Sugar Plum Fairy Preserves
A tantalizing mix of sugar plums from upstate New York and an amazing bottle of trockenbeerenauslese ice wine. Trockenbeerenauslese is made from grapes left on the vine until nearly dry. Because these grapes, picked one by one at fullest maturity, are very concentrated in flavor and sugar, they produce extremely rich, nectarous wines often described as "liquid gold".
This is top shelf jam. Exquisite plum flavors, concentrated sweet fruit balanced beautifully by acidity to maintain a light and lively feel in the mouth and heady pleasure to all the senses. Close your eyes and eat this with a spoon.
2 1/4 pounds sugar plums (other small plums will work too), pitted and cut in half
1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
Juice of 1 lemon
2 1/2 cups Trockenbeerenauslese*
In a preserving pan, combine the plum halves, sugar, and lemon juice. Bring to a simmer, and then pour into a bowl (ceramic is best). Cover the fruit with a sheet of parchment paper and refrigerate overnight.
Next day, separate plums from their juice. Add ice wine to plum liquid and bring this preparation to a boil in a preserving pan, stirring gently. Skim. Continue cooking on high heat 5 minutes, stirring constantly.
Place a candy thermometer in the jam. It will be ready when it reaches the setting point 105°C\220°F.
Add plums and return to a boil. Check the set or that the temp is back to 105°C\220°F. Do not let jam scorch.
Finish by filling the jars to within a 1/4 in of top with the preserves and seal (for jar preparation, see this detailed recipe). Boil for 10 minutes in a water bath. Let rest 5 minutes, then remove.
Makes about 4 8oz jars.
*Did you know New York is the 2nd largest wine producing state in the US? And some of them kick ass. Try one of New York's own ice wines in this recipe, a great alternative to the pricey Trockenbeerenauslese (you don't really need to spend $200 on this jam). Casa Larga Vineyards 2006 Fiori Delle Stella Vidal Ice Wine, Duck Walk Vineyards 2007 Vidal Blanc Ice Wine, and Standing Stone Vineyards 2008 Vidal Ice are all award winning wines.
note: too busy balancing wine and plums, I failed to photograph this gorgeous creation and everyone who bought jars claims to have eaten it already. But this flickr gal took an awesome pic!