Star Anise-Scented Pluot Jam with Apple Cider Vinegar and Cointreau

Pluot Jam with Cointreau
This jam is merely a variation on the pluot jam I posted a recipe of a week or so ago, but what’s the point of having a blog if you can’t make entirely superfluous posts? I was moved to make it for three reasons: 1) quality apricots are not in season/available here yet; 2) the local co-op had a different variety of pluots in which made this seem like it could count as a different fruit (though for some reason they didn’t list the variety); 3) after the Galliano experiment I wanted to play around with other liqueurs/liquors as well.

As it happens, I think this jam is better than the previous. It also recycles an element of another pluot/plum jam I made a few years: the use of star anise to scent the jam. The star anise doesn’t actually get jarred with the jam, by the way—it just makes for a more arresting photograph; though I don’t know if it would be a problem if it was jarred. If anyone has any opinions on whether it would be a problem from a spoilage perspective if it were to stay in there please chime in. I’m inclined to think it might be a problem from a flavour perspective anyway as the star anise might get too woody and/or assertive.


Ingredients
Pluots

  • 3 lbs of pluots (or plums), pitted
  • 2 cups of sugar
  • 2 tblspns apple cider vinegar
  • 2 tblspns lemon juice
  • 3 star anise
  • 2 tblspns Cointreau

Preparation

  1. Mash the pitted pluots and remove the peels (or peel them first).
  2. Add the sugar, lemon juice and vinegar and star anise and stir them into form a syrup. Cover and set aside for a couple of hours.
  3. Bring the mixture to a boil in a deep saucepan and stir constantly till it jells (this should happen somewhere between the 10-15 minute mark.
  4. Remove the pan from the heat and stir in the Cointreau.
  5. Ladle into clean, warm jars and process (see instructions here).

SyrupNotes

  1. This made two pints (the last half pint was put in an unsightly jar for immediate consumption). If you were to use powdered or liquid pectin you could probably get a larger yield. Since, in my experience, pluots and plums jell very easily I didn’t even use any apple peel here (which is my usual pectin delivery method).
  2. While one of the friends I gave some of the previous pluot jam to reported that she got the notes of the Galliano on the aftertaste, I thought it was a little too muted. And so this time, after some feedback from other canners, I decided to add the Cointreau right before jarring. Presumably far fewer of the volatiles disappeared. I certainly could taste the Cointreau in the finished jam when I licked the spoon at the end.
  3. This is a tart jam. You could add more sugar (maybe another cup) if you don’t like your jams tart; then again you may have far sweeter pluots/plums. Or you could probably get by with less of the lemon juice, given the presence of vinegar (this is probably quite a bit more acid than is needed for safety with this amount of fruit).
  4. I’m afraid I’m going to have to keep going with this boozy jam thing. Look for something with bourbon in it later in the summer.

Pluot Jam with Cointreau

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