This past Sunday, in 10 hours some friends and I processed 150 pounds of Italian Plums. Mostly, we made plum pie filling. We made a bunch of plum jam. We even tried a new recipe for plum conserve, that I’m absolutely in love with. Do you have any idea how many Italian Plums are in 150 pounds? We had to pit each and every one of those plums before we could process them. Our hands were stained that purplish/brown for days, not to mention the cuts on our hands from pitting them. Totally worth it. Though part of my nails are still stained and look dirty.
If you’ve never canned with a partner before, I highly recommend it. The social aspect, and the coordination that goes into working with others while canning is hard to beat. I’ll do a lot of small batch stuff on my own, but I never have as much fun canning as I do when I’m canning with friends. Our plum canathon is something we’ve done for the last few years but this was by far the largest amount we’ve attempted. I’m pretty sure that we will do it again next year, and I cannot wait.
It was a long, but wonderful day. We accomplished so much and it was wonderful to see all the jars lined up for our finished product. My feet hurt, my back hurt, and I was exhausted. I’d had so much fun, and the thrill of looking at all those filled jars made it all worth it. In the end we made 21- 1/2 pints & 20 pints of plum jelly, 48 quarts of plum pie filling, and 12 pints plum conserve.
The plum jam, was just the recipe from the pectin box, nothing special there but it’s still amazingly yummy jam. We’ve made it every year we’ve gotten plums, and is still my husband’s favorite type of jam.
The Plum Conserve recipe was given to me by Patricia over at Birding Blossoms & Baking http://birdingbaker.wordpress.com/2012/08/23/small-batch-plum-jam/ It sounds strange, but tastes amazing. The flavors almost remind me of a sangria.
And the pie filling. We made lots of pie filling. Have you ever had a plum pie? Oh, its wonderful. In fact I’ll be making one tomorrow…
Plum Pie Filling
Makes 3 quarts
- 7 pounds pitted & sliced plums (in 6ths or 8ths depending on plum size)
- 4 cups sugar
- 1/4 cup lemon juice
- 1 1/2 tsp cinnamon
- 1/4 tsp cloves
1) Slice the plums and combine all ingredients in a bowl and let set for at least one hour at room temperature to allow the plums to be come juicy.
2) Strain off the juices from the plums. Pack plums into clean quart jars and bring plum syrup to a boil.
3) Pour boiling syrup over packed plums, clean the rims and seal the jars. Process in water bath for 20 minutes.
4) To use pie filling, pour into prepared pie shell, or baking dish (if making cobbler or crisp), and bake as you would any other fruit pie or cobbler.