We’re just a step ahead of the South African winter, but you might not be ready yet to let go of all the deliciousness of summer fruits. These are the last couple of weeks to stock up on fresh stone fruit such as peaches, nectarines and plums, and get creative in your kitchen. Traditionally, autumn is the season of jam-making and bottling, so that summer produce can be preserved to brighten up the winter months.
Some of our most favourite jams are made with stone fruit – who can resist peach or plum jam, baked into tarts or topping a warm scone on a cold winter afternoon?
500g plums, washed, pitted and cut in quarters
2 Tbsps water
250 g sugar
1 Tbsp lemon juice
2 tsps vanilla extract
2 x 250 g puff pastry sheet
4 Tbsps cornflour
To make the Vanilla Plum Jam
1. Place a saucer in the freezer (this is to test the jam).
2. Place the cut plums and water in a wide saucepan and simmer, cook with the lid on for 15-20 minutes, or until the plums are soft.
3. Remove from the heat and either blend or run the jam through a sieve.
4. Add the sugar and lemon and stir allowing the sugar to dissolve.
5. Bring the jam to a rolling boil for 5 minutes or until the jam reaches 105°C, alternatively, test if the jam is ready by removing the jam from the heat and the saucer from the freezer then placing a spoonful of hot jam onto the saucer then pushing your finger through the jam on the plate – it should wrinkle and not flood back in to fill the gap. If it’s not ready, place the jam back on the heat and simmer for a further five minutes before testing again.
6. Remove from the heat and let it rest for 10 minutes then stir in the vanilla and cornflour.
7. Spoon the jam into sterilized jars and seal with their lids, then set aside to cool completely.
To assemble the tart with puff pastry
1. Preheat the oven to 200°C.
2. Grease and line your selected tart tin with the puff pastry, ensure the sides are lined too.
3. Prick the base with a fork, then blind bake by lining the pastry case with baking paper, then filling it to the top with ceramic baking beans before baking for 15 minutes or until the pastry is golden brown. Remove the baking beans and baking paper. Bake for a further 5 minutes to dry out the base. Remove from oven and set aside to cool.
4. Pour the jam into the tart tin, filling it halfway.
5. To store the remaining jam, keep it refrigerated and in the airtight jars.
6. Bake in the preheated oven for 20-25 minutes or until its set but still has a bit of a wobble in the centre.
7. Remove from the oven and allow to cool completely. Place in the fridge to set overnight.
Serve as desired, either warm or cold, with ice cream or whipped cream.
Presented by Juicy Delicious and created by Saadiyah Hendricks, recipe developer and food content creator at Sadie’s Bubble of Yum.