Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Cinnamon-Spiced Pluot Jam with Homemade Pectin

My friend Sara and I made this fantastic jam with pluots from the market.  Pluots are a hybrid fruit that's a combination of apricots and plums; if you can't find them, I'm sure this jam would also be terrific with plums (which is actually the fruit in the original recipe).  Making the homemade pectin in a bit of work, but it was a fun process - especially if you have a food mill to make the puree-ing process easier.  It can lead to a more "natural", softer set than using store-bought pectin, although in our case we over-cooked the jam a bit and it got somewhat over-gelled.  Luckily about 30 seconds in the microwave before spreading on the jam works perfectly fine, so it's not a disaster.

As to the flavor, this jam tastes like Christmas to me despite being made with summer fruit!  Something about the combination of cinnamon and plum flavors just brings up a cozy feeling of winter desserts.  Of course, it's also delicious to eat any time of year - I enjoyed some here spread on home-baked whole wheat bread.  The pluots are slightly tart, which is perfectly balanced with the warm cinnamon spice.  I think this jam would make a fantastic Christmas gift to give friends and family a taste of summer fruit with winter spices.

Cinnamon-Spiced Pluot Jam with Homemade Pectin (adapted from Ball Canning)
Makes around 2 cups, easily multiplied

Homemade Pectin
3 large granny smith apples (or other tart apples), tops and bottoms removed, coarsely chopped with cores intact
1 small lemon, scrubbed, finely chopped, including peels

1 cup homemade pectin (reserve the rest for another jam project or reduce over medium heat and add sugar to make applesauce)
3 cups peeled, pitted, and chopped pluots (or plums)
2-3/4 cup sugar
1 cinnamon stick

1. Place the apples and lemons in a large pot with enough water to avoid sticking.  Boil until soft.  Puree using a food mill or by forcing the mixture through a fine-mesh strainer.
2. Measure out 1 cup of the homemade pectin, and add to the berries, sugar, and cinnamon stick in a large pot.  Bring to a boil and cook over medium-high heat, stirring constantly, until the jam is thickened and passes the gel test.  Be sure not to overcook - due to the added pectin, this jam can definitely get too thick if you cook it too long!  (If that happens, just pop the jam in the microwave for about 30 seconds before using to loosen it up a bit.)
3. Fill clean jars, leaving 1/4-inch headspace.  Process 10 minutes in a boiling water bath to preserve, or just store in the fridge or freezer.

 I'm sending this post off to These Chicks Cooked!


  1. Sounds like your jam turned out great and tasty! Glad it reminds you of Christmas. To me, anything with cinnamon does.

  2. I make a similar jam with plums that I give as Christmas gifts. So good! Love pluots and think it's great you make your own pectin, that's the way to go.