As the plum tree in LLyndafydd was full of fruit I decided to have a go at making plum jam and plum gin :-)
For the jam I put 4lbs of plums which had been cut in half and de-stoned into a large pot with a pint of water and simmered for about half an hour.
4lbs of sugar was gently warmed in the oven and stirred into the stewed plums (off the heat) until dissolved.
I looked up the pectin content of plums, and as it is meant to be high, thought I wouldn't need to add shop bought pectin in order for it to set.
The next part got a little messy... the instructions are to boil the jam rapidly until setting point is reached. To test if the jam has reached this point you need to drop a little onto a cold saucer and see if it is beginning to jellify... sounds pretty straightforward!
The first thing I realised is that you need a very large pan to rapidly boil this quantity of jam without getting jam everywhere. Secondly, as I continued to rapidly boil, it wasn't reaching setting point.
Luckily I had bought 4 lemons, which are also used to increase pectin levels so I started adding lemon juice to the jam. This worked and by the time I'd added the juice of 3 lemons setting point had been reached. Also the lemon gives a lovely tang to the jam :) Then stir in a knob of butter.
The jam was then put into jars which had been sterilised in the microwave (wet and leave a quarter filled with cold water. Then microwave for 1 minute) and dried in the oven...
... poured into the pots, a disk of waxed paper placed in the top wax side down and the jars covered and left to cool.
Plum Gin... prick plums with a fork all over and half fill a Kilner jar. Add 100g sugar and top up with gin :-)
Shake every day until sugar is dissolved and store in a cool, dark place... for as long as you can ;-)