Greengage Plums, also known as Reine Claude plums have been quite hard to find commercially here in Melbourne so when I spotted this week at the market, they quickly ended up in my basket.
I've always seen these plums as being quintessentially English and the dish I most associate them with is Greengage Jam. It's no surprise then that I've fulfilled my long held dream and made a little batch of Jam.
Greengage Plum Jam
1 kg Greengage Plums
1½ cups water
700 grams sugar
Wash the fruit and remove any blemishes then cut them into quarters, leaving the stones in.
Tip the fruit and the water into a saucepan and place on a medium-low heat - gently cook until the fruit has softened. Add in the sugar and stir to dissolve - simmer, stirring occasionally to ensure the jam doesn't stick to the bottom of the pan.
As it cooks you can gently remove any "scum" that floats to the surface (you can also remove the stones from the mixture as they too will float to the surface) - the mixture is cooked when it reaches about 105°C/220°F.
If you haven't got a thermometer you can always use the old saucer test to check whether the jam has set - place a blob of jam on a cold saucer (place a saucer in the freezer before you start making the jam), wait a minute and check the consistency. If it wrinkles when you push at it or it stays together when you tilt the saucer, the jam is ready. If it fails the test, return the jam to the heat and cook for another 5 minutes and test again.
It's important that you don't boil the mix too hard or the jam will become brown in colour - if you want to keep a green tinge to it, don't rush it.
Store the hot jam in cleaned hot jars and seal. When cold store in the fridge.
I think I've got breakfast sorted for a little while!