Happy Easter, friends! I hope you all had an amazing long Easter weekend with your close ones. I have always thought that Easter time (at least here in Australia) is an interesting blend of summer and autumn. We had stunning sunny hot weather over the long Easter weekend and we spent hours outside enjoying it, pottering around our home garden, picking sweet strawberries, juicy little cherry tomatoes, as well as zucchini and pumpkins, trying to fly kites and swimming in the pool. But we can’t deny that the leaves on the trees are starting to turn, the temperatures overnight are cooler and cooler, and the days are getting shorter.
It’s such a bittersweet time of the year, since you know that there’s going to be less and less warmth to the sunshine over the next few months and so you try to make the most out of the summer bounty of gorgeous fruit and veggies. In my case, I pick all our ripe fruit and veggies, and buy a lot of fruit on special and make jam, and fruit cakes and sweet and savoury tarts and slices. Jam is my favourite as it is so forgiving in terms of what fruit you use and can be used in so many ways – as jam on toast (obviously) but also to top your granola and yoghurt in the morning (try this granola or these gorgeous yoghurt pots/parfaits) or even on pancakes, waffles, crepes, poffertjes (they sell them at Aldi if you don’t have time to make your own), english muffins, bagels, or whatever else takes your fancy.
This peach, grape and plum jam is a little bit interesting and utterly delicious. It combines some beautiful summer fruits but also includes grapes which lately has been my go to ingredient for jams. Sounds weird? Maybe. But read on and see if I can pique your interest.
Homemade jams rule
If you’ve been reading this blog for a little while, you will know I love making jam at home. In fact, it has been probably over a year now since I last bought jam at the shops. The main reason is the sugar content in store-bought jams. If you look closely at the list of ingredients, you will see that sometimes sugar is listed as the first ingredient, before any fruit, meaning that the jam you’re eating contains more sugar than fruit.
For example, see the ingredient list on Cottee’s strawberry jam – there’s only 40% strawberries, the sugar is the first ingredient and the jam has 67% sugar content. That, to me, is not great.
In a good jam, I want as much fruit as possible and as little added sugar as possible. That’s a much better balance and gives you a much fruitier jam as a result. None of that sticky, overly-sugary your-teeth-might-fall-out commercially produced stuff.
Plus, making a jam at home means you know exactly what goes in and what you’re feeding your family, and gives you an opportunity to use up whatever fruit at home is starting to look a little sad. Which is why I usually make my jam(s) on a Saturday or Sunday morning, before I do the weekly grocery shop – to use up what’s left over.
Finally, it takes literally minutes to make your own jam at home. None of this standing at the stove, waiting for the fruit to cook down etc etc. We all have better things to do. Chop your fruit up, mix it with some sweetener, lemon juice and ground cinnamon and stick it in the microwave. Let cook (first round), then mix in some tapioca to thicken it up, back it goes into the microwave and cook it once more (second round). And ta-da! You have jam. It’s that easy.
And look at that gorgeous colour. You can’t beat that – your very own peach, grape and plum jam.
Grapes in the peach, grape and plum jam
Look carefully at the photo below. You will see the fruity ingredients I have used in this jam – (from top to bottom): peaches, grapes and plums.
I love using grapes in jam recipes these days. Yes, it may be a little unorthodox (we here in Australia aren’t great fans of grape jelly like in the US) but it allows me to do two things: (1) it gives me pieces of fruit which won’t go completely mushy – and I love a bit of texture in a jam (so it’s not jam soup), and (2) allows me to use up leftover grapes as, for some reason, we are never able to finish the whole bag before the grapes start looking a little soft. And what else do you do with softish grapes (if you have any ideas, leave me a comment!)? Perfect combo! Seedless grapes are obviously the best, unless you like seeds in your jam.
If you like this jam, also check out my other jam recipes:
- Fig jam (perfect for your cheeseboard)
- Mango jam (amazing as a gift – maybe for your kids’ teachers)
- Cherry berry jam (the jam which started my homemade jam obsession)
Peach, grape and plum jam [refined sugar free]
- 250 g (total) of fruit – peaches, grapes and plums, chopped into bite sized pieces
- 1 tbsp stevia and monkfruit sweetener (I use this one)
- 1 tbsp lemon juice
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- 1/2 tbsp tapioca flour (try to look for an all natural one, with no preservatives)
- Place all the ingredients, apart from the tapioca flour, into a large Pyrex glass mixing bowl and stir until just combined.
- Microwave on 90% power for 2 minutes 50 seconds.
- Take the bowl out of the microwave, mash the mixture lightly with a fork (the peaches and plums should be pretty soft but the grapes will still hold their shape and that's ok) and add the tapioca flour. Mix until just combined.
- Place the bowl back in the microwave and microwave on 90% power for 2 minutes 30 seconds.
- Take the bowl out carefully (it will be hot) and mash the fruit again with a fork (the peaches and plums will be pretty much cooked out but you will still be able to see a bit of texture in the grapes – that's what you want). Let the jam cool down.
- When cool enough to handle, pour the jam mixture into a clean glass jar, and let cool down completely (without a lid) on the kitchen bench. When completely cool, cover the jam jar tightly with a lid and store in your fridge. It should last at least 2 weeks.
I usually make twice the amount at once – so double all the ingredients, all in the same bowl and extend the cooking times a little if need be (or keep as they are and add another 30 seconds to a minute at the end if you think they fruit could be softer and mushier).
I usually then try and fit it all into the same jar – this (or any other) jam doesn’t last long at our house, as it goes onto my granola with plant-based yoghurt, the kids’ toast, into cakes and other things and before we know it, it’s gone!
Doubling up is also a great option if you have a lot of fruit to use up or you have found some gorgeous ripe summer fruit for sale and bought way too much because it was so cheap (never happened to me, of couse).
But first time up, you may want to keep to the amounts set out in the recipe. If you love the taste (as I am sure you will), then making extras isn’t very hard!