I am back to New Zealand and it is still plum season in the Oratia orchards! But is it so hot that plums don't last long after picking, so I had about 1 kg that was far too ripe and soft for eating. I washed them and then place them in a pot with a little water and boiled them, then I strained the 'paste' to discard stones and leftover skin and tasted it. I usually add 50-60% of sugar (I don't like the 1kg fruit for 1kg sugar ratio they do in NZ), but this paste was already sweet! So I added just 2 tbsp of brown sugar and a pinch of citric acid (as a preservative) and, fearing that the jam wouldn't set, 1/3 tsp of agar agar. If I were to keep this jam longer maybe I would have added more sugar, but I only made 5 small jars and two are gone already!
It is a really delicious and sweet jam, and it is the first time (after 18 years in NZ for me) that plums seems to be so sweet when ripe (almost like in Italy), and a jam need so little sugar - I guess it is due to the dry January we had.
But I really want to try to make a jam with even less sugar (or no sugar at all) to keep, any suggestion?
Remember that the first pears and the famous Oratia Beauty apples are also in season at the Dragicevich Orchard, 556 West Coast Rd, Oratia, Auckland. The Oratia Beauty apples are the first fruit to be added to the Slow Food Foundation for Biodiversity Ark of Taste