Golden Plums Preserves Recipe

| 7/28/2015 2:44:00 PM

Tags: plums, golden plums, preserves, jams, jellies, conserves, Dede Ryan, Boise, Idaho, water-bath canning,


Plums: The Backstory

My tree was so laden with golden plums, it was frightening. The limbs were starting to pelt the house, driveway and passersby with little yellow grenades. Hungry -- not angry -- birds perched lazily in the branches watching the fruit ripen by the minute. High time for me to research plum recipes.

Last season, I made the mistake of taking the “easy” way out to preserve the bounty of plums. I spent hours picking buckets of ripe fruit. I washed them, but was too lazy to pit, chop or otherwise prep them. I pricked the plums all over with a fork, then layered them in sweet and tangy brine, allowing them to marinate as they baked in a low oven. I put them in sterilized glass canning jars, sealed and processed them. And there I stood proudly with a full case of the little sweet plums. The problem? My family and friends love plum jams, preserves, conserves and pies but plain fruit with pits? Not so much.

I vowed this year I was going to put up only what we actually eat -- delicious canned foods like sweet and dill pickles, relishes, ketchup, mustard and preserves. I don’t want to endure another July where I find jars of punctured, unpitted plums lurking in the closet. Canned goods are a lot like clothes: if you didn’t wear it last year, chances are you won’t wear it this year. Only, in this case it’s about coming to terms with what you will and won’t eat.

Time to Think… and Pit

So, back to the original challenge as the steadily ripening plums wink at me from the tree limbs. For inspiration, I sit under the little golden globes with a basket of canning books and a tall glass of Jasmint (jasmine and mint) iced tea. I scan and dog-ear pages. Saving the Season by Kevin West has a wonderful chapter about plums and plum jam and plum sauces. The author experienced one incredible year with a bumper crop of plums -- and then the tree stopped producing. Well, that would be one solution. But mine appears to be the Whack-a-Mole of plum trees: pick one plum, and another two pop up.

As yet another plum plunked me on the head, I swallowed my last bit of tea, took my canning books out of the basket, and began to pick. The plums were beautiful on this blue-sky summer morning. I had settled on a wonderful preserve recipe that looked both delicious and simple. Like most of my canning recipes, it comes from the well-tested Ball Blue Book of Food Preserving.

7/30/2015 9:46:53 AM

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