Thursday Kitchen Cupboard – Plums

Last time I went up to mum & dads the kids were put to work picking plums, all very well and good except they insisted on bringing all the plums they’d picked, home with them.  This meant I had 7kgs of plums to deal with this week.  7kgs is quite a lot of plums I discovered.  Not as many as the 80kgs  Veggiegobbler had, but it did seem a lot nonetheless.  If I’d been smart I’d have learnt something from her experiences but instead they sat on the bench stressing me out for a week or so.  Just as an aside, committed as I am to making use of all the produce that comes my way I also find it quite stressful when presented with a glut (of something other than tomatoes – those I can cope with).   For this very reason I steer well clear of growing zucchini.  The stress of having to use all that zucchini would probably do me in, either that or I’d feel endlessly guilty about how much ended up on the compost heap…..  Anyway back to the plums, I eventually found a couple of recipes which sounded interesting; I duly made plum squares which were essentially biscuit topped with plum but they turned out way too wet and I would need to play around with the recipe a lot before I could think of posting it.  Wet or not, I did of course manage to eat them all.

I then went on to make Plum Vodka which essentially involves steeping plums in vodka with lots of sugar added for good measure.  I have no idea how it will turn out as it takes 6 weeks to develop but I am hopeful of both a fun drink and some boozy plums to play with at the end.

The kids ate their way through a kg or 2 which left about 4kg left to play with.  Naturally I made jam, plum paste and still had some plum liquid over which I’m hoping will become fruit leather when the weather cools a bit and I feel like having the oven on for a long period of time.

Here is my jam:

I like my Plum Jam without big lumps of skin so I tend to puree my mixture.  Here is my method for making it.

Remove the pips from plums.  Put the plums in a large saucepan or jam pan.  Add a tablespoon of lemon juice per kg of plums.  Bring to the boil (add a splash of water if the plums aren’t juicy but I find theres usually enough liquid in them not to need to add more) Simmer until the plums are cooked and the mixture reduces and thickens a bit.  Puree.  Measure the liquid.  Add a cup of sugar for each cup of plum liquid.  Bring back to the boil and simmer until the jam reaches setting point.  Pour jam into sterilised jars, seal and store.

To see what others are eating or preserving this week head over to the Gardener of Eden.

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20 Responses to Thursday Kitchen Cupboard – Plums

  1. We stew and freeze lots of our plums and are using them now in yoghurt, crumbles, pies, porridge etc

    • Liz says:

      I only have a very small freezer and once its got a container or two of stock and a couple of tomatoes thats about it. I have been thinking of investing in a chest freezer to put in the laundry but as yet have done precisely nothing about it….

  2. Wonderful preserves, both with vodka and a jam. I wouldn’t mind one of those jars here, in a middle of the winter!

    • Liz says:

      I am quite excited about the idea of the vodka. Its the first time I’ve done anything with alcohol so I’m really intrigued to see how it turns out.

  3. Angela says:

    Your plum jam sounds delicious! I’ve never canned or preserved anything but I’d like to start this summer. Thanks for visiting my site and commenting on my local meal. I’m doing a challenge where we have to eat at least one local meal each week this winter. I don’t think the bison farm makes mozzarella, but I have found another farm in Virginia that makes mozzarella cheese (same place I get my butter), and it’s excellent!

    • Liz says:

      Thank you for visiting mine! That challenge has really got me impressed with the sort of things people are able to come up with when its so cold outside. I hope yuou do try some preserving I find it very rewarding. One tip I do have is don’t preserve things for the sake of it otherwise you end up with a heap of unopened jars in the bottom of the pantry, but things you enjoy eating are fabulous to preserve.

    • Liz says:

      Oh I know, I did think about them but I don’t have a food dehydrator, there are too many blackbirds in the garden at the moment to rely on the sun and its too hot to leave the oven on for long enough to get the job done – in other words excuses, excuses, excuses!!!

  4. Yum, yum, yum! Congrats on finding ways to use them all up; quite impressive. 🙂

    • Liz says:

      I was very pleased with myself until I looked at my plum paste today and realised that its less of a paste and more of a sauce….so back to the drawing board with that lot.

  5. Leanne says:

    When I was kid and went to Gramdma’s house, we never ate fruit from tins, it was always from jars that she had preserved. I loved it. One of my favourites was plums. I also have always loved home made plum jam, the stuff you buy in the supermarket just never compares. Never heard of the first thing you make, the vodka plums, don’t forget to tell us how they were.

    • Liz says:

      I do love home made jams, my mum is a really good jam maker and I am trying really hard to emulate her, one day I might just manage to get there.

  6. Robin says:

    I’m sure that the Plum Vodka will be great! Several years ago we made a lot of different vodkas. It was fun.

    Your jam sounds and looks wonderful! An idea for some of the plum liquid is to make some plum syrup. Then when the plum vodka is ready, you can make plum martinis!

  7. Julie says:

    Yum.. plums! That jam sounds very tasty. I get stressed out by a pile of produce too. Good job using all those plums.

    • Liz says:

      It is stressful isn’t it I think fab produce until I realise I need the time and space and energy to actually deal with it. I am feeling proud of myself today as I made some more pickled cucumbers and think I may have time to make some more sambal.

  8. Gardenglut says:

    My favourite jam of all is plum. But I have no plum tree here so might go and buy some. When we did have a plum tree in a house in Melbourne, we regularly stewed fruit and then froze as Sue suggests. Thanks again for the inspiration.

  9. Barbara Good says:

    Oh I think I’d be almost as excited about a glut of plums as I would be about tomatoes, I really LOVE plums – hence the first fruit tree I put in was a plum.

    And the whole plum paste/plum sauce thing, I’d be just as happy with the sauce. Marinate some chicken wings or drumsticks and slow cook them in the oven until their all blackish and sticky – so good!

  10. maryhysong says:

    Plums, one of my favorite fruits and plum jam and plum wine some of my other favs. mmmmm can’t wait for my trees to fruit!

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