Putting up Plums

Ripe Santa Rosa Plums

Ripe Santa Rosa Plums

Just picked plums

Scoring Plums

Plums

Food Mill Plums
The Santa Rosa plums came ripe within the last two weeks. Looking into my canning notes, we hadn’t yet preserved anything this growing season(!), but the plums changed all that. We sat down the other Sunday to do our first batch of jam. I picked with gusto, I carried them into the house with gusto but as soon as I sat down to put the task to hand, all the wind was knocked out of my sails. Our plums are delicious but they are hidden behind a very bitter skin. I started peeling with a knife, but the knife was dull (a solveable problem, I know). Then I tried scoring the bottom, like tomatoes, and dunking them into hot water to let the skins separate from the meat of the fruit. It looked like it would work, but it didn’t. In fact it totally backfired. Not only did the skins not fully loosen, but by placing the bitter skinned plums in the boiling water, the bitterness soaked right through the fruit, making the whole batch bitter. Argh! Scott sharpened the knives and we sat down and hand peeled…for hours!

Then inspiration hit and for our second batch, we picked them, let them sit on the counter a few days to truly ripen and sent them through the food mill. Problem solved! Not only that, but after the fruit passes through the food mill, it’s smooth and thick enough that it only took a minute or two on the stove to let the sugar dissolve and then into trays to become handmade fruit roll ups. Hardly any hot cooking involved! Food mill, where have you been all of my life?

First entry into the 2014 Canning Log: 6-half pints of plum jam & 4 sheets of fruit rolls ups.

4 Comments

Filed under Fruit Trees, Preserving

4 responses to “Putting up Plums

  1. Toni

    Thank you for your blog! I love reading about all of your adventures. When I first found your blog, I sat for hours reading all your old posts.

  2. Shirley

    Love your blob but it makes me so envious! I have been in Sonoma every harvest time for several years – for several reasons: To eat, can, and dehydrate the several edibles from the orchard; to enjoy a little church that still uses hymn books; to rollerblade, bike, and walk the trails; and to enjoy the wonderful people plus the lovely weather. Now that the house is permanently occupied in Sonoma, I am no longer needed to keep the home- fires burning there. : < ( I will be in Sonoma again this winter and spring to enjoy the almonds, walnuts, figs, pears, apples, and persimmons in the orchard. It may be interesting for you to know that I paid $7.00 for 2 persimmons at the Fred Myers local grocery store here in Palmer, Alaska. Can't begin to imagine the cost of a persimmon in the 'Bush' where there is access only by plane. I would LOVE to meet you in person. I brought rhubarb plants to Sonoma 2 years ago. . . and they are growing. You may like some added to YOUR garden. We have an abundance of raspberries here in Alaska and plan to transplant to Sonoma. If successful, am willing to share with you.

  3. I just made my first plum jam in June. I have tiny little plums and they’re hard to use for anything else, but I made lots of jam and also lots of fruit leather. They dehydrate really nicely!

  4. Julia

    I grew up with a big Santa Rosa plum tree that would go nuts in the summer with more fruit than you can imagine. I remember eating them right off the tree, bent over to keep the juice from getting on your shirt.
    You may want to try a Swiss plum pie. Cut up the ripe plums, cram them into the pie crust (1 crust only, nothing on top) Then mix 1 big egg, a tablespoon of milk & several tablespoons of sugar. Pour it on. Bake at about 350 for about an hour. The egg makes a sort of custard and it is not runny (without the egg, it does Not work!). If it is still tart, add some more sugar or a bit of honey on top. It’s amazingly good. This also works well with Apricots. Enjoy!

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