Tuesday, January 3, 2012


I find it hard not to concentrate on fruit and nut cooking this time of year. I've tasted some lovely pan fortes over the last month and have decided to experiment with these to work out the ideal recipe for gifts late this year.
Meanwhile, the day before yesterday I made plum jam. It was very simple. I stalked and washed 3kg (about 40) tart plums and put them in a large saucepan with 2 cups of water, brought them to the boil and simmered them until they virtually disintegrated. Making sure the bottom was not sticky I added 3kg brown sugar and stirred well as I brought the mixture to the boil again. At this point the stones tend to surface and you can remove them with a spoon. I boiled the mixture for 15 mins or so until it reached setting point and then bottled it in 12 jars.
It's hard not to get a spot or two on the walls, surrounding surfaces and clothes. On clothes we found soaking in milk did the trick.


  1. 15 mins is very quick. It takes me more than an hour to get the correct consistency; otherwise it’s runny. I've never timed it, but could be a lot more than an hour. Do you add pectin?
    I have made many jars of plum jam (from feral fruit) this year, as well as stewed and frozen a lot. A couple of days ago I made apricot jam from my own trees, yesterday I picked and bottled (feral) blackberries and today bottled apricots. I have gathered fruit for years, and last year made many bottles of plum sauce, but I still have heaps so I am not making any this year. I check out my regular trees each year waiting for the fruit to ripen. I’m now waiting on a feral nectarine, although I have competition for that one, because I don’t always manage to get them first.

  2. Hi, the 15 mins was from when it boiled so it had already been cooking a while. They were quite hard plums so they absorbed quite a bit of water. I find the cooking times vary with the amount of water and state of the fruit. No, I didn't need to use pectin. I only ever add lemons for pectin if they are low pectin fruit and under ripe plums have a reasonable amount of pectin. Still it is a jelly consistency rather than a thick sticky jam like you get with marmalade. Great to see you using that feral fruit and being so industrious!



We can harvest a wide range of fruits and nuts locally each season.

Local fruit and/or nut gardeners are invited to make additions or suggest modifications to the following work-in-progress compiled by Lizzie Connor.


Across the mountains: loquat, mulberry, rhubarb, strawberry and (in late spring) raspberry

Best in the lower mountains: avocado, jaboticaba, lemonade


Across the mountains: apricot, blueberry, boysenberry, cherry, currant (red, black, white), gooseberry, kumquat, loganberry, loquat, mulberry,nectarine, peach, plum, raspberry, rhubarb, strawberry and (in late summer) almond, apple, fig, hazelnut, passionfruit, pear (incl. nashi), pomegranate, youngberry

Best in lower mountains:lemon (Eureka), lemonade, lime, mandarin, orange, persimmon (non-astringent) and (in late summer) avocado, babaco, macadamia, rockmelon, wampee, watermelon

Best in upper mountains: jostaberry, lemon (Meyer), persimmon (astringent)


Across the mountains: almond, apple, chestnut, feijoa, fig, grape, hazel, kiwi fruit, kumquat, medlar, olive, passionfruit, pear (incl. nashi), plum, quince, raspberry (some), rhubarb, strawberry, strawberry guava, walnut

Best in lower mountains: avocado, babaco, cherimoya, grapefruit, lemon (Eureka), macademia, monstera deliciosa, orange, pine nut, pistachio, rockmelon, tamarillo, walnut, watermelon, white sapote

Best in upper mountains: lemon (Meyer), mandarin (Satsuma)


Across the mountains: apple, hazelnut, kiwi fruit, kumquat, pear (incl. nashi)

Best in lower mountains: grapefruit, lemon (Eureka), orange, tangelo

Best in upper mountains: avocado (Bacon), lemon (Meyer)