So, I'll cut right to the chase. I can tell you don't want me to prologue this with a funny story or witty repartee. Ahem.
Pear-Plum Vanilla Jam
- 3 cups cooked pears [3-4 fresh pears]
- 2 cups cooked plums [2-3 large plums or 3-4 small plums]
- 2 1/2 Tablespoons Ball Low-Sugar Pectin powder
- 1 vanilla bean
- 4 cups sugar
- 2+ Tablespoons blackberry syrup [or other berry juice/syrup to make it a pretty color]
If you have fresh pears and plums, peel, de-seed and chop them up. Put them in a big pot with just enough water that they won't burn if you don't stir them every second. Cook them until soft.
Once the fruit is cooked, sprinkle in the pectin. Pectin will clump when it hits hot liquid, so if you've just cooked the fruit and it's hot, then stir constantly as you put in the pectin. Trust me.
Boil the fruit and pectin.
While you're waiting for that stuff to boil, slice your vanilla bean in half longways. With a spoon, open up one end of one of the halves and scrape the seeds down the pod and out into the fruit and pectin. Do that with the other half, too, while you're at it.
Let the fruit and vanilla come to a hard boil. A really hard boil. Hard boil for 1 minute.
Add the sugar and berry syrup and return it to a hard boil. Be patient. Meditate while you wait. Ponder the splatters on the wall behind your stove where you can't reach them. Practice letting go of the OCD that has just seized you. Really. This jam will taste just fine even if that wall has spatters on it.
Hard boil that jam for 1 minute. Ladle into jars and process for canning.
Then find a step stool that'll let you reach those splatters behind the stove.