Friday, August 7, 2009

Years ago, we were able to get some wonderful wild plums and I made tons of plum jelly. Well, we haven't been as fortunate with those and my boys simply love the stuff.

I tried buying the "plum jelly" from the store but they said it didn't taste the same and of course, all store-bought jelly I can find uses high-fructose corn syrup as it's main sweetener.

The other day I was at our local Walmart and noticed they had red plums on sale for $1.25 per pound. A great buy but our family doesn't eat plums quick enough so I bought some for jelly.

I started with 4 pounds of plums. Cut them up and remove the seed...leave the skins on. You'll need to cut them about the size of potatoes when you are making them for mashed potatoes. When you're all done, put them in a large pan with about 1 1/2 cups of water and bring them to a boil stirring occasionally. Simmer them for a bit and I like to squish the larger pieces up against the sides to make a mushy mixture. After they've cooked a bit, pour them fruit into a jelly bag. This is a straining bag that removes the pulp from the juice. Work it with a spoon to get all that good juice out.

Now, with juice ready, you're ready to make jelly. You'll need to follow the directions for your particular brand of pectin but these instructions are all about the same.

Put 5 1/2 cups of plum juice into a large pot....I like a tall one like a stock pot and if it has pour spouts on the sides it will make your job easier. Measure 6 1/2 cups of sugar into a bowl and have it sitting near by. Stir your pectin into the juice and mix well. Bring the juice to a rolling boil that doesn't stir down. While the juice is boiling, pour in the sugar quickly while stirring the juice. Bring the jelly back to a rolling boil. When it gets to the rolling boil stage, time exactly 1 minute with a kitchen timer.

When the timer runs out, remove from heat and stir it down until little or no foam is left on top. Pour into prepared canning jars, cover with sterilized lids and rings. And process in boiling water bath for 10 minutes.

When I made this batch the other day, our 17 year old came home from grandma's house and discovered that I had made some. He was really excited and couldn't wait for it to cool before trying some!

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