"Whereupon they got together their collection of buckets and baskets
and tubs and went to the plum thicket."
After a visit to a local farm owned by a friend, my husband came home with a bucket of fresh and free plums! I couldn't wait to create a batch of plum sauce though you can choose to make a plum jam with this recipe as well. The difference between the plum sauce and the plum jam is simply longer cooking to get a thicker consistency. We like to pour our sauce over pancakes and basically use it in place of syrups. It is also good as a marinade over a roasted chicken and even lamb. The sky is the limit with your homemade preserves! Would you like to prepare some?
"Papa and I can pick all the plums we'll need."
To begin, prepare your canning equipment (step-by-step canning procedures will be found here). To learn how to can, visit here. When all your canning equipment is in order and the boiling water bath canner is fired up, start washing all your plums.
"It was while they were working--
washing, preparing some plum butter,
putting others to dry the way mama had done
with peaches and apples back home..."
Next, remove all the pits and coarsely chop your fruit. Measure out three quarts in order to make approximately seven pints of plum jam or plum sauce. And that is correct, no need to peel the plums first which is why I love this recipe!
"Mama was elated... at the thoughts of fruit for canning..."
In a large stainless steel pot, combine your prepared plums, 7 cups of sugar and 1 ¾ cups of water. Carefully stir this mixture until the sugar dissolves and bring to a boil over medium heat. Stir frequently to prevent sticking and burning. Adjust heat to prevent boiling over and continue to cook until your plum mixture reaches desired consistency. A watery product would make more of a sauce while a thicker product produces a jam.
Once the jam/sauce is to your liking, ladle the hot mixture into sterilized jars, leaving 1/4 inch headspace. Place jars in boiling water bath canner. Once water comes back to a boil, begin timing for 10 minutes. When time is up, carefully remove jars from canner and allow them to cool for 24 hours before handling them. Any jars that did not seal should be placed in the refrigerator to enjoy in the near future.
"Your dinner is in the oven, Anne, and you can get yourself some blue plum preserve out of the pantry."
~ L. M. Montgomery, Anne of Green Gables
To be honest, my favorite part about canning is the last part!... Carefully putting away all the precious jars of jams and sauces onto the pantry shelf and watching our winter provisions grow. It brings a sweet sense of satisfaction. For more preserving posts, please visit here.
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