While visiting my brother Pete and his bride Michelle in SoCal, I was overcome by a desire to can. What? Doesn’t this happen to everyone? I was in the aisle of Albertson’s, having also a desire to shop (I have no idea why) and I saw a display of canning jars. I turned to Michelle and said “What kind of jam do you like?”. She replied “Pete only likes apricot, and I like plum”. Decision made. We grabbed some jars, 2 boxes of pectin and ran for the fruit section. Those fruits were, well, not at their best. Not in March. I would have to give them a little help. I grabbed a good amount of plums, and …they had no apricots. Not to worry- I grabbed some white peaches and told her to keep this “just between us”. Those white peaches are mild enough to pass with a little help. We went to the juice section and grabbed a bottle of apricot nectar. Done. Now, for the plums. I explained that we had a dilemma. The plums, like the white peaches, were not in season and may be a little lacking in flavor. “Well“, she said, “what if we buy plum juice?” I explained that this could be okay, but I was concerned it might be a little “prunish”. She was perplexed. “Why would plum juice taste like prunes?” Really. Now, it’s not her fault. Michelle is a bright girl. I think her mama played a fast one on her. Michelle didn’t like prunes. Plums, however, were good. The funny thing is how she struggled with this. Right in the juice aisle of Albertson’s. She saw plums right there on the bottle of prune juice and believed that a fruit called “prunes” grew on a different tree than “plums”. It was just pathetic. We finally found a bottle labeled “Plum Juice”. It had the exact same ingredients as prune juice. And Michelle was happy.
Prune Plum Jam (Adapted from a recipe at About.com Home cooking )
8 cups plums , halved and seeds removed
1 cup of
prune plum juice
2 Tablespoons fresh lemon juice
5 cups sugar
1 packet (3 oz) low-sugar pectin
prune plum juice, and lemon juice in a large stainless or enamel pot. Stirring often, bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Cover, reduce heat to low, and simmer 10 minutes, stirring occasionally, until fruit is soft. Now. using a potato masher, mash thoroughly. Pour/push pulp through a strainer into a large bowl to remove skins. You should end up with about 4-1/2 cups. Now return to pot and stir in sugar. Return heat to high and bring back to a rolling boil while constantly stirring. Add pectin and return to a boil while stirring. Continue to stir and boil for 1 minute, then remove from heat. Let rest for 1 minute, then skim off any foam.
Pour even amounts into sterilized jars, leaving 1/8-inch of space at the top. Wipe rims and seal with sterilized lids. Process in boiling water for 5 minutes. Remove, let cool, and label jars. Store plum jam in a cool, dry place.