Makes

5 x 250-mL jars

Italian Plum and Coronation Grape Jam

(Photo: Carmen Cheung; Food styling by Lindsay Guscott; Prop styling by Rayna Marlee Schwartz)

The combination of dusky-purple plums and grapes almost creates a new fruit flavour. If you’ve never canned jam before, I strongly encourage you to try. Getting the set right can take practice, but the reward is a cupboard stocked with exquisite spreads! — Camilla Wynne


Ingredients

  • 4 1/2 cups pitted quartered Italian plums , (1 kg)
  • 2 1/2 cups coronation grapes , (425 g)
  • 3 3/4 cups granulated sugar , (750 g)
  • 5 tbsp lemon juice
  • 1 vanilla bean , split and scraped

Instructions

  1. Combine plums, grapes, sugar, juice and vanilla bean in a large bowl. Let stand at room temperature to macerate for at least 15 min. (If making ahead, refrigerate, covered, for up to 1 week.)
  2. Place a folded tea towel or cake rack in bottom of a large canning pot (or the largest pot you own). Fill with enough water to cover your jars by at least 2 in. Cover, and bring to a boil, and then turn off heat.
  3. Transfer jam mixture to a wide, heavy-bottomed saucepan set over medium-high. Bring to a boil. Cook at a rolling boil, stirring often, until froth subsides and bubbles become regular and sputter violently.
  4. Test jam for doneness (see Tips + Tricks). Remove from heat. Remove and discard vanilla bean.
  5. Ladle into 5 clean 250-mL jars, leaving ¼-in. headspace. Wipe rims, if necessary. Top with new snap lids and screw on ring bands just until you feel resistance (don’t close too tightly).
  6. Place jars carefully in canning pot of hot water, making sure they are covered by at least 2 in. water. Cover and set over high. Bring to a boil, and then reduce heat to medium. Boil for 10 min (or more, depending on altitude; see Tips + Tricks). Transfer jars to a dry tea towel or cooling rack, keeping them upright. Let stand and cool completely, 24 hrs. Unscrew ring bands and pick up jars by just the snap lid to ensure they are sealed. Store in a cool, dark and dry place, where jam will keep for at least a year.

How do I know a no-pectin jam is set?

Freeze a plate a few hours before making jam. Dollop 1 tsp jam on cold plate and return to freezer for 2 min. Remove and nudge jam with your finger; if it wrinkles, it’s ready.

Can altitude affect my jam?

Yes! You may need to add extra heat-processing time to ensure jam won’t grow mould or bacteria. Google the altitude where you live and consult an “altitude adjustment for home canning” chart.

Step-by-Step

(Photo: Carmen Cheung)

Step 1

Combine plums, grapes, sugar, juice and vanilla bean in a large bowl. Let stand at room temperature to macerate for at least 15 min. (If making ahead, refrigerate, covered, for up to 1 week.)

(Photo: Carmen Cheung)

Step 2

Place a folded tea towel or cake rack in bottom of a large canning pot (or the largest pot you own). Fill with enough water to cover your jars by at least 2 in. Cover, and bring to a boil, and then turn off heat.

  • (Photo: Carmen Cheung)

Step 3

Transfer jam mixture to a wide, heavy-bottomed saucepan set over medium-high. Bring to a boil. Cook at a rolling boil, stirring often, until froth subsides and bubbles become regular and sputter violently.

(Photo: Carmen Cheung)

Step 4

Test jam for doneness. Remove from heat. Remove and discard vanilla bean.

(Photo: Carmen Cheung)

Step 5

Ladle into 5 clean 250-mL jars, leaving ¼-in. headspace. Wipe rims, if necessary. Top with new snap lids and screw on ring bands just until you feel resistance (don’t close too tightly).

(Photo: Carmen Cheung)

Step 6

Place jars carefully in canning pot of hot water, making sure they are covered by at least 2 in. water. Cover and set over high. Bring to a boil, and then reduce heat to medium. Boil for 10 min (or more, depending on altitude; see Tips + Tricks). Transfer jars to a dry tea towel or cooling rack, keeping them upright. Let stand and cool completely, 24 hrs. Unscrew ring bands and pick up jars by just the snap lid to ensure they are sealed. Store in a cool, dark and dry place, where jam will keep for at least a year.

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