July 14, 2008

Plum Jam - Gem “condimentat” de prune si nuci - Marmellata speziata di prugne

My friend Cristina has a link posted on her blog to Il Gato Goloso’s blog, who wanted to put together a collection of recipes for jams, marmalades, preserves, canned fruits or veggies, pickles, you know, everything make in the summer to have later in the pantry.
So I started looking and found some interesting recipes, two of which I couldn’t wait to make myself and share with others. And because they were meant to go to Il Gato Galoso’s blog, these two posts will be trilingual, English-Romanian-Italian. The Italian translation belongs entirely to Cristina, so I have to thank her a lot for her help, and for her advise on how to store and sterilize the jars.

If you are a Romanian, this will sound very familiar to you. When I was a kid, my mom and my grandma will make every summer tens of jars of jams/preserves, pickles and relishes, tomato juice and paste, later on the big barrell of sauerkraut, and they were supposed to last us until spring was coming and you could find again fresh produce. The fruits and veggies were at their peak, so everything was sooo tasty.

A couple of days ago, I was talking to a friend of mine who is a little bit older than my mom and she comes from Yugoslavia, but we shared similar stories about this subject. She told me how one summer, when she was 8 or 9, she wanted to taste every single kind of jam but her mom told her to wait because if they started eating them in August, they will have nothing left to eat after December, so my friend sneaked in the storage room, and thinking if she opens them all and takes just a spoon out of each, her mom will not notice and this sounded better than eating one full jar. And since she knew nothing about how the jams get moldy if not sealled and stored properly, she ruined the whole production. That was the last time when she couldn't wait and the story did not end that well, believe me.

The first recipe is for Plum Jam, with condiments, which makes it tastier than if made with plums and sugar only. The original recipe is here, but I made only half and used less sugar than it asked for, so I’ll write the recipe as I made it.
Second change, I added chopped walnuts to the jam, I love this combo.
Third change, I used water instead of wine and it came out perfect. But the recipe written below has the directions as in the original post, so if you want to use wine, go ahead as explained, if not, use water to make the syrup.
The second recipe will be kind of a pickle and I’ll have it ready this coming weekend.

Plum Jam

1/2 teaspoon black peppercorns
1/2 teaspoon anise seeds or one star anise
3-4 cloves
1/2 cinnamon stick
1 dried bay leaf, crumbled
1 cup (250 ml) dry red wine + 1 cup (250 ml) water
400 g white sugar
2.2 lbs plums (1 kg) , quartered, stoned
2 tablespoons (20ml) lemon juice
1 cup chopped walnuts (not too fine)
Place spices, bay leaf, wine and half of the sugar in a large, wide, heavy-based saucepan and stir over medium heat until sugar dissolves. Bring to the boil then simmer for 10 minutes. Turn off heat and leave to cool. When cool, strain though a fine sieve over a bowl.
Return strained syrup to pan with the water and plums. Bring to the boil. Cover with a lid and simmer over low-medium heat for 35 minutes. Uncover pan. Add lemon juice and remaining sugar. Cook, stirring, until sugar dissolves. Bring to the boil then simmer, uncovered, over medium heat, skimming any scum from top, for 45-50 minutes or until jam jells when tested.
To test, place a small spoonful on a chilled saucer then return to freezer for 1 minute. Run your finger through chilled jam; it should be the consistency of honey and wrinkle slightly when pushed. Once at this stage, pour into hot sterilized jars and seal.

Keep the jars upside down until they are cold, this way they are closed perfectly and you don’t need to sterilize them anymore, they keep wonderfully, .... and they are ready for their journey to the pantry. (Cristina’s words of wisdom)

Gem "condimentat" de prune si nuci

½ linguritza boabe piper negru
½ lingurita seminte de anason/anason stelat
3-4 cuisoare
½ bat scortisoara
250 ml vin rosu (se poate inlocui cu apa)+ 250 ml apa
400 g zahar
1kg prune, taiate in patru, fara samburi
20 ml zeama de lamaie
100-150 g miez de nuca (nu il tocati prea marunt)

Se pun la fiert 250 ml vin, mirodeniile si o ceasca de zahar intr-o cratita larga si se fierb pana se dizolva zaharul. Se fierb la foc mic timp de 10 minute, apoi se da la o parte sa se raceasca si se strecoara intr-un bol.
Se toarna inapoi siropul in cratita si se adauga restul de apa si prunele, se aduce la fierbere, se acopera si se lasa sa fiarba la foc mic timp de 35 minute. Se da capacul la o parte si se adauga zeama de lamaie si zaharul. Se amesteca bine pana se dizolva zaharul, si se lasa sa fiarba din nou la foc mic, fara capac, timp de 30-45 de minute. Aruncati spuma care se formeaza deasupra in timpul fierberii.
Ca sa testati daca gemul e gata, luati o linguritza si puneti-o in frigider/ congelator timp de un minut. Atingeti cu degetul - trebuie sa fie ca o miere mai groasa, gelatinoasa. Daca este deja asa, adaugati nucile, amestecati, si apoi puneti gemul in borcanele sterilizate si inchideti-le imediat.
Tineti borcanele inchise cu fundul in sus pina se racesc, fac vid imediat in plus nu mai e nevoie sa le sterilizezi dupa, tin de minune si sunt gata pt calatoria lor spre camara ! (sfatul si cuvintele Cristinei)

Marmellata speziata di prugne

1/2 cucchiaino peppe nero
1/2 cucchiaino semi di anice o anice stellato
3-4 chiodi di garofano
1/2 stecca di cannella
250 ml acqua e 250 ml vino rosso
400g zucchero
1 kg prugne, tagliate in quattro, snocciolate
20 ml succo di limone
100-150 g gherigli di noce ( non devono essere tagliati troppo piccoli)

Mettiamo a bollire 250 ml vino, i condimenti e un tazza di zucchero in una pentola larga, lasciamo bollire fino quando il zucchero si scioglie. Si continua a bollire a fuoco basso altre 10 minuti e si lascia a raffredarsi, alla fine scollare il sciroppo ottenuto (col collino) in una ciotola.
Versiamo il sciroppo di nuovo nella padella e aggiungiamo acqua e le prugne. Quando inizia a sobbollire copriamo con un coperchio e lasciamo per 35 minuti a fiamma bassa. Trascorsi i 35 minuti alziamo il coperchio e aggiungiamo il succo di limone e il resto di zucchero. Amalgamiamo bene fino quando il zucchero si scioglie e lasciamo di nuovo a bollire a fuocco basso per 30-45 minuti senza coperchio. Raccogliamo e buttiamo via la schiuma.
Facciamo la prova piattino o un altra prova come questa: prendiamo un cucchiaino di marmellata e lo mettiamo nel frigo, lo lasciamo la per 1 minuto, se dopo questo tempo prendendo il cucchiaino tocchiamo la marmellata con uno ditto e lo sentiamo come una miele grossa, gelatinosa la marmellata e pronta (in questo tempo non tenete la pentola con il resto di marmellata sul fuocco).
Aggiungiamo i gherigli di noci, amalgamiamo tutto e versiamo la marmellata nei barratoli, chiudiamo il copperchio e gli mettiamo a testa in giu fino quando si raffredno. Sono pronti per il loro viaggio verso la dispensa!


brii said...

ciao roxana, i'm brii a friend of cristina.
this jam is similar to one that I do.
here I must await the right plums, then I 'will show you.
I would like to give you a little advise, if it is the first time you make a jam with nuts in it.
the persevertion time is shorter.
it will keep maximum 8months in a dark and cool place.
when you put fresh ingredients like, nuts, almonds, mint, basilicum or rosemary for example...the james and marmelade lasts less.
this is not a problem with dry ingredients or alcolichs.
I tell you this of my one experience, I've done a lots of different jams and marmelades, using a lot of different ingredients.
I hope you don't mind.


roxana said...

Ciao Brii, and thank you for visiting and for your advise, how could I mind. I know the nuts turn rancid quick, so you are right, especially if they are not cooked. But I did not know about the herbs, so thank you. And I am sure there are others like me, so all comments are good.
The only good thing is that for us jam doesn't last that long anyway. And I would rather make small batches with different fruits, than 10 jars with the same one.

Cristina said...

Roxana, your jam look fantastic! I have to do it too but I am waiting Brii to tell me which are the right plums (here in Italy) ;-)

Too funny the story of your friend :))