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How to cook plum jam

July 24th, 2022 | Süßes

In keeping with the season and the imminent harvest of our Bühler plums, my topic today is: How to cook plum jam. It’s actually quite easy, but takes a little time. In terms of taste, a homemade plum jam is a sensation. Especially because the plum jam contains much less sugar than any other jam or fruit spread. You see: It’s worth it!

How to cook plum jam

My grandmother in the Odenwald made plum jam herself every summer and stored it in earthenware jars with a blue-grey salt glaze. In the Odenwald it was called Latwerge. Actually a term from the medicine of the Middle Ages. At that time, thickened juice-honey preparations with a viscous consistency were called that. Today, on the other hand, dishes with a syrupy consistency, such as plum puree or other fruit puree, are regionally referred to as Latwerge.

The ingenious thing about plum jam is that it gets by with very, very much less sugar (no jam sugar, just simple sugar) than any other fruit spread or jam. The secret lies in the fact that the liquid is removed from the fruit during gentle, very long cooking. This makes it durable and extremely aromatic. And we know what powers plum jam bestows, at least since the Brothers Grimm’s “Brave Little Tailor” 😉

There are at least three different approaches to plum jam, I have tried the following:

1.) On the tray in the oven:

Braising on the tray works, but I found decanting into a pot very time-consuming, more washing up has to be done than actually necessary.

2.) In the casserole on the stove:

Means hours, and I mean really hours, stirring. In village life in earlier times, several families cooked together in the large cauldron – and someone took turns to stir. That was a fine division of labor and certainly served social interaction and cohesion, just as people used to bake together. In 2022, with my 5 kilograms of plums? Not that cool!

3.) In the casserole in the oven:

When stewing in the casserole, you actually leave the plum puree to itself for at least three hours without touching it. If you stir too soon, you have to keep stirring afterwards, otherwise it will get burnt. So just wait and see with a bit of nerves. If the mush does not yet have the desired consistency, you can add extra time on the stove while stirring.

And here is my favorite recipe:

Plum Jam

(Caution: the plums must steep for at least 3 hours and the cooking time is more than 3 hours)

5 kg ripe plums (Bühler plums are the best))
wash the plums, cut in half along the “seam” and remove the stones, place in a large bowl
850 g sugar (substitute some vanilla sugar, ground vanilla or brown sugar to taste)
1½ ts cinnamon
½ ts ground cloves
add to the plums, mix well and leave covered for at least three hours
put the plums with the juice in a large roasting pan and leave to thicken in the oven at 180° C for 2½ - 3 hours
during this time, stick a wooden spoon in the oven door so that the moisture can escape from the oven and do not stir, otherwise the mush will get burnt
when the desired consistency is reached, stir and puree if necessary
if the consistency is still too runny after the time in the oven, continue to reduce on the stove while stirring, the plum jam should be quite thick and pasty
fill into prepared glasses, place on the lid for 10 minutes and enjoy the concentrated plum aroma on the next Sunday roll

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