It’s autumn! (For all the ones who think “WTF? It’s April!”, we are talking southern hemisphere here!) Although we still get sunny days in the low 20s, the evenings have that certain something about them that reminds me of the dusky, hazy, and utterly magical October evenings I remember from Europe. Autumn is my favourite season, featuring colourful trees, the smell of leaves and fresh chestnuts, a mellow light, cool-but-not-too-cool days, and a long dusk – and not least some of my favourite foods to eat, which all start with p – potatoes, pumpkin, pears, and -yup- plums!
Even though we started harvesting our lovely plums already a couple of months ago, these yummy purple and yellow fruits are still ubiquitous. As I am still in the phase of perfecting my gluten free bread making skills but want to go a bit more easy on nut butters (think anti-metabolic PUFAs…), I needed to come up with a good jam. Unlike my home country, the selection of jams here in Australia leaves a lot to be desired. It’s hard to find a jam with a fruit content of more than 30% (when in Germany, you can only get 50% +!), and even the ones with a supposed fruit content of 50% taste like sugary mush. Any wonder when sugar and glucose syrup are the main ingredients! I usually prefer going without any sweetener at all as fruit has a natural sweetness to it that doesn’t need tampering with. However, plums are a bit of a different animal, as they are quite sour, so I opted to use a bit of Xylitol. Xylitol (just like erythritol) is a safe natural sweetener that has actually been shown to be beneficial for teeth and even to reverse cavities! I have no issues with Xylitol in terms of digestive distress, but if you are extra sensitive, you might want to opt for eryhtritol instead, which is also an excellent sweetener. Of course, you can use “real” sugar or stevia although I don’t think that stevia gives jam the nicest taste.
I know what you think, that (white) sugar is needed to preserve the jam – and you are absolutely right. However, I am not a preserve-maker (yet), and I like my jam being ready instantly, and I like it fresh! This jam should last a couple weeks in the fridge – it’s so delicious though that you will get through it quicker! The great thing about plums is that they have enough natural pectin, meaning that unlike with other jams, you don’t need to add pectin during the jam-making process and will still get that “jamminess”. Yes, you really can make this jam spontaneously as it takes less than 5 minutes to make! It is really as easy as! Tip: By adding some wintery spices (cinnamon, ginger, cardamom etc.) you will get that perfect autumn feeling!
500 g plums, washed, cored, and roughly chopped (leave skin on)
1 tbsp apple juice
1 tbsp lemon juice
1 tbsp xylitol (or alternative sweetener)
2 tsp arrowroot starch
cinnamon, cloves, cardamom, ginger, nutmeg (optional)
Combine plums, apple juice, and lemon juice in a saucepan over moderate heat and bring to the boil, stirring constantly. Whisk the arroworoot starch with 2 tsp water until a pasty consistency is achieved. Add the arrowroot paste, stirring vigorously. The plums should instantly start to thicken up. Now add the sweetener and the spices and stir until the desired consistency is reached. Let cool completely and transfer to mason jar. Lasts a couple of weeks in the fridge. This jam is great on gluten free bread, in yoghurt and quark, or straight from the spoon.