I love to preserve the fruits and vegetables when they are at their most delicious!! I really do experiment and I can honestly say that most times it always works out, so do not be afraid of preserving….if it’s to runny just cook it longer (or say it’s a syrup) if it’s too sweet add lemon, if it’s too sour add sugar. I love to kick it up a notch and add mint and basil… but anyway my message is, just do it, it is so worth it. Here’s a recipe for a small batch, but you could multiple this 10x’s over without much more effort and make jars for friends and family too!
10 Plums RIPE – cut into pieces
1 cup Organic Raw Sugar (such as Sucanat or Muscovado)
1 tsp. lemon juice
2 stems mint (NOT chopped leave on stem)
1 stem basil (optional)
1 oz. Vanilla bean paste ( I found mine at TJ Maxx)
3 qty. 16 oz. Canning Jars
Cut/dice up the plums, try and decipher a good way to cut out the pip without wasting to much, the over ripe plums give a lot of the sweetness so remember even if you think they are a little soft to eat, they are probably perfect for preserving. Chop reasonably small or to your liking. I chop on a dinner plate so that the juices can be poured into the pot along with the fruit.
Roughly gauge how many cups you are putting in the pot so you can calculate the sugar. Once all the plums are cut up, I am sure you have tasted a few of the best ones, if you think they are super sweet then you can do less sugar, if you think they are naturally more tart then be a little more heavy handed on the sugar. My rule of thumb is normally 4 cups of fruit to 3/4 cup of sugar.
Add: sugar, vanilla bean paste, lemon and mint (still on the stems), (and optionally basil still on stem), into the pot, stir and start cooking slowly. Bring to a boil stirring frequently, then turn down to very low and simmer for at least an hour, stirring every 10 minutes, sometimes if it is quite runny simmer for 2 hours, taste after about half an hour and decide if you want to add anything (more mint, vanilla, sugar?).
Remember the jam will become thicker after it cools.
Once it is cooked and you are happy with the taste, remove the stems of mint. Now pour your hot preserve into the clean jars. I lay a towel over the jars until they are almost completely cooled then I put the lids on, I date the jar and put in the fridge.
Soon your neighbors will be knocking on the door for their preserves!!!!
This jam has many uses. On toast, on your pancakes, crepes, waffles, french toast, in any yogurt, with cheese, and don’t forget it propels a PB&J into orbit.P.S. The green funnel is a great asset to filling the jars. I found it at target in a box set for preserving it was 6.99.Don’t be scared, it will be divine. How can it not be…. its fruit at its best, cooked with deliciousness and love from you. Good Luck.
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photo credits: Kelle
This post was shared at NaturalLivingMama.com
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