We were delighted to be given a load of plums by friends in our village. The plums are the small sour type, not the juicy fleshy ones that you'd usually eat, and they advised us that this was better to make jelly than jam.
We had 2kg of fruit in total and put them into a large preserving pan with roughly 1,200 ml of water and four cinnamon sticks. We then cooked the plums over a low heat on the hob for about an hour, until the skins split and the fruit became mushy. We put a small plate in the fridge, you'll find out later why if you haven't made jam or jelly before.
We then strained the plums through a large muslin, I really must buy one of those dangly bag things as each year I mock up something quite amateurish like the boys' chairs above! Which the little one couldn't understand at all and climbed on the table to sit on his chair.
To make a very clear jelly, you are advised not to squeeze the bag and to let it drop out naturally for up to 24 hours. Our patience lasted about 2 hours before we carried on to the next bit!
After emptying the jewel coloured liquid into a large pan, and putting the fruit remains into the compost bin, we weighed the amount of liquid and then heated it up to boiling point in the pan, before adding natural granulated sugar. You should add 225g sugar to every 300ml of juice.
It took about 20 minutes of boiling before the jelly reached the setting point, although depending on the fruit it could take from 5 minutes. To test whether its ready put a small spoonful of the jelly onto the plate, if you can run your finger through it and the line of finger remains without oozing back together then its ready.
I sterilise my jam jars by putting them through the dishwasher on a hot cycle, some people prefer to put them in the oven. Once the jam is ready pour into jars, seal and label! I had some warm poured over some vanilla ice cream, naughty but nice.