Here’s an authentic Victorian recipe ‘To Preserve Plums’ using the plum kernels which is supposed to add an almondy dimension to the flavour. We’re planning to use most of ours for our Sunday pudding in a traditional boiled Jam Roly-Poly using a recipe from the same cookbook 😋 mmm!
Original Recipes: 'To Preserve Plums' (Book 1, 1868)
Speed: 45 mins to make, not including 8hr period required for plums to rest in sugar.
Plums - any variety
Sugar - we used Preserving Sugar
Measurements: For every 1 lb fruit use ¾ lb sugar
Which, in grams, is: 453.6 g fruit to 340 g sugar
The night before
1. Cut the plums in half and remove the stones, setting them to one side as we will be coming back to them later.
2. Cover a plate or flat bowl with the preserving sugar and lay the plum halves cut-side down on top of the sugar so that this side is completely coated. Put these away to rest overnight.
3. Crack the stones and remove the kernels which will look like little almonds. Discard the outer shell of the stones and keep the kernels somewhere safe.
4. For the next day, put a small plate in the fridge or freezer. We'll take it out after cooking our jam to test whether or not it's ready.
The next morning
5. Bring back your plums which will have released a syrup overnight as they have rested in sugar. Pour them, the sugar and syrup into a large saucepan or preserving pan set over a low heat. Let simmer for about 30 minutes, stirring occasionally.
6. Bring the jam to the boil and add in the kernels. Boil for about 3-5 mins, stirring constantly so that the jam doesn't stick to the bottom of the pan. When you notice it thickening up, remove from the heat.
7. Take your small plate out of the fridge and drop a little jam onto it. Nudge it with the back of a spoon. If it thickens and turns to jelly, it's done.
8. Have ready a jam jar that is clean and bone dry (having been washed at least 1 day in advance) and pour in the jam. Tie a piece of cloth across the top of the jar and screw/clip on the lid above this. Leave to set, and then use as you please!
Original Recipe for 'To Preserve Plums'
'BOOK 1': Warne’s Model Cookery and Housekeeping Book (1868)
Compiled and Edited By: Mary Jewry
Publisher: Fredrick Warne & Co. (Bedford Street, Covent Garden, London, England, U.K.), printers: Savill, Edwards and Co. Printers (Chandos Street, Covent Garden, London, England, U.K.)