Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Canning Nutty Plum Conserve - Suitable for any Canbassador Reception

 I recently was given the opportunity to serve as an Official Canbassador for the Washington State Fruit Commission... exciting! They contacted me via email and asked if I, as a canning blogger, would care to receive a box of Washington State fruit... they, in turn, asked if I would can it in any way I wished and then write about it in my blog. I was honored to do so. This is a part of a promotion to spread the word about delicious Washington fruit throughout the country. I was delighted to receive my box of fruit, containing nectarines, peaches, and plums, and searched for a special way to preserve this bounty.

The plums were used to create Nutty Plum Conserve... here's what I did...

I halved and pitted 5 pounds of plums

...and chopped 2 cups walnuts (pecans could be used, I had walnuts on hand)

Is this not the cutest little nut chopper!? It belonged to
Mr. G's mother and I am now proud to use it!
In a large, deep, stainless steel saucepan I combined the plums with

6-3/4 cups granulated sugar

4 cups raisins

2 Tbsp. orange zest

1/2 cup freshly squeezed orange juice (the juice of one orange)

1/4 cup bottled lemon juice

I brought the mixture to a boil over medium-high heat, stirring constantly, then reduced the heat and boiled gently, stirring frequently, until the mixture thickened (about 35 minutes).

I then stirred in the 2 cups of chopped walnuts...

...and continued boiling gently for another 5 minutes. Then tested the mixture for gel.

To test for gel stage, you can do one of three things... 1) using a candy thermometer, cook soft spread until it reaches 220 degrees F. 2) The Sheet Test... dip a cold spoon into the mixture, lift it and hold horizontally so the syrup runs off the edge, it's ready when the syrup runs off in a sheet instead of drops. or 3) Chill a saucer in the freezer and place a teaspoonful of the syrup on the saucer and freeze for one minute. Remove from the freezer and push the mixture with your finger... if it is gelled, it will be set and the surface will will wrinkle when the edge is pushed. 

Once the mixture had reached gel stage, I began filling my hot, sterilized half pint jars, leaving a 1/4 inch headspace, removing air bubbles as necessary and adding more conserve as needed to adjust headspace. I wiped the jar rims with a damp cloth and tightened on my hot lids and bands to fingertip tightness.

I processed the jars of conserve in a boiling water bath, ensuring they were completely covered with water. I brought the water to a boil and processed for 10 minutes.

After processing, I waited 5 minutes, then removed the jars from the canner using my jar lifter and set them on a folded dish towel on the counter to cool... and to listen for the PING of each successfully sealed jar.

The recipe I used said it would make about 8 eight-ounce jars... I ended up with 10.

I took some jars of this soft spread to the ladies I work with... one of the ladies came in the next morning and told me she opened her jar to taste it... and "forget toast or a bagel! I ate about a fourth of the jar just with a spoon, it was so good!" I call that "success in canning!"

For a printable copy of this recipe click here.

Please feel free to check out the following websites and resources:

The Art of Canning -
Culinary and Food Reception -
Culinary Furniture and Reception Furniture -
Reception Furniture -
Reception Furniture for Food Halls -

For more information on the Washington State Fruit Commission go to


  1. Nice! Congratulations on the Official Canbassador Title. And thanks for the recipe.

  2. I just tried your canned pork n beans yesterday. Today I opened them up and we all agreed that they are delicious, but they weren't done. I used 4 quart jars instead of pints. Would the processing time be different?

    1. Yes, Sandra, you would process quarts for 90 minutes. ~~Granny

  3. fruit from my home state! I'm jealous! Instead I get to enjoy the southern produce a little longer. I have plums and pecans. Another one of your wonderful recipes is going to end up on my shelf!

  4. Wow, that's sounds and looks great!

  5. Yum... that looks & sounds divine!! Definitely on my "To Do" list next time I run into a plum deal. Thanks for sharing the great stuff and how awesome to receive that box of fruit!

  6. This looks so good! I follow you on FB and also your blog and have JUST started canning this season. I did raspberry jam that I blogged about last week. Could I persuade you to come link up this recipe on my Blog Fest?

  7. You are the best my friend! Thank you so much for linking up! You are always such an inspiration :)

  8. This sounds outstanding! I am checking out posts by fellow Canbassadors. :) There are so many good ideas on your blog, it's nice to "meet" you!

  9. Cooking a little? Cooking a little?

  10. I have bunch of dried plums and I mean a bunch ladies and gentlemen! Could I use this same recipe with them? I would have to minus the nuts since I would be making a needed trip to the emergancy room.

    1. Sure, give it a try, sounds good to me! ~~Granny

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