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The season is short for these greengage plums, writes Alison Lambert.
Do not be put off by their colour as when ripe they are some of the sweetest and juiciest plums out there.
Alison Lambert is one of the demonstrators at the Otago Farmers Market in Dunedin on Saturday mornings.
1kg fresh greengages, stoned and cut into even-sized pieces
600g caster sugar
100ml cold water
juice of 1 lemon
Sterilise jars and lids before you start. I keep them upside down in my oven at 50degC - 100degC for at least 30 minutes.
Place the greengages, sugar and water into a heavy-based saucepan and place over a medium heat. Gently dissolve the sugar. Once the sugar has dissolved, turn the heat up and bring to a vigorous boil.
Boil for about 20-25 minutes. You must test the jam at this stage as you don't want it to over-reduce or overcook.
There are two methods I use to test the setting of the jam.
The first is by using a plate that has been in the fridge. Spoon a little jam on it and allow to cool and set. If you can run your finger through the middle of this and it doesn't run immediately back into the centre then it is ready. The other is using a sugar thermometer.
If the temperature is between 104degC - 107degC, the ideal setting point for the jam, then it is ready.
When you reach the correct setting point, remove the jam from the heat and stir in the lemon juice.
Pour the jam into the sterilised jars and secure the lids, label and store until needed.