The season for plum is almost over but I was still craving for those juicy delicious fruits. This time the plum crop that came from Kullu & Manali was rather highly priced all through the season. On Sunday I bought a last batch of mixed plums to make Jelly. It is always good to mix some unripe fruit along with ripe juicy one to get the right amount of pectin. I never use added pectin for my jams and jellies.
Plums are very rich in Vitamin C, K and A and have lots of dietary fiber. They also contain unique phytonutrients and other good stuff. They help in absorption of iron in body and hence help to increase blood production. They help in prevention of breast cancer and stop their growth in the body. They also prevent osteoporosis and muscle cramps and fatigue. Most of all they are super delicious tangy sweet fruits and my favorites.
The fruit contains natural pectin in pits and skin and adding lemon juice helps to make perfect jelly.
Here is my perfected recipe for plum jelly
Ingredients : 1/2 kg plums ( they should not be damaged and a mix of ripe dark maroon ones and unripe lighter shades are perfect)
Sugar – I Cup / Cup of plum juice
Fresh lemon juice – 1 table-spoon
Tip- you can add 2 cloves or a small piece of cinnamon stick while boiling the pulp to spice it up.
Water – as needed
Wash the fruit properly and make cuts in it. Take a pan and press the fruit a bit so that it gets squashed and the skin separates revealing the pulpy pit.
Add enough water to the pulp to cover it completely and put on a high flame to boil. Once the mixture comes to a high boil turn the flame to medium and stir a few times. (This is the time to add spices if you wish)
Once the peels are separated and the fruit is soft and mushy turn the gas off.
Take a double layer cheese cloth and spread it over a pot with sides hanging out. Pour the fruit mixture into the cheese cloth and tie it properly. Let it stand for at least 3-4 hours or till the juice drip out completely into the bowl. You can use jelly strainer or bags too. squeezing will make the jelly cloudy so refrain from doing so. If I don’t get any of these I use muslin cloth or small then dish towel also.
Measure the juice with a measuring cup.
Now put a heavy bottom stock pot or any other pan on gas stove. Pour the juice and let it come to a boil on high flame. Stir occasionally so that it doesn’t stick to the pan. Once the juice comes to full boil start adding sugar gradually and stirring till all the sugar is dissolved properly. The proportion is One cup of sugar for one cup of juice but if the fruit is sour you can increase the amount of sugar a bit. Add the lemon juice at this point.
Once all the sugar is dissolve bring the jelly to a full rolling boil. The boiling of fruit to get the right texture of jelly depends on the natural pectin in fruit and the consistency of the juice. Keep removing the scum which may come at the surface of the boiling mixture.
Once the texture of the juice thickens a bit don’t stir at this point. It is the jellying time. Test it by dipping a spoon in boiling mixture. Take it off the steam and let the juice slide from the side. If it drops like water you need to boil more but if it falls in two drops joining together you are ready to take the mixture off the gas.
Bottling – Prepare the bottles beforehand ( warm them by placing in hot water ) so you can ladle the jelly in the warm bottles leaving 1/4″ of head space. Make sure there are no air bubbles.
Always keep the bottles on a towel so they don’t break.
Close the lids properly.
Waterbath Canning – I usually heat water in a large container and place the bottle in hot water for 10 min before taking it out on a towel. Waterbath Canning usually helps in preservation. I make small amounts which don’t last more than a fortnight so rarely do this procedure but for larger amounts it is a must.
Now your delicious crimson plum jelly is ready to be devoured with waffles, toasts, biscuits or as spread on roties. I simply eat a spoonful when I like.
As you can see most of it vanished before I could take a proper picture. I suck at food photography anyway so WTH :p
Who ate the jelly :p ? Your guess is as good as mine 😀
Enjoy homemade spreads with all the goodness of natural fruits and flavors and of course NO preservatives.