Spicy Plum Preserves

I wanted to add to my small stash of jam/preserves that I have set aside for the winter and saw some beautiful purple plums at the farmer’s market that I thought would do the trick.

SPICY PLUM PRESERVES

  • Servings: 4 half-pint jars
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  • 4 cups unpeeled, diced purple plums (6 to 8 medium plums)
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 4 cups granulated sugar
  • 1/2 box powdered Sure Jell pectin
  • 1 tsp. ground cinnamon

In a large, heavy kettle, combine the prepared plums and water.  Cover and simmer 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.

While plums are simmering, measure out the sugar into a container (a 4-cup measure is handy because the sugar can be easily poured) and have the pectin ready to use.

After plums have simmered for 5 minutes, stir the pectin into the fruit mixture.  Continue to cook over medium heat for 1-1/2 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Stir in the sugar all at once, raise heat to high and stir constantly until the mixture comes to a full rolling boil (one that can’t be stirred down).  Boil for 1-1/2 minutes, stirring constantly.  Remove from heat and let rest for 2 minutes, then skim off any foam that remains.  Stir in the cinnamon and immediately ladle into sterilized half-pint jars, leaving 1/4 inch headspace.

Seal and process in a boiling water bath for 10 minutes.  For small batches, I like to use an asparagus steamer.

Remove jars to a rack to cool.  A jar-lifter is essential for this.

From this batch, I got four half-pint jars and one small sample jar of preserves that I won’t process and will have on tomorrow’s breakfast toast.

Let cool completely and label.

Here’s a good website with information on canning and preserving.

Plum Nutty Jam

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I first made this jam in 1983 when we had lots of fruit trees and berry patches, and had baskets of fruit and berries all over the kitchen .  I used to process 15 to 20 jars of jam at a time.  Now that I’m in a small suburban house with no fruit trees on the property and no one around to eat that much jam, I buy a small amount of fruit at the market and make a couple of jars to keep in the refrigerator.  This is really good on toast, biscuits, scones …. you name it.

The addition of walnuts was the idea of my boss’ wife back in 1983 and I loved the crunch of the nuts along with the tart fruit.

PLUM NUTTY JAM

  • Servings: 4 cups of jam
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4 cups unpeeled, diced purple plums (about 6 medium plums)

1/4 cup water

4 cups granulated sugar

1/2 box powdered Sure Jell pectin

1/4 cup chopped toasted English walnuts

If processing for storage, thoroughly wash and scald jars – keep hot until needed.  Makes about 4 cups of jam.

In a large heavy kettle combine the plums and water.  Cover & simmer 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.  Stir pectin into fruit mixture.  Bring to a full boil over high heat, stirring constantly.  Stir in the sugar.  Bring to a full rolling boil; boil 1-1/2 minutes, stirring constantly.  Remove from heat, skim off foam.  Stir in walnuts.  Ladle into hot jars, leaving 1/4″ headspace.  Process 10 minutes in a hot water bath.

If the jam is going to be used within a month or so, omit the hot water bath and store in the refrigerator.

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