Recipe Contest Runner-Up: Chocolate Plum Jam

Photos by Shane RedsarThis most recent recipe contest, featuring plums, pluots, and apricots, was a popular one: Chef Ernest Miller of the Hollywood Farmer's Kitchen and I had so many great entries to sort through!

Among the recipes received were a number of great-sounding jams. This particular one, from Caroline Radice of Northern California, sounded particularly compelling, with its mix of fruit, chocolate, and sage. We especially liked the serving suggestion of brie or another strong, soft cheese. It was, it turns out, a perfect combo. We enjoyed it on nectarine scones, too.

We used house-made Farmer's Kitchen berry vinegar for the recipe, and did the "freezer test" to get the right consistency for the jam (drop a spoonful of jam on a frozen plate and return it to the freezer for one minute, then remove and see if it's as thick as you want: that texture will be the same you'll get after jarring).

Chocolate Plum Jam (recipe as written by Caroline Radice)
6 c. Santa Rosa plums, diced
5 c. sugar
1/2 c. honey
1/4 c. cocoa powder
2 tbs. lemon juice
2 tbs. pomegranate vinegar (any fruity vinegar is good -- raspberry, balsamic, etc.)
1 sprig of fresh sage (4 or 5 leaves)

Combine all the ingredients in a large, nonreactive pot. Cook on high heat, stirring occasionally to prevent the plums from sticking and burning. Cook until the jam reaches 220 on a candy thermometer, or whatever your preferred method of testing for gel point is.  

Before you put the jam into jars, you can remove the sage leaves if you want. I actually gave the whole thing - sage leaves and all - a zap with my immersion blender since I was using frozen plums that didn't have much in the texture department anyway. Purée it or leave it chunky - either way is fine.

Pour the hot jam into clean half pint jars, leaving 1/4 headspace. Wipe rims and screw on lids.  Process half pints for ten minutes (adjust for altitude if necessary). Enjoy!

Click here for the winner and the runner-up of last month's contest!

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About the Author

Katherine's role as the Living editor at KCET.org keeps her running from farms to markets to restaurants to pop-up swaps all over SoCal. She's been living in and writing about this area for over a decade.
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