Mary Cadogan's Plum Jam with Star Anise & Orange

Mary Cadogan's Plum Jam with Star Anise & Orange

Jam on toast is a heart warming dish that many of us enjoy on a Sunday morning with a cup of tea. Whether it’s strawberry, apricot or plum, the best jam is always homemade. We're happy to share Mary Cadogan's plum jam recipe with you. Mary is author of 18 cookery books, previous deputy editor, then Food Director of BBC Good Food magazine.

Ingredients for roughly 2kg of jam
  • 1.5kg plums
  • 200ml apple juice
  • 1 orange
  • 2 star anise
  • 1 kg preserving or granulated sugar
  • Knob of butter
To prepare
  • Cutting down on the sugar and simmering the fruit in apple juice means you get the full flavour of the plums without it being oversweet. The star anise and orange are wonderful flavour partners for the plums.
  • To prepare the jars you needs to wash the jars in hot soapy water, then rinse well and drain. Put in one layer in a roasting tin and put in the oven at 160C/140fan/Gas4 for 10 mins. Alternatively put the jars upside down in the dishwasher and run a hot wash without detergent.
For the jam
  • Halve and stone the plums, then chop the flesh and put in a large pan with the apple juice. Pare the flesh from the orange in strips, taking care not to include any white pith. Put the orange strips and star anise in a square of muslin and tie with kitchen string. Squeeze the juice from the orange and set aside.
  • Add the muslin bag to the pan, then bring everything to the boil, stirring. Reduce the heat and simmer for 10 mins, until the plums are softened.
  • Stir in the sugar and orange juice and stir well over a moderate heat to dissolve the sugar, then increase the heat and boil for about 20 mins until the jam has set and has reached 105 degrees on your Thermapen. If not return to the boil for a further 5 mins, then test again.
  • Remove from the heat and remove the muslin bag. Skim off any scum, then stir in the butter to dissolve any remaining scum. Cool for 10 mins, stir again, then fill into warm clean jars. Seal and label.
  • As this is a low sugar jam it will need to be kept in the fridge or a cool place.
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