Plum Jam

4½ cups pitted, chopped plums
½ cup water
7½ cups white sugar
½ teaspoon butter (optional)
50g powdered fruit pectin
8 jam jars

PLACE the plums and water into a large pot and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium-low, cover, and simmer for five minutes.

Stir in the sugar and add butter to reduce foaming, if needed. Bring the mixture to a full, rolling boil over high heat, stirring constantly. Mix in the pectin quickly. Return the jam to a full boil, and boil for one minute, stirring constantly. Remove from heat and skim off and discard any foam.

Sterilise the jars and lids in boiling water for at least five minutes. Pack the plum jam into the hot, sterilised jars, filling the jars to within half a centimetre of the top.

Run a knife or a thin spatula around the insides of the jars after they have been filled to remove any air bubbles. Wipe the rims of the jars with a moist paper towel to remove any food residue. Top with lids.

Place a rack in the bottom of a large stockpot and fill halfway with water. Bring to a boil over high heat, then carefully lower the jars into the pot using a holder. Leave a five centimetre space between the jars.

Pour in more boiling water if necessary, until the water level is at least 2cm above the tops of the jars. Bring the water to a full boil, cover the pot, and process for 10 minutes.

Remove the jars from the stockpot and place onto a cloth-covered or wood surface, several inches apart, until cool. Once cool, press the top of each lid with a finger, ensuring that the seal is tight (lid does not move up or down at all). Store in a cool, dark area. Refrigerate opened jars for up to three weeks.

Recipe submitted by Financial Mentoring Service formerly known as Budget Advisory Service (Whakatane)