Saturday, September 3, 2011

Canning Plum Preserves

Jelly, Jam, Preserves... jelly is made from fruit juices with added sugar and pectin... jam is made with the whole fruit and juice with sugar and pectin added... preserves use no pectin, and is made using whole fruit with sugar added... and cooked until thick and syrupy.

Using some of the plums I got, I decided to make plum preserves... a simple, delicious use for this sweet, fruity concoction is to spoon it over cheesecake for a "quick show-stopping dessert." And, as always, it's great with butter on toast!

Here's what I did...

I prepared my jars and lids... I placed my pint jars in a flat pan of water over two stove eyes and brought it to a boil, keeping the jars hot until I was ready for them.

I simmered my lids and rings and kept them hot.

I halved and pitted five cups of plums (I used red plums)

In a large, deep, stainless steel saucepan, I combined the plums,
4 cups of granulated sugar,
1 cup of water

I brought the mixture to a boil over medium heat, stirring to dissolve the sugar. Once everything was dissolved, I turned the heat to high and boiled hard until the mixture thickened.

I removed it from the heat to test gel.

This can be done by bringing the mixture to 220 degrees F., testing with a candy thermometer...

... or by using the "sheet test"... dip a cold metal spoon into the boiling soft spread. Lift the spoon and hold it horizontally and edge down so the syrup runs off the edge. As the mixture cooks, the drops with become heavier and will drop off the spoon separately but two at a time... when the two drops join together and "sheet" off the spoon, the gel stage has been reached.

When gel stage was reached, I skimmed off any foam...

... and ladled the mixture into hot pint jars, leaving 1/4 inch headspace. I removed air bubbles and adjusted headspace, if necessary, by adding hot preserves. I wiped the rim and tightened the lids on to fingertip tightness.

I placed the jars in my canner making sure they were completely covered with water... I processed the preserves using the boiling water method... bringing the water in the canner to a boil and processing for 15 minutes. I removed the jars using my jar lifter and set them on a folded dish towel on the counter to cool... and, of course, to listen for the PING of each successfully sealed jar.

Plum Preserves... so pretty in the jars!

This recipe will make about 3 pints or 5-6 half pints (I doubled it!)

Canning Granny©2011 All Rights Reserved


  1. I happened across your blog today and what a treat. I too have become familiar with my canner and the old mason jar. So far this summer we have canned red salmon, zucchini relish and green beans. Might just try my hand at canning some moose meat if my husband brings home a moose from his moose hunt this week. This blog is a great resource.

  2. Last night I canned Golden Apple Pie Jam and oh my, it was SO good! I am pretty new to canning and up until yesterday I had only canned veggies. This sounds wonderful, I'll be sure to mark your page!

  3. Thanks so much Melissa and Peggy! I appreciate you guys reading! ~~Granny

  4. I'm new to canning. I was told to make one batch of jam/jelly/preserves at a time. You wrote that you doubled the receipe. Why was I told to do one batch at a time?

  5. For jellies and jams using added pectin, you definitely want to stick with one batch at a time... this recipe uses no added pectin and cooks for a relatively long time so it's fine to double.
    Thanks for reading! ~~Granny

  6. Can I use the same recipe for strawberries and other fruits?? A friend of mine in Alabama made some with jello, sugar, water, & fruits but they were sooooo good.

    1. Jaclyn, sure you can use this recipe with other fruits, just remember this is a preserve not a jam and won't be gelled like a jam or jelly. ~~Granny

  7. I made this with 1.5 cups of sugar instead of 4 and it was awesome, a little more pucker just the way I like it :D


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