1. Go find yourself a plum tree orchard in the hills and mountains of Bosnia and Herzegovina.
Go to the nearest farmers’ market and buy plums. Continue reading paragraph 4.
2. Let the landlady lead you through the orchard to show you the different varieties of plums she has on offer.
3. Pluck the fruit off heavily laden branches putting it into container provided by the landlady. Let her weigh the harvest when you think you’ve had enough. She might ask you to read the scales because she doesn’t see well enough anymore.
4. Back home, wash the fruit thoroughly and discard all plums that are short of perfect. You can eat and share those straightaway.
5. Quarter the plums, remove (and discard) the pits, and place the fruit in a large pot as you go. When done, add sugar, stir, cover with lid and let rest for up to 24 hours. That way the fruit will produce a nice amount of juice so you won’t need to add water when cooking.
Note: For 1,5 kg of plums (which were just ripe) I added scant 400g of demerara sugar.
6. Put in the fridge if soaking for more than a couple of hours.
7. When the plums are ready and you’re all set to cook, pour yourself a glass of something first. You should be enjoying yourself.
8. Juice a lemon over plums (lemon helps the jam setting), bring to a boil, then let simmer gently over moderate heat. Stir regularly, plums like to stick and burn. If it’s simmering too vigorously, lower the heat. While the jam cooks, prepare the jars and their lids and sterilize them either in the oven at 140°C or by boiling them in water in another pot.
9. I cooked my plum jam for about half hour but you might need to cook yours a bit longer. It should reduce and thicken considerably. When happy with consistency (check a drop of it on the plate, you know the drill), fill sterilized glass jars that should still be hot with the hot jam and close immediately (after wiping the rim of the glass).
10. Leave in a quiet location to cool covered with a kitchen towel. Sit down; finish your drink in peace and rest as He did after a masterwork was completed.
Enjoy your home-made plum jam on toast, bread, pancakes, whatever suits your fancy. It’s so good, isn’t it?
What’s needed to produce this lovely hand-made plum jam is listed in bold throughout the text.