Plum Jam

Recipe: Source:  Chezpim

2lb (about 1kg) Green Gage Plums  (I used a yellow plum)
1lb (about 500g) sugar
juice from 1 lemon
2 vanilla beans

Cut the plums into big chunks into a large, non-reactive pot (like a Le Creuset), discard the pits.  Add the sugar and the lemon juice.  Stir well to combine.  Cut a round piece of parchment paper the size of the diameter of the pot, and place it on top of the fruits.  Let sit for about an hour.

Cut two vanilla beans lengthwise, scrape the inside of the pods to get to all the seeds.  Scrape the pods and all the seeds into the pot with the fruits.  Place the pot over the stove and bring to a boil over medium heat.  Gently stir to make sure all the sugar is melted.  Bring the heat down to a simmer, and continue to cook, stirring occasionally, until it reduces at least by half or until it reaches the thickness you like.

These plums have so much pectin in the skin that you don't need to add any extra to get it to gel.   To test to see if the jam is ready, take a small amount of jam on the tip of a spoon, and drop it on a small plate and spread it a little.  If the jam is ready, it should gel up nicely when it cools down.  If it's still a little runny, you might want to continue cooking for just a bit longer. 

It really is that simple.  If you're like me, you can just put the jam in a large jar and put it in the fridge (discard the vanilla pods first, by the way).  It will be eaten up soon enough.  If you want to keep it longer, then get a bunch of little jam jars and follow the manufacturer's instructions on how to fill and seal the jars so that they are shelf-stable.