June 9, 2013

Ume Jam 2013/梅ジャム、2013年

The other day, I got a box (approx. 7.8 kg) of ao (lit. blue, i.e., unripe) ume from my father, who lives in Chiba. I used 2.0 kg of them to make ume jam, basically following this recipe. This time, I soaked the ume in cold water for five or six hours, with several changes of water, to remove some of the bitterness. I wanted to see if the stones were responsible for the bitterness of the ume jam that I made last year.
先日、千葉に住む父から青梅(あおうめ)を一箱(約7.8 kg)もらいました。そのうち2.0 kgを使って梅ジャムを作りました。基本的にこのレシピを使いました。今回は、梅を冷水に5、6時間、水を数回替えながら漬けて、苦みを少し取りました。去年作った梅ジャムの苦みは種のせいなのかを調べたいと思いました。
I brought 2 kg ume to a boil, turned off the heat soon, and let them cool with a lid on. Then, I drained. 
梅を2 kg沸騰させ、すぐに火を止めて、ふたをして冷ましてから、水を切りました。
I first used my bare hands to separating the stones from flesh, but I soon became tired of the job. I put the ume in a pot, added sugar, and started to simmer. While so doing, I separated the stones using the bamboo spatula and a small spoon with a long handle.
I added about 600 g sugar to this pot.
この鍋には砂糖を約600 g入れました。
I added about 300 g sugar to this pot.
この鍋には砂糖を約300 g入れました。 
Left: Stone-less ume jam
Right: Ume jam with stones
左: 種なしの梅ジャム
右: 種ありの梅ジャム  
Both were equally bitter, but were not so bitter as that that I made last year. I think I made it this year!
I also made ume syrup. It will take about a week.


Sissi said...

I saw yesterday some unripe apricots on the market and wondered if I could pickle them like ume... (I once read somewhere that it's a good idea though of course the taste is different).
I have recently read a lot about plum vinegar (umezu?). Do you use it often? It is very different from the rice vinegar?
Talking about rice, I saw on Friday rice oil in my Japanese shop. A huge discovery. (I feel that I discover something new every time I go there...).

Hiroyuki said...

Sissi: Unripe apricots? making something similar to umeboshi? That sounds interesting, but you could always make something similar to ume jam instead, right?

My wife liked the ume jam a lot. I'm sure she will finish it all off in a week or so.

Umezu is a byproduct of umeboshi production, and I don't have any umezu in my house. It's so called because it's sour like vinegar.

Rice oil? I have never used it myself (laugh)!

Fräulein Trude said...

They always tell ume is some kind of apricot. Maybe underipe apricots are really a good substitute.

Hiroyuki said...

Kiki: Are they? Then, why not try to use them to make jam? I had my ume jam just a while ago, and I thought, "Sweetness, sourness, and bitterness... That's exactly what life is all about!"

Sissi said...

Oh, I thought umezu was a real vinegar! We have in Europe apple vinegar, so it sounded similar.
You will laugh but making a European version of umeboshi sounds much more exciting than unripe apricot jam ;-) I make dozens of jam jars every year... but have never salt-pickled plums or apricots!
I have heard several times that unripe apricots have a similar texture to ume... (They look certainly more similar than most European plums).
I must buy rice oil. It wasn't expensive (I was surprised!).