03 September 2013

Plum preserve

When we lived in the UK I used to buy a fruit preserve by Bonne Maman - I think it was plums or peaches (or perhaps both). It was good as a fruit pie or crumble filling or to go with ice cream - it was softer in texture than a jam, but sweet.

I haven't seen the same product over here, but when I saw the plums coming along in the orchard I remembered it and thought I'd aim for something similar if the crop was a good one. The variety we're growing is 'Stanley'.

Mike and I harvested the plums today, fighting the wasps for them. There were over eight pounds in all - not bad for our first harvest - and I've converted all of them into preserve, in two batches. Once they'd been stoned and quartered, each batch weighed about four pounds, to which I added four cups of sugar and a little water. Then I just brought the mixture to a boil until my cooking thermometer read just under 100°C/210°F. As it's not a jam, you don't need to worry about reaching setting point and they don't need long cooking - about 15 minutes at boiling point is plenty.

The skins turn the cooking liquid a deep, ruby red, which looks fabulous with the light behind it.

This quantity of plums made nine one-pint jars of preserve. I processed eight of them in a hot-water canner to make sure they won't spoil in storage and thought we'd have the other one in the next week or two as a dessert. But Child#2 spotted the jar this evening and thought it would be really good to have it in a plum crumble RIGHT NOW. For quality control purposes, naturally.

He knows me too well. Guess what's in the oven...


Lisa from Iroquois said...

In a nearby field there is a plum tree. The fruit is closer to big blueberries in size but yummy all the same. I must get back tomorrow and check to see if they are ready yet. Thank you for reminding me.

Linda said...

I remember a plum tree from my childhood.....love your post! SO? Did it meet child #2's expectations?

Amanda said...

Hi Lisa and Linda!

Yes, Linda, the plum crumble was utterly delicious and I'm already having to resist calls for a second tasting of the plums.

Lisa from Iroquios said...

I usually put plums in light syrup and use them as a fruit for issues of constipation in my household. But I've been looking at recipes of plum conserve and seeing yours I wonder if they would serve the same purpose but taste even better. Any comments or suggestions?

Amanda said...

Hi Lisa - I'm fairly sure it's the fibre content of the fruit that matters - so I think it would work just as well. It's the same ingredients, basically!