Tuesday, 16 September 2014

Plum Jam and Poppyseed Thumbprint Cookies

This year on our annual visit to the Czech Republic there were more than a few trays of plums hanging around just waiting to be baked or preserved. So inspired by a rainy afternoon and a recent visit to The London Borough of Jam I made a couple of jars of this simple recipe. It's so easy to make and will also give you an excuse to bake some poppyseed thumbprint cookies. These buttery little vessels will show off your jam in all it's sticky, richly coloured glory. I'd love to try it as an alternative filling for my Blackcurrent & Vanilla Linzer Cookies from trEATs too.

For the jam:
1kg plums
Juice of one lemon
750g caster sugar

For the cookies:
125g unsalted butter
125g caster sugar
1 egg
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
250g plain flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons poppyseeds
4 tablespoons jam (see above)

For the jam, half and de-stone the plums and juice the lemon. Mix the plums, lemon juice and sugar in a heavy bottomed, large saucepan (make sure that you use a large pan otherwise your jam might boil over the sides). Cover and set aside to macerate for at least an hour to allow the sugar to extract some of the juice. Bring the mixture slowly to the boil and then continue to boil for around 20 minutes until thickened. Transfer to two hot, sterile jam jars (washed in hot soapy water, rinsed and dried in a low oven at around 120C or washed in the dishwasher) and seal. Once cool, store in the fridge for up to a month.

For the cookies, heat the oven to 170C and line 2 baking trays with baking paper. Cream the butter and sugar until pale and fluffy and then mix in the egg until well combined, followed by the vanilla. Sift in the flour, salt and poppyseeds and mix until just combined. Bring the dough together with your hands and kneed briefly until smooth. Roll walnut sized pieces of dough into balls and place on the lined baking sheets. Using the handle end of a wooden spoon, press indentations into each ball. Chill for 20 minutes to help the cookies to keep their shape. Bake for 10 minutes then remove the cookies from the oven and use the handle of the wooden spoon to re-define the indentations. Fill each cookie with a 1/2 teaspoon of jam and return to the oven for 5 minutes or until golden brown.

Makes around 2 jars of jam and 24 cookies.

Jam recipe adapted from here.


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