Sometimes you don't need a canning project, you just want a simple little jar of jam that you can eat over the course of a week or share with friends at brunch. This small-batch pluot refrigerator jam fits the bill. It's a great way to use up ripening fruit, requires minimal time at the stove, and looks especially stunning when made with a red-fleshed variety like Flavorosa or Flavor King.
This recipe includes a cinnamon stick and vanilla bean to round out the sweetness, but the jam is also perfectly lovely with just fruit and sugar. Or you might experiment with other flavors like a splash of orange liqueur, a sprig of thyme, or a crack of black pepper. You're only making one or two jars so you can feel free to play without the commitment of a large batch.
Makes about 1 cup
3 cups chopped pluots
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1 cinnamon stick
1 vanilla bean, split
Combine the pluots, sugar, vanilla bean, and cinnamon stick in a medium-sized, non-reactive saucepan. Let stand for at least 1 hour or refrigerate overnight.
Place a small plate in the freezer.
Bring the pluot mixture to a boil over moderate heat. Cook, stirring frequently, for 10 to 15 minutes until it is thick and jam-like. To test for gel set, remove the plate from the freezer, place a small amount of jam on the plate, and return it to the freezer for 1 minute (meanwhile, remove the saucepan from heat). Pull the plate out of the freezer and push the jam with your finger; if the surface wrinkles, it is ready. If the jam is too thin, return the plate to the freezer, continue cooking the jam for another minute or two, and then test again.
Discard the cinnamon stick and vanilla bean. Spoon the jam into a clean jar(s). Cool to room temperature, cover, and refrigerate up to 2 weeks.