Wild Plum Jam

I was recently made aware of a great site for would be foragers – called urban food maps.  This site has been created by the South Hobart Sustainable Community a bunch of South Hobartian residents who are attempting to find different ways to create and maintain sustainable urban practices.

Urban food maps highlights areas around the suburbs of Tasmania where there are foragable food sources.  To date, these include things like apricot, locquat, mulberry, apple, fig, plum, pear, lemon, walnut, prickly pear, kiwi and passionfruit trees and vines.  These are all to be found on empty lots, meridian strips or overhanging garden fences.

There are still a few more that Brunyfire has already learnt about that aren’t mapped yet like elderberries, medlars, rose petals, greengages and a wealth of edible weeds (nettles, wild turnip, thistle) that I’m in the process of identifying.

As I was driving towards home from the Bruny Island ferry last summer, I noted a young couple picking something by the side of the road.  Turned out, they were cherry plums……..……..admittedly, these were still in blossom this year (September) and they are red when they become fruit.  The plums featured below were foraged from around the Hobart ‘burbs late last summer. But the plums that made the following jam were a present from a friend’s garden, and so Brunyfire took them to cook in the firepit on Bruny Island.  The recipe is from Sally Wise’s A Year in a BottleSally Wise is a well known Hobartian foodie from the Tasman Peninsula, who has been a passionate preserver of fruits and vegetables for over three decades. More than just a method to create nutritional food from seasonal produce, she sees preserving as a way of life that can become a highly addictive occupation.

                               Billy Boiled Wild Plum Jam.

  • 1.5 kgs plums, washed and stalks removed
  • Juice one lemon
  • 1.25 kilos  sugar
  • 1 cup water

Place plums, lemon juice and water in a suitably sized billy, and bring to the boil, stirring occasionally. Continue to cook, ensuring the plums don’t burn and stick to the bottom of the pan, until the plums are well broken down.  Add the sugar and stir until this has dissolved.  Note: the stones of the plums have been included, as this will help with the setting of the jam.  Once the sugar has dissolved, bring the mixture to a boil, stirring regularly until the setting point has been achieved.  (ie. when the jam leaves an open cut trail on a cold saucer).Press the cooked mixture through a colander (the stones all help with setting through their pectin content)……..……..and pour the strained mix into sterilized jars.

Brunyfire’s jars were prepared in the firepit – bring a big pan of water to boiling point, add jars and allow to boil for a couple of minutes before fishing them out with tongs……..…..in this instance, they were allowed to dry in the sun on a clean tea towel……………..before pouring into the prepared jars – remember to label them.And then all that remains is the washing up……..……..and devouring the outcome on scones with cream, albeit very tentatively.

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2 Responses to “Wild Plum Jam”

  1. Man, I find making jam enough of a trial, what with sterilising jars and not smashing them, in an indoor kitchen with electrcity. Well done for going truly old school!

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