Remember the fable of the ant and the grasshopper? Should we “sing” all the summer? or maybe think a bit about the coming winter? Summer is the time of sweet, sugary stone fruit…. what if we tried to capture summer’s bounty in little jars? Yes, you’ve guessed right….I was thinking about stone fruit jams!!But maybe you are just like me, and you were afraid of making jams, just because you didn’t know how to make jams!! Of course we can search the internet for recipes, buy books, or just ask the people that know….And they know because they have been doing this for years….

And I’m a lucky person! because just recently a new friend came to my life! and this friend, V., happens to be an expert in jams (among other things!) So, she wrote to me an e-mail mentioning, in a casual way, that she was making jams..Two minutes later, I said “Teach me, please!) so mails came and went from France to her country…mails where I posed the most stupid questions (but we shouldn’t be afraid of stupid questions because it is a part of learning) In any case, a good friend answers even our most stupid questions, and V. is a good friend, so she also gave me “on-line” assistance on the D-day!! or like the French say, “le jour J” ….of jam, of course ;DThe result is what you see….and I feel proud! Fruit chosen? a variety of plums, green, even when ripe,  the Reine Claude Plums. This variety of plums was developed in France, from a wild plum from Asia, and named after Queen Claude...They can be extremely sweet when ripe, and they are considered the finest plums for confectionery. Of course, you can use any type of plum, or peach, apricots, etc.

Nectarine & White Peach Jam

You know what happened? In one weekend (OK, rainy weekend!) , my husband and kids ate two pots!!! and not the small pots you see in the first photos (that could be used as party favors) but the normal size ones…..

Jams for the winter??? I have to make some more…

Enjoy!

To make stone fruit jams, you will need:
*plums, peaches, nectarines (you choose the stone-fruit), 1 kilo *sugar, 750gr *lemon juice, 1tbsp
Optional: vanilla extract or a vanilla pod, cinnamon, ginger, a liquor of your choice
Plums should be halved and stoned (don’t peel them) Put them in a saucepan, together with the sugar and lemon juice. Stir well. Let it stand overnight. Transfer to a large copper, stainless steel pot. Bring to a boil over medium-high. At this point, if you want a jam without pieces, use your hand-mixer to purée the plums. Take to a boil again, then lower the heat to medium. Stir constantly with with wooden spoon. The mixture will boil and rise in volume. Scoop off the pale yellow foam that forms at the top and discard.Gently stir the jam frequently to prevent it from sticking to the bottom. After about 25 minutes begin testing the jam by placing a small amount on a cold plate. Allow to set 30 seconds and then run your finger through it to see what the cooled consistency will be. Boil for a few minutes longer if desired for a thicker jam.Ladle into hot, sterilized  jars and seal leaving 1cm of head space. (Pots and lids should have been sterilised beforehand, boiling them in water 20′) . Wipe the rims of the jars clean before applying the lids. Put the pots again in boiling water (turn off heat) for 20′ more.
NB: if you want to add vanilla extract, or a liquor, due it once the jam is ready, and slightly cooled.

Makes 3 jars. Will keep for up to a year.

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