First time making: homemade apple and plum jam with cardamom

Now that my two jars of strawberry jam are nearly empty, it’s time to make a new batch – with apples and plums. I wanted to try something less runny this time, and as it’s the pectin that makes jam set, I decided to try a recipe with plums (a fruit that features on the high pectin list). Then I found this delicious-looking plum and apple jam, as well as this beautiful French apple jam recipe, so decided to combine the two and make an apple and plum jam with cardamom.

For the apple variety, I picked Gala, as it’s generally good for apple sauces: it’s sweet, got a good texture and isn’t too “watery”.

PLEASE NOTE: I thought it’d make 2 x 500ml jars of jam, but it turned out that there was only enough for 1 jar, so in the future, I won’t be scaling down the recipe in this way.

250g flavouring plums (4 plums)
250g Gala apples (2 apples)
1 cardamom pod

300g jam sugar
100g cane sugar

150ml water

You’ll also need: a potato masher and 1 jam jar (500ml).

Apple_Plum_Jam_1 I scaled down the sugar slightly, as the apple and plum varieties already seemed quite sweet to me. By the original recipe, you should use 450g sugar. Also, just because I’m paranoid (and there was still some left over), I’m using a mix of jam sugar, which contains pectin, and normal sugar. In theory, the plum will provide enough natural pectin, so you can use normal white sugar here.

Step 1: Sterilise the jars (same as for the strawberry jam). Just leave the jars and lids in the oven at Gas Mark 4 for over 10 minutes.

Apple_Plum_Jam_2Step 2: Wash the apples and plums, then cut these into small pieces and remove the stone/core. I cut the plums into 8ths and the apples where cut into 8ths then halved horizontally.

PLEASE NOTE: I wanted to see what would happen if the apples and plums weren’t peeled, so tried that this time. This is definitely NOT a good idea – the peels didn’t disintegrate (should have expected as much!), but luckily I could fish them out quite easily at the end, so definitely peel your apples and plums!

Apple_Plum_Jam_3Step 3: Crush open the cardamom pod and remove the seeds. (I only used one pod because I wasn’t sure whether the taste would work well with the apples and plums, but it works very well. I think 2 pods would be too heavy though, as we already have the flavour of 2 fruits here.)

Apple_Plum_Jam_4Step 4: Place the apples, plums, cardamom seeds, water and sugar into a pan and place on medium heat. Once it comes to a boil, turn down the heat and simmer for 30 minutes, using the potato masher to mash every 10 minutes.

Apple_Plum_Jam_6Step 5: Take the sterilised jars out of the oven to allow them to cool. Remove a small amount of jam and set aside to see if it can set once it cools (mine set straight away).  I didn’t see any foam on top for this jam (unlike the strawberry one), so didn’t need to do any skimming off the top.

Step 6: Once you know that the jam can set, after it’s cooled, poor the jam into the jar, seal, and it’s done!

Apple_Plum_Jam_7I also tried a second batch of the strawberry jam, and added a touch more sugar (50g) plus 10 minutes more on the hob. It seemed to set into a much more solid jam!

Think I prefer the flavour of the apple and plum – and it makes your kitchen smell really nice. Let me know if you have any favourite jam recipes.


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