When Your Yard Hands You Plums...

by Rachel Blackburn in

You make jam.  And butter.  And syrup.  And cake.  And cobbler.  And fruit leather.  And more jam.  And more butter.  You might eat a few, but frankly you're so tired of looking at them that they aren't very appealing.

Our plum tree this year put out about 230 lbs of plums.  

Here are some of them:

That's an ice chest full of plums on the right.  It was insane.  Plums took over my dining room.  They also took over my life momentarily.  Evenings were no longer devoted to getting stuff done around the house.  They were spent washing, cutting, cooking and canning plums until midnight.  

We gave about 100 lbs of them away.  That was the best idea we ever had.

The rest got made into a host of things, most of them canned.  I definitely don't have freezer space for 130 lbs of plums, not that I really know what I'm going to do with a million jars of plum goodies either, especially in the midst of a kitchen renovation.

Because we had so many plums, we experimented a little bit.  Crockpot, stovetop, different spices, different flavor combinations, etc.  Some of it was pretty good, so this week I'll be sharing some of those recipes.

But really, don't run out and buy 130 lbs of plums.  It is A LOT of work to process them!

Michael and I agreed that our favorite jam was the spiced plum jam.  I found this recipe on Pinterest and tweaked it a bit.  We took some hints from a cranberry sauce recipe I had made last Thanksgiving and threw in some fresh ginger.  It gives the jam some kick and turns this into a warm-and-fuzzy holiday-tasting treat!  Plums have their own pectin, so you don't need to add any to make jam.

- Spiced Plum Jam -

{Makes about 6-7 8-oz jars}

6 lbs plums, pitted and cut into pieces {About 18 cups.  3 cups = 1 lb.}

3 c sugar

2 tsp cinnamon

Zest of 1.5 oranges

1 tsp vanilla extract

4-5 tbsp fresh grated ginger - about 1 large piece of ginger

1. Wash and cut your plums.  Put them in a large pot with the remaining ingredients and bring to a boil, stirring frequently.

2. Cook for about 20 minutes over medium heat, until the mixture thickens, stirring constantly.  The stirring increases the amount of steam released, speeding up the thickening process.

3. Ladle your jam into prepared jars, and either freeze or can.