Spiced Sugar Plum Jam

What is it about plums?  They're tart and sweet,  ripe when yields to gentle pressure, but also magical when they're almost rotten, a sexy gooey mess when you add a little  heat and sugar.  Often overlooked in their dried form,  there is nothing sexy about a prune.  For a girl with a serious gummy bear addiction this is the closest nature gets to a sour berry bear.    Out of a love for plums came this jam.  I used sugar plums for this recipe, medium purple in color, the size of a large gumball these have an incredibly short season.  I see them for about a week every year.  If you can find them, grab them, but this recipe works well for the dark purple Italian prune plums which have a long season and are pretty easy to come by at most farmers markets.  This recipe calls for a quart of plums and it makes 2 half pint jars, but you may want to double the recipe.  The jam makes a great cake filling, it also is great in jam filled sugar cookies around the holidays.

1 quart sugar plums, pitted and chopped (But any plum will do.)
3/4 cup sugar
1 cinnamon stick
 1/2 inch knob of ginger sliced
juice of one lemon

Combine all incredients in a non-reactive saucepan, and heat stiring occasionally, until jam reaches desired thickness.*  About 20-30 minutes.  Making sure jam doesn't burn towards the end.  Ladle into two half pint jars, discarding ginger and cinnamon stick, and process covered for 10 minutes.  Turn heat off and allow jars to sit in canning bath for an additional 5 minutes uncovered before removing from bath.  

* I tend to like my jam a little looser.  Large chunks of fruit swimming in a lightly sweetended liquid.  Think jam that spreads with a spoon and not a knife.  By all means cook it to your desired firmness, you may end up with a bit less jam thats all!


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