Despite our best efforts to push the benefits of Ginuary, some of you still seem to have fallen for the Dry January trap… Why, we can’t quite ascertain given our botanicals include five of your 5-a-day. So we sought out a new tactic: Brockmans Gin & Plum Jam.
Created especially for us by Michael Hawkes, founder of The Bearded Bakery, this winter jam is perfect for lifting any spirits during the dreary first months of the year. Smear the jam on a bit of toast, warm scones or as an addition to a warming meat dish if you’re on a healthier-minded track.
Known for his sweet treats in the kitchen, he has maintained his winning status as Blogger’s Blog Awards Best Food Blog two years in a row, and nabbed a recognition at the 2016 Great British Food Awards. His blackberry, lemon & thyme cake with gin drizzle is yet another recipe you shouldn’t miss. And you might just get to try it some day from the man himself as Michael just relaunched the Cake Care Package, where you can nominate a friend (or even yourself) to win a batch of brownies, cakes or cookies every month. The idea came to Michael after he sent his friend a batch of brownies during a particularly rough period to lift their mood. They say meditation can help with that, but a Brockmans and tonic alongside any of Michael’s recipes are also the perfect fix…
Brockmans Gin & Plum Jam
By Michael Hawkes
- 1.4kg plums, pitted
- 680g granulated sugar (or jam sugar for a shorter cooking time)
- 120ml lemon juice
- 60ml cup gin
- Blitz the plums in a food processor until the chunks are small, you don’t want a puree but also no large pieces.
- Stir the sugar with the plums in a large bowl, cover with cling film and leave in the fridge for 4-8 hours.
- Place your jars in hot, but not boiling, water until you’re ready to use them, and place a few small plates in the freezer. You’ll need these for checking whether or not the jam is ready.
- Place the plums, along with the lemon juice and gin, in a large heavy bottomed pot. Place over a medium high heat and bring to the boil. Once it’s boiling, reduce slightly. Stir frequently. If you’re using jam sugar this may only need 10 minutes, with granulated it could be a lot more. That will take around 25-30 minutes. To check if it’s ready, transfer a small amount to one of your chilled plates. It should set slightly and wrinkle away when nudged with a finger.
- Transfer to prepared jars and seal. Allow to sit in a boiling water bath for 10 minutes then cool to set.