This delicious, homemade plum jam is a great way to preserve some of your homestead’s summer harvest for winter…
Late summer on the homestead means food preservation time! Pickling, drying, freezing, and canning are all time-honored methods of saving some of the summer’s bounty for the cooler months of the year, when you may not have much (or anything) growing in your garden or orchard.
Even if you don’t have a garden, you can often find amazing deals on large quantities of local fruits and vegetables at your local farmer’s market this time of year. Take advantage of the savings and “put up” some of these foods for the winter while they are fresh and available!
Not only is preserving food a valuable homesteading skill, but it’s also usually a lot easier than you might think. Most of the methods above are surprisingly simple and easy to learn – even if you’ve never done them before. Making jam is one of my favorite types of food preservation. Most recipes are extremely simple, and you can can the results for long-term storage, or make freezer jam for an even faster and easier method.
The recipe below from Local Harvest is a great way to preserve an excess of plums, and you can multiply this based on how many plums you have on hand. Also feel free to increase the balsamic vinegar if you prefer a stronger or more tart flavor. (However, don’t decrease it, especially if canning, as it may throw off the acid balance of the finished product, which you don’t want to do with canned foods.)
Homemade Balsamic Plum Jam
(Yield: 3-4 half-pints)
- 4 cups dark or black plums, pitted and diced
- 1 1/2 cups sugar
- 1 T. good balsamic vinegar (I like more like 3 T. per 4 cup batch)
- 1 1/2T. Ball Flex Batch Pectin
- In an enameled dutch oven on low heat cook the plums until they are soft, stirring often. Plums burn easily so stay attentive.
- Once the plums are softened, using a potato masher, break down the plums until only small bits are left. Add the sugar and balsamic vinegar and bring the mixture up to a boil, stirring constantly.
- Once the mixture is boiling add the pectin, return to a boil for one minute.
- Ladle the recipe into the jars leaving 1/4″ headspace. Process in water bath at a full boil for 10 minutes (or 15 if you are at higher altitude).