This is a very versatile recipe that calls for a more common plum variety that you would find in your local grocer like Dalmassine, Victoria or Lancelot. It also requires something that I hope most people will be able to get hold of: tomato leaves. You may know someone who grows tomatoes and won’t mind giving you some of their cuttings when they prune their plants.
Makes 5 x 220g jars
- 1kg Dalmassine plums, halved and stoned
- 100ml water
- ½ cup torn-up tomato leaves and stems
- 600g caster sugar
- juice of 1 lemon
Put the plums in a heavy-based saucepan with the water and tomato leaves and stems, set over a medium heat and cook for 5 minutes or until the fruit is soft.
Once the plums start to break down, slowly add the sugar and lemon juice and bring to the boil. Cook for 10 minutes or until the jam reaches setting point, 105°C/220°F on a sugar thermometer. You may choose to take out some of the stalks as they might have a woody texture whereas the leaves will be softer and easier to eat. Pour into warm sterilised jars and seal immediately. Store in a cool dark place.
For a more intense tomato flavour, try placing your torn-up tomato leaves in the sugar and leave for a few days. Once the leaves have been picked, either cook with them straight away or pop into the sugar as they lose their flavour and scent quickly.
Innovative chef Lillie O’Brien is founder of London Borough of Jam, the capital’s only shop dedicated entirely to jam.
Recipes and photographs are from Five Seasons of Jam by Lillie O’Brien, with photography by Elena Heatherwick, published by Kyle Books, RRP £20.