Plums . . .
What to do, what to do?
It is October 10th, and we are still picking plums in our backyard.
That is unheard of in Idaho . . . at least I think it is!
We really don’t eat very much jam in this house, and I’ve already made lots of Raspberry Huckleberry jam. So, what on earth do you do with all these glorious plums? My Mother in Law always made the most delicious plum jelly. It was truly my favorite jelly above all others. It reigned supreme! Why on earth didn’t I ever get that blessed recipe before she passed away????
I called around to those who loved her most, but was unsuccessful in snagging the recipe. I guess nobody makes jam or jelly anymore! Well . . . to make a long story short, I finally settled on a recipe called Wild Plum Freezer Jam. My sweet Mom in Law didn’t make jam, it was authentic jelly. You know, the kind without the skins, and the kind that can be put on a shelf along side the bottled peaches and pears. By the time my mind wrestled back and forth between jam or jelly, I had wasted half of a good day. Jelly is a bit more labor intensive, and I still had to go outside . . . pick the plums . . . pluck the seeds . . . mash and pulp . . . etc.
So, here you have it. Wild Plum Freezer Jam. It is scrumptious. I did make a simple change to the recipe. I paired the plums with Blueberries, and this jam is a winner! If you have plums lurking in your backyard, and they are falling to the ground . . . pick them up and make this jam! Freezer jam is so darn easy. The only things that takes some time, is pitting all of the plums. I also used my food processor . . . you know, the one that just about took off my toe! If you have one of these, making the fruit pulp is a cinch. This recipe called for Certo. I’ve always used MCP pectin before, but decided to try Certo. I picked up 2 packages of the liquid and 2 packages of the powder. The liquid is by far the simplest route. You don’t have to do anything but open it, and squeeze it into the fruit pulp and sugar. The powder was also very simple to use. You simply add the powder with some water, and bring it to a boil on top of the stove.
So . . . if you are wondering what the difference is between the jelly or the jam, I’ll tell you. With jelly, you discard all of the skins and use only the juice from the plums. When making the plum jam, you process all the fruit, minus the pit . . . skin and all. The skin of a vegetable or fruit is good for you!
I tripled the recipe below . . . 3 bowls sitting, while the sugar dissolves thoroughly.
When the pulp/sugar mixture is no longer grainy . . . add the pectin.
I like to use a funnel to fill the jars. Make sure you leave about 1/2 ” at the top of the jar.
See those rings around the top of the jars?
Keep the jam level below those rings, so that as it expands, you won’t have a problem!
Once you fill your jars or other containers with well sealed lids, just let them stand at room temperature for at least 24 hours.
The jam will thicken and taste delicious!
Refrigerate one of the bottles . . . give it all away . . . or put it all in the freezer.
If you want to make jam, and have any questions just ask!
WILD PLUM FREEZER JAM
5 Cups plum pulp
3 Tablespoons Fruit Fresh
*You find fruit fresh in the canning aisle.
7 Cups sugar
2 pkgs. Certo
(prepared liquid or powder that you prepare per box directions)
2 Tablespoons fresh lemon juice
Wash ripe plums. Pit by slitting and squeezing. Discard the pits.
Put plums through fruit press or sieve. (I used a food Processor, and processed them as fine as I wanted them. Leave them just slightly chunky.
Measure 5 cups of pulp. (I measured 4 cups of plum pulp and 1 cup of blueberry pulp)
Add Fruit Fresh and sugar, mix well and let stand – stirring occasionally – until sugar is ALL dissolved.
Add Certo and lemon juice. Stir for at least 3 minutes.
Put into jars or freezer containers and let stand at room temperature for 24 hours.
Refrigerate or store in the freezer for up to 1 year or more.
Note: DO NOT LEAVE THE FRUIT FRESH OUT OF THIS RECIPE. It will keep the plum pulp from turning brown in color.