Nigella Plum Jam

Nigella Plum Jam

Nigella Plum Jam


4 pounds plums, pitted and halved

2 1/2 cups sugar

1 1/2 cups water

1/4 cup nigella seeds, lightly crushed

1 lemon, outer peel grated, halved and juiced, (seeds reserved in a muslin bag)


Prepare jars for canning. You’ll need to sterilize jars for this recipe. Put a small plate in the freezer (you will use this later to check the jam set). Put the plums, sugar, water, nigella seeds, seed bag, lemon juice, and lemon halves into a large saucepan and bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Stir the mixture constantly for about 15 minutes, then drop the heat to medium-low, holding the jam at a constant simmer but making sure not to burn it. After about 10 minutes, remove half of the plums with a slotted spoon and set aside in a small bowl. This helps keep some plums whole in the final jam. Continue cooking the rest until thickened. When the jam is thick, return the reserved whole plums to the stockpot and cook a few minutes more.  Test the jam set, using the plate in the freezer. Continue cooking on low for a thicker jam. When set is reached, remove the seed bag and lemon halves and compost them. Put the plum jam into sterilized jars and gently tap the bottom of the jars on the counter to release any air bubbles. Using a clean damp towel, wipe the rims of the jars and place lids and rings on jars. Process in a water bath for 5 minutes if using pint jars, 10 minutes if using quart jars. Remove the jars with tongs and let cool on the counter. When the jam is cool, remove the metal rings, check for proper seals, and label with date and contents. Store in a cool, dark cupboard until ready to use, for up to a year. NOTE: Nigella Plum Jam is really delicious served alongside a gamy meat like roasted duck or venison chops. It also imparts a simple sweetness to a cheese-filled crepe or blintz. Fennel seeds are a great substitute for nigella seeds. You can also substitute chamomile flowers for nigella seeds in the same measurement for a more floral-scented jam. If you prefer a completely smooth jam, place nigella seeds in the lemon seed bag and leave out of the final jam.

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