Foraging Alert

20150718123845Just in case you haven’t noticed, the wild plums are beginning to ripen all over the Hanwell Meadows and River Brent area.

We like to pick them using an open upside-down umbrella: hold it by the tip, use the handle to gently rock a branch with plums, and the ripe fruits fall into your open umbrella.

This method is quick and easy, no tree climbing required, and no tree is harmed in the making of our plum jam:

  1. Collect the plums without invading private land or breaking any trees, laws or rules of common sense and consideration. Even just 1 kg will give you 6..8 jam jars of deliciousness.
  2. Wash the plums in cold water, remove stem and stone.
  3. Optionally, briefly blizz them in a blender to chop down the skin a little.
  4. Weigh the plum pulp and add the same amount of jam sugar in weight.
  5. If your plums are very sweet, add the juice from half a lime per kilo of fruit.
  6. Gently bring to the boil, stirring continuously.
  7. Meanwhile, rinse your jam jars with very hot water and keep jars and lids at the ready.
  8. When your jam passes the test after approximately 6 minutes of mild simmer (a teaspoon full must become as think as thick honey when spread onto a plate), remove some of the surface foam, then fill the jars, leaving a small pocket of air on top. Tightly close the lid immediately. The cooling air within the far contracts and seals the jar. Your jam should easily last a year, if you can bring yourself to keep it that long.

It’s delicious on bread or toast, but also works great as mix-in with yoghurt or ice cream.