30 January 2018

Plum Jam and Lemon Butter

We were blessed with free fruit last week, plums and lemons, two of my favourite foods for preserving.

Hannah was given a big bag of plum by a client (thank you, whoever you are!) and a friend very kindly dropped off a bag of lemons. I was excited, free food is good, but free food we enjoy all the time is even better.

The plums became plum jam. Yum! It's easy to make, tastes great on toast or scones or pancakes or in muffins and is a lovely gift.

The lemons became lemon butter. Another yum! We love it on toast and on crepes, and I use this particular recipe as a filling for lemon meringue pies and tarts. It's also divine as a filling in muffins - especially coconut muffins. I add half the batter to each muffin pan, add a dollop of lemon butter and top with the rest of the batter. I add about 5 minutes to the baking time and they are just delicious.

Here's my plum jam recipe:

 Plum Jam

Ingredients:
1kg plums, stones removed
1kg white sugar
juice of 1 lemon

Method:
Cut the plums into small chunks - about 3cm (I usually just quarter them, then cut the quarters in half).

Warm the jam in the microwave for 1 minute (it dissolves faster).

Add the sugar, plums and lemon juice to a large saucepan.

Bring to a boil, stirring all the time. Brush down the sides of the pot with a wet pastry brush to make sure all the sugar is dissolved.

Once the mixture is boiling, turn the heat down low enough to maintain a rolling boil.

Continue to cook, stirring often, so the jam doesn't stick to the bottom of the pan and burn.

Test after 20 minutes for setting point. If not ready, continue to cook, testing every five minutes until setting point is reached.

Remove from heat and pour into hot, sterilised jars. Seal immediately and set aside until cool.

Six Minute Lemon Butter

Ingredients:
125g butter (real butter please, not margarine in this recipe)
1 cup castor sugar
3 eggs
1/2 cup lemon juice

Method:
Using an electric mixer beat the eggs until they are light and fluffy. If you don't have an electric mixer you can use a stick blender or a large balloon whisk.

Add the sugar to the eggs in two parts and continue beating until the sugar has dissolved. Whisk the eggs and sugar together until the sugar has dissolved and the mixture is thick and fluffy.

Stir in the lemon juice.

Melt the butter.

Carefully pour the melted butter into the egg mixture and whisk well.

Pour mixture into a microwave safe jug or bowl. Cook on high for two minutes. Beat well.

Cook another two minutes. By now the mixture will be starting to thicken. Make sure you beat it well to make it smooth.

Cook a further two minutes. Beat well, breaking up any lumps. The mixture should be thick, a similar texture to a pouring custard.

Whisk well between cooking spurts. The mixture will change colour and texture as it cooks.

Pour your lovely, hot lemon butter into hot, sterilised jars.  Seal immediately. Once cool place in fridge. The lemon butter will set as it cools. Keep refrigerated. This lemon butter will keep for up to two weeks in the fridge.

This recipe makes 3 cups of lemon butter. Keep in the fridge for up to three weeks.

I sterilise the jars in the oven and leave them there until the lemon butter is ready so they stay hot.



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