Prep Time: 45 minutes Cook Time: 10 minutes Yield: about 4 half-pint jars
6 cups ripe wild plums, red or gold (you can use regular plum if unable to find wild)
2/3 cup water
2 Tbsp lemon juice or 1/2 tsp citric acid powder
4 Tbsp low sugar pectin, optional
1/2 turbinado sugar or 1/3 cup maple syrup
pinch of ground stevia or 10 drops Stevita brand liquid stevia
1.) To prepare the plums, cook them with the water in a large stockpot or dutch oven, covered for 5 minutes on medium-high heat. Let cool for about 5 minutes, then press into a strainer or colander in small batches, to separate the pits and skins from the juice and pulp. This is a bit tedious but well worth the effort.
2.) Cook the juicy pulp for another 5 minutes. Stir in pectin if using and heat the mixture over high heat until it comes to a rolling boil that cannot be stirred down. Make sure you are stirring the whole time to prevent the bottom from scorching.
3.) Add sugar or maple syrup and return to a rolling boil. Continue boiling for a minute, while stirring. Remove from heat and add lemon juice.
4.) If you are not canning the jam, let cool for a few minutes before pouring into containers. Allow at least an hour in the refrigerator to solidify. Store covered in the refrigerator for up to a week. It can also be frozen in freezer-safe containers leaving 1 ½ – 2 inches headroom space on top. They will keep for about 1 year in the freezer.
If you are canning the jam here are the instructions:
1) Spoon the hot jam into sterilized hot jars, leaving a 1/4″ headspace at the top. Wipe the rims of the jars with a clean cloth dipped in white vinegar. Place on sterilized new canning lids and secure tightly with canning rings.
2.) Boil jars in a boiling water bath, fully submerged, for 10 minutes.
3.) Carefully remove jars with canning tongs and place them on a towel to cool. You should hear ‘pops’ as the lids seal. Let sit undisturbed for about 24 hours. Check to see that the jars have sealed by pressing down on the center of the lids. If a lid ‘clicks’ or is able to be pushed down, it hasn’t sealed properly. Sealed jars will keep approximately 18 months. Unsealed jars can be reprocessed in the boiling water bath or stored in the fridge.
Note: You can use a cherry pitter to remove the pits, then run the plums through a food mill, catching the pulpy juice in a large bowl, rather than using a strainer or colander. Discard the pits. You can leave in some of the skins for a nice texture and complex taste.