Canning Plum Jam

Canning plum jam is easy, fun, and of course, leads to delicious plum recipes! Learning to can fresh plums will give you the opportunity to enjoy them all year long!
Canning Plum Jam The trick to making and canning exquisite jams and jellies is using quality produce; organically grown and vine ripened to be exact. A difficult task these days, given the drought in California and across the country. Plums have been plentiful at the farmers market and local grocers but high cost of watering has effectively pushed prices upwards of $4.99 a pound.

I paid $6.00 for 2 plums last week. They were delicious, but it was difficult to swallow the cost.  Thankfully, I had some luck procuring the plums for canning this batch of plum jam; the only price for the fruit was a bit of embarrassment. My neighbors fruit trees line the open space between the street and their fence, offering up a heap of temptation for my gathering spirit.

With no, “do not trespass or private property” signs visibly displayed, I grew eager to see the fruit made into jam.  No pesticides, and so ripe were the plums, they fell to the pavement below by the dozen. I could barely contain myself watching the damaged fruit fall from the tree and scatter about, only to be run over by passing cars or eaten by the neighborhood squirrels and crows.

The urge to start canning plum jam was more than I could bear.

As courtesy dictates, I tried to contact the neighbor before helping myself to the harvest. Unfortunately, they were never home. After about of week of unsuccessful attempts to meet my neighbor, I finally mustered up the courage to gather only the fallen fruit, hoping the property owner wouldn’t mind the intrusion.  Of course, the moment I began picking broken fruit from beneath the tree, the owner and his daughter came out of the house. Damn, caught in the act! Fresh Plums for Jam  I’m sure I blushed ten shades of red, while I muttered on about my attempts to ask first to no avail. I went right on to say that, “I’m only taking the damaged fruit, I hope you don’t mind?”.  Thankfully, the owners daughter Sarah, was gracious enough to help me pick a few dozen plums from the tree after I promised a few jars of plum jam in return.

Caught up in conversation, Sarah shared her plans to become a doctor and attend school in Denver, CO (my hometown). We discussed canning and food blogging, and my hopes of finding enough rose petals to make rose petal jelly. We became fast friends! Despite the thirty year gap in age, we talked on like we’d been friends for years. I went home with a 5 pound basket of fresh picked plums and made a new friend in the process. The next morning Sarah rang my doorbell, she asked, “Will you teach me how to can plum jam?” My answer was, yes – canning plum jam is so delightful!

What an honor and privilege to teach a young woman how to can fruit, especially such an eager student. Canning plum jam that day was a success, and after her first taste of rose petal jelly, Sarah began gathering the giant English roses from her yard for our next project!  We spent several hours canning jams and jellies over the next few weeks. Thank you Sarah, for being such a great student and hanging out with this old cook!  

Canning plum jam is something I hope you will enjoy as well! Here are the directions on how to make plum jam.

Plum Jam
Yields 8
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Prep Time
15 min
Prep Time
15 min
Ingredients
  1. 2 quarts plums (about 8 cups or four pounds), pits discarded
  2. 5 cups granulated sugar
  3. 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  4. 1/2 cups water
  5. 1 packages liquid pectin
Instructions
  1. Prepare sterilized jars to manufacture specification, keep water and jars on stove over medium heat.
  2. Wash plums in cold water
  3. Remove pits
  4. Leave skin on
  5. Cut plums into fourths
  6. Add plums, lemon juice and water to a large stock pot, cook over medium high heat until boiling
  7. Strain mixture through a rough sieve to remove skins (optional)
  8. Return liquid to stock pot, add sugar, stirring constantly, bring back to a rolling boil (a boil that stirring cannot break)
  9. Add pectin, stirring constantly, bring back to a boil and cook for 1 minute
  10. Let rest 1 minute and skim foam using a spoon or spatula
  11. Test jell point: In a medium bowl pour ice cubes then add ice water leaving an inch head space
  12. Rest a metal measuring cup on the top of the cold water
  13. Place a tablespoon hot liquid in cold measuring cup, wait about a minute and test the jell, if the jell is to soft, return mixture to the stove and cook additional 1 minute
  14. Ladle hot liquid into sterilized jars, clean rims with a damp cloth, place lids and rims on jars and place in a hot water bath for 5 minutes. Remove jars from hot water, label, and store in a dry place
Notes
  1. For detailed jar sterilization and canning prep: http://athomewithrebecka.com/what-you-will-need-jar-preparation/
At Home with Rebecka http://athomewithrebecka.com/
  Plum Jam - Canning plum jam is easy, fun, and leads to delicious plum recipes! Learning to can fresh plums will give you the opportunity to enjoy them all year long!




Homemade Grape Jelly

Homemade grape jelly is better than anything you can buy in a grocery store! This homemade grape jelly recipe is easy to make, and will be the star of your canning pantry!

Homemade grape jelly is better than anything you can buy in a grocery store! This homemade grape jelly recipe is easy to make, and will be the star of your canning pantry!

Despite that California grows grapes by the ton, we still pay a hefty price for the little buggers. My local grocery has them on sale this week for $2.99 per pound. I generally buy 1-2 pounds which roughly costs about $6.00, and that’s the sale price! Six dollars worth of grapes may not seem like too much to spend however, what do you do when you get home, taste a few to find they are just too sour to eat? Mildly frustrating for me, to say the least.

To reduce the problem of purchasing sour grapes, I used to taste test a grape before bagging however, I stopped taste testing after hearing that several people have been arrested, and charged with fourth degree theft for doing so. I understand why companies have taken up the policy, but still feel ripped off when I get home with a nasty batch of sour grapes. Some grocers allow sampling, so I’m always sure to ask one of the staff for a taste before buying. Most times, they are happy to oblige. Of course, you can also use this handy guide to tell you if grapes are ripe and edible

The question is, what to do with the sour grapes your family won’t eat? One option: return them to the store for money back guarantee. Sadly, I usually shove the bag into the crisper drawer and forget they’re in there until they become shriveled up raisins or worse, molded raisins. They eventually get tossed into the recycle bin and I walk away filled with buyer’s remorse. I hate waste!

Of course, the best thing to do with fresh grapes is to make homemade grape jelly, duh!

I’ve canned jams and jellies my entire life, why didn’t I think of this earlier? All I had to do was toss the grapes into a stock pot add water and cook for about 30 minutes, strain through a fine sieve and then add some sugar and pectin. That’s it!

Sometimes, I can’t help but wonder where my brain is!

Homemade grape jelly is delicious, has no preservatives and you can adjust the amount of sugar to your liking.

Homemade Grape Jelly
Yields 6
Using store bought grapes to make fresh grape jelly is easy and delicious.
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Total Time
45 min
Total Time
45 min
Ingredients
  1. 2 pounds grapes
  2. enough water to cover grapes, about 4 cups
  3. 2 cups sugar
  4. juice of 1 lemon
  5. 1 package liquid pectin
Instructions
  1. Wash and remove grapes from the stem
  2. Place grapes in a medium stock pot, pour enough cold water to cover the grapes
  3. Bring to a boil over medium high heat, reduce heat after the boil is reached and let simmer for 30 minutes
  4. Using a potato masher or wooden spoon, smash and pop the grapes, strain through a fine sieve. (another method would be to use an immersion blender to achieve the consistency of jam).
  5. Measure liquid, add enough water to equal 6 cups, return liquid to stock pot
  6. Bring back to a boil, reduce heat to medium
  7. Add 2 cups sugar, and lemon juice. Taste for sweetness, add more sugar if necessary
  8. Stir until sugar is liquified
  9. Bring back to a boil (this won't take long so keep an eye on the pot)
  10. Add liquid pectin and boil for 1 minute, remove from heat. For thicker jelly, boil additional 2 minutes.
  11. Place hot liquid in sterilized jars and process in a hot water bath for 5 minutes.
  12. Grape jelly can also be kept in the refrigerator, in an airtight container for up to 3 months
At Home with Rebecka http://athomewithrebecka.com/
Homemade Grape Jelly




Rose Petal Jelly Recipe

The flavors of rose petal jelly are intoxicating and exotic; beautifully light and sweet, with the heady fragrance of a bouquet of fresh-cut roses. Perfect for a romantic morning breakfast or brunch.
Rose petal Jelly1

You’ve never known true culinary perfection until you have tasted rose petal jelly. Smeared over a yeasty piece of buttered bread or coupled with Devonshire cream, rose petal jelly is enough to make me swoon! A treasured recipe, passed to me from my mother; I’ve come to refer to as, the sweet taste of summer, captured in a jar! 

I can remember watching my mother gather roses from the garden, intent on repurposing the delicate petals into the most delightful, edible treat. Something magical happened when the roses filled our house with their scent; an unspeakable calm came over me and my mind filled with fanciful daydreams of fairies.  I love how smells evoke emotions long subdued by time, and wired so deeply into my brain, just one whiff and I’m back in my mother’s kitchen; a food memory that will last a lifetime. 

Rose petal jelly, jam and syrup have been used in the culinary arts for decades, and although the recipes come from around the globe, they stay very similar.

  • Venice, Italy, Monks from the San Lazzaro degli Armeni Monastery, bottle 5000 jars of rose petal jam each year to be sold in the Monastery store
  • Persian cooks have crafted rose petal jam since the early 1600’s using the elegant Damascus rose
  • Ukrainian cooks, preserve rose petal jam by smashing or processing the petals with sugar and lemon juice creating a paste that is traditionally used to fill donuts
  • Served at High Tea, I’ve found English recipes dating back as early as the 1700’s.  

When making rose petal jelly, it’s best to pick organic roses, and the most flavorful jelly comes from the most fragrant blooms. Choose roses that are at their height of bloom, and if possible, gather at night when the scent is most powerful; keep fresh in the refrigerator overnight, tucked away in a plastic zip bag.

I hope you enjoy making this rose petal jelly recipe! 

Serve on toasted homemade bread, scones, or an English muffin.

The flavors of rose petal jelly are intoxicating and exotic; beautifully light and sweet, with the heady fragrance of a bouquet of fresh-cut roses. Perfect for a romantic morning breakfast or brunch.

 

Rose Petal Jelly
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Prep Time
15 min
Cook Time
20 min
Total Time
45 min
Prep Time
15 min
Cook Time
20 min
Total Time
45 min
Ingredients
  1. 4 cups pink or red edible roses
  2. 3 cups sugar
  3. 3 1/3 cups water
  4. 1/4 cup fresh or prepared lemon juice
  5. 1 tablespoon Rose Water (can be found in Eastern Indian markets)
  6. 2 packages liquid pectin
  7. All edible flowers must be free of pesticides. Do not eat flowers from florists, nurseries, or garden centers. In many cases they are treated with pesticides not labeled for food crops
Instructions
  1. Clip and discard the bitter white base from petals
  2. Rinse in cold water to remove debris and small bugs, drain
  3. In a large bowl combine rose petals with 1/2 cup raw or organic sugar, using your hands, bruise petals, take care that all the petals are coated evenly, cover and refrigerate overnight
  4. In a large saucepan over medium heat, add remaining sugar, water and lemon juice; stirring until dissolved
  5. Stir in rose petals and cook at a low boil for 20 minutes or until candy thermometer reaches 110 degrees C. or 220 degrees F.
  6. Strain liquid through a fine sieve, pressing all the liquid from the petals (do not strain rose flesh of making jam unless the petals are discolored)
  7. Measure rose liquid, you should have 4 cups. Add enough water to equal 4 cups if necessary
  8. Return liquid to saucepan, bring back to a boil
  9. Cook until liquid reaches 110 degrees C. or 220 degrees F.
  10. Add liquid pectin, stirring constantly, boil for 2 minutes.
  11. Pour a small amount of jelly onto a chilled plate, if liquid holds its shape pour into sterilized jars, if it's still runny, process additional 2-3 minutes.
  12. Add rose water, remove from heat
  13. Pour jelly into prepared sterilized jars leaving 1/4 inch headspace
  14. Jelly can be stored in the refrigerator for up to six months
  15. To preserve for storage at room temperature, cover jars with lids and rims, place in a hot water bath (2 -3 inches boiling water) for 15 minutes at a hard boil
Notes
  1. Serve with crusty yeast bread, flat breads, clotted cream, soft goat or cow's milk cheese
Adapted from Anne Stone, my mother's recipe
Adapted from Anne Stone, my mother's recipe
At Home with Rebecka http://athomewithrebecka.com/
The flavors of rose petal jelly are intoxicating and exotic; beautifully light and sweet, with the heady fragrance of a bouquet of fresh-cut roses. Perfect for a romantic morning breakfast or brunch. Get the recipe here!

 

“A rose by any other name would taste so sweet” quote,  William Shakespeare‘s play Romeo and Juliet

Rose Petal Jelly

Other jelly recipes to try:

Kumquat Jelly

Meyer Lemon Habanero Pepper Jelly




Spicy Cauliflower Pickles

SpicyCaulifPickles

 

 You can forget the food coloring when using these stunning, high-bred, cauliflower for pickling. High-bred varieties range from orange to dark purple, lending their vibrant color to the mix.

The orange cauliflower has higher than normal levels of beta carotene, a form of vitamin A that encourages a healthy skin. “These are the results of traditional selective breeding – where different strains have been cross-bred, and cross-bred, until these strains have been created. Source: UK Mail Online.

Perfect for making cauliflower pickles: high-bred varieties keep up their color, and crunch, for months after pickling. I recently opened a jar that was six months old, they were delicious and crisp as the day I pickled them…yum! 

SpicyCaulifPickle

 

This years pickle project uses the base from last years Hot Giardiniera mix (pictured above, for recipe click the photo) spicier, and a little sweeter, this years pickles pack a real punch. 

Last years Hot Giardiniera recipe is tart, spicy, and maintains the crisp texture of the vegetables for several months however, over time the vegetables tend to lose their natural color, leaving them a bit unappealing compared to store-bought, which contain additives, and color enhancers. 

When canning, I prefer to use as many natural ingredients as possible, allowing jams, and jellies to reduce to set, without the aid of pectin. I occasionally use pickling Lime but prefer to leave it out unless I’m making Lime Pickles 

Pickling lime for pickling cucumbers the old-fashioned way for extra crispness and flavor! Makes Cucumber Lime Pickles (recipe on each jar), Green Tomato Pickles, Watermelon Rinds and Citron Pickles. Pickling lime is food grade calcium hydroxide with no additives or preservatives. A quality pickling product from Mrs. Wages.

Choosing not to use pickling lime, or adding dye to the recipe, I opted to use the vibrantly colored hybrid, purple, and orange cauliflower.  I was pleasantly surprised to see their color held, despite the liquids purple tone. The orange cauliflower turned to a darker, red-orange, and the purple stayed, a deep purple color. 

On a side note: I tend to dig around the jar to evacuate the cauliflower pieces first,  as they are my favorite part of the mix. This years recipe is a spicier blend of seasonings, using only the cauliflower, forgoing the traditional celery and carrot. The result, less food remorse when tossing out the uneaten bits.

When the family has eaten up all the pickles, I save the pickle juice to use as a condiment for salmon balls or tuna fish cakes. I also use the leftover juices as a pickling brine for hard boiled eggs (purple pickled eggs), very yummy!

Pickling Spices

Delightfully colored, this is my new favorite pickle recipe, and the perfect accompaniment to my next post…Fried Chicken Livers.   By the way, they look amazing!

Purple and Yellow Cauliflower Pickles
Yields 6
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Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
25 min
Total Time
40 min
Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
25 min
Total Time
40 min
Ingredients
  1. 9 cups white vinegar
  2. 6 cups water
  3. 1 tablespoon granulated sugar
  4. 2 teaspoon sea salt
  5. 3 large garlic cloves, slivered
  6. 2 teaspoon black whole peppercorns
  7. 7 small bay leaves
  8. 1 whole scotch bonnet pepper, sliced thinly
  9. 1 yellow or red sweet bell pepper sliced thinly
  10. 14 Thai hot chili peppers, whole
Instructions
  1. Prepare canning jars: wash in soap and water, rinse, and set into a large stock pot, pour enough water into the pot, enough to reach half to three quarters up the sides of jars, wash and rinse lids and rims. (for more info see manufactures instructions)
  2. Wash and break or cut cauliflower into small florets
  3. In a large stock pot, combine all ingredients, reserving the cauliflower until later
  4. Cook over medium high heat until just under a boil
  5. Add cauliflower florets and cook for 5 minutes, stirring frequently, do not reduce the heat
  6. Using a strainer or slotted ladle, quickly remove vegetables to a large bowl, set aside
  7. Using a clean pot holder, remove hot jars from boiling water, set on a clean dish towel,
  8. Fill jars with cooked cauliflower leaving 1/4 inch head space, distribute peppers, and spices evenly among jars
  9. Using a ladle, and funnel, pour hot liquid over vegetables, to cover
  10. Place rims and lids on jars, twist to tighten (do not over tighten lids at this point)
  11. Return the sealed jars to stock pot, and process filled jars for 15 minutes in boiling water
  12. Carefully remove jars from stock pot to a clean dish towel, rest until each has sealed. You will most likely hear "ping" or "Pop"
  13. Gently tighten the lids after 30 minutes
  14. Check seals after pickles have cooled, about 1 hour (it can take up to 24 hours for jars to seal) if the top pops "up" when pressed the jar is not sealed correctly, and should be reprocessed in the hot water bath or can be immediately refrigerated to consumption for up to 2 weeks.
Notes
  1. To avoid eating canned foods that have gone off and may be dangerous to your health, throw away jars that show warning signs. A convex lid means the container was not sealed properly; liquid leaking from the jar means it is possibly broken or was overstuffed; liquid spurting out of the jar when opened is a sign that your food may have started fermenting and is past its due date; and, when unnatural or off odors can be detected, it is time to toss your canned goods into the garbage.
  2. Clostridium Botulinum
  3. Most often found in improperly canned foods, the bacteria Clostridium botulinum produce a toxin that causes an illness affecting the nervous system called botulism. The bacteria is an anaerobic organism, which means it lives and grows in low oxygen conditions such as an improperly sealed can or jar.
  4. Read more: http://www.ehow.com/info_8461422_dangers-home-canning.html#ixzz2d6e0bUyr
Adapted from The Household Searchlight Recipe Book 1931 Edition
Adapted from The Household Searchlight Recipe Book 1931 Edition
At Home with Rebecka http://athomewithrebecka.com/

PurpleYellowCauliflower

PurpYellowCauliflower

Spicy Cauliflower Pickles

 

For detailed sterilization and canning instruction click HERE

 




Fresh Fig and Golden Tomato Chutney

 

Fig and Tomato Chutney

Fig and Tomato Chutney

FigTomChutney3edited

Sweet figs teamed with the savory sweet essence of fresh golden cherry tomatoes, accompanied by round notes of caramel from raw Agave nectar, a boost of cardamom, and ginger, a pinch of sea salt for good measure, polished by Grappa infused drunken currents; Fig and Golden Tomato Chutney, the consummation of all that is good and right with the world.  I love canning season!

Each year, I attempt to discover the pinnacle of flavors designing new recipes using fresh figs.  This years crop of figs was rich flavored, plump and perfect. Golden tomatoes were also in rare form, and so became the counter balance to the sublime, sweet flavor of the fresh Kalamata, Totato figs.  This recipe is truly a gem!

 

Fresh Golden Tomato

Fresh Golden Tomato

Kalamata Figs & Golden Cherry Tomato

Kalamata Figs & Golden Cherry Tomato

 

Fresh Fig and Golden Tomato Chutney
Yields 4
The perfect accompaniment to roasted lamb, pork or served with a creamy goat of cows milk cheese
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Prep Time
20 min
Cook Time
45 min
Prep Time
20 min
Cook Time
45 min
Ingredients
  1. 6 cups quartered fresh figs, Kalamata, Totato or Mission
  2. 4 cups Golden Cherry Tomatoes
  3. 1 cup dried currants
  4. 1 cup Grappa
  5. 1 11.75 ounce bottle Agave Nectar
  6. 1 teaspoon ground cardamom
  7. 1 teaspoon ground ginger
  8. 1/8 teaspoon allspice
  9. 1/8 teaspoon sea salt
Instructions
  1. In a medium bowl, soak dried currants in 1 cup Grappa (vodka, Brizillaina Chacaha, Brandy)
  2. Gently rinse figs in cold water, cut in quarters, cut tomatoes in half, combine in a large stock pot
  3. Heat stock pot to medium high, stir in bottle of Agave Nectar, fill empty bottle with water and swish to get residue from sides of the bottle, add to stock pot
  4. stir to combine, add spices, and currants with remaining soaking liquid
  5. Cook for 20 minutes or until thick
  6. Pour hot chutney into prepared sterilized jars, seal with rims and lids, process in a hot water bath for 15 minutes
At Home with Rebecka http://athomewithrebecka.com/
 

Figs

Figs

Fig and Tomato Chutney

Fig and Tomato Chutney

See Sterilization and Jar Preparation for detailed canning instruction.

You might also like: The Anatomy of Jam

 
Fresh Kalamata Figs

 This recipe is being shared with The Spicy Foodie Your Best Recipe Roundup

 Your Best Recipes




Canning Fig Preserves

 Canning Fig Preserves
 
 

Figs, plump and naturally sweet are one of my favorite fruits to preserve.  I used Totato, Mission and Turkish figs this year and found the combination delivered a superbly flavored preserve with a round velvety texture.  I opted to forgo the pectin since figs are loaded with it naturally. 

Pectin is used in canning jams, jelly’s and preserves and acts as a thickening agent.  Mainly extracted from citrus fruits then reduced into powder form.  It can also be purchased in a condensed liquid form and used for canning in the same way as powder pectin.  I used less water in the recipe and reduced the mixture down by almost half, so there was no need to add pectin.

I’ve also been reading up on food photography and investing in a few items to help control the light, while reading my camera’s owners manual to get the best possible settings for the shot. I’ve found that I need a better lens to capture a crisper/sharper image, up close or in macro setting.  I’ll be saving my pennies while I begin my search for a higher quality camera and lens. In the meantime, I’ll be doing my best to take a higher quality photo with the camera I’m using.

Fig Preserves Recipe 
Makes 5-6, 8 ounce jars
prep time 35-40 minutes

 
8 cups whole fresh figs
2 teaspoon baking soda
2 1/4 cups granulated sugar
1 teaspoon minced ginger

zest from 1 lemon
3 tablespoons fresh squeezed lemon juice
3 cups hot tap water

Method 

  • Dissolve the baking soda in about 2 quarts hot tap water, and immerse the figs in the treated water in a large bowl. Gently stir to wash the figs, then drain off the water and rinse the figs thoroughly with fresh cool water.  
  • Slice figs in half, if you prefer a whole fruit preserve, skip this step
  • In a large stock or canning pot, combine figs, sugar, lemon juice, lemon zest, ginger and 1 cup hot tap water
  • bring to a boil stirring frequently, if using whole fruit gently stir in order not to break fruit
  • reduce heat and continue cooking until mixture is thick and gooey.  Watch closely in the last few minutes to keep bottom from burning
  • fill sterilized jars with hot preserves leaving 1/4 inch head space and cover with clean tops and rims
  • cook in a hot water bath for 15 minutes.  
  • Follow links for detailed canning instruction.

Open jars can be kept up to 3-4 weeks in the refrigerator.  Spread a generous helping of fig preserves over a crusty French bread and savor the flavor!