Last night I tackled the plums and raspberries that were picked on Saturday. I washed the plums and raspberries (which were only half of what we brought home – Stella decided to indulge for dinner).
First was to start the plums dehydrating. I cut them in half took the stone out and then cut into quarters. I opened up the pieces for better drying and layered the trays. I was able to fit about 9
plums per tray. I ended up dehydrating about 40 plums and it took about 13 hours. And here is what I ended up with. Not even a full jar, just under 3 cups! They are a sweet, tart tasting.
Next it was on to jam making. Jam using fruits that need to be peeled and de-stoned takes a much longer time.
Razzle Pazzle, Raspberry & Plum Jam
6 cups of processed fruit (I mixed plums & raspberries, using more plums)
1/2 cup water
1/4 cup lemon juice
Package of Pectin
3 1/4 cups sugar
1. First you want to wash and sterilize the jar. You can use a dishwasher, which I do not have – so I wash the jars and then put them in boiling water, the same water I use for the water bath.
2. Put a spoon in the freezer.
3. Put a large pot of water on the stove to boil.
4. Wash the fruit.
5. Fill either a bowl or the sink with cold water and add ice cubes. I usually make about 6 or 8 trays of ice, putting the cubes in a freezer bag while the re-filled trays are freezing.
6. Place several plums into the boiling water. After about 30 – 60 seconds you can take them out with a slotted spoon. The riper they are the shorter time you will need to keep them in the boiling water.
7. Immediately put them into the water with the ice cubes – this will stop any cooking.
8. Now comes the fun part – you need to peel the skins off the plums. This should be easy they should just peel away – a warning I always have a few that are not so easy and I have to use a knife.
9. Finely cut up 2 cups of a mixture of plums (about 8, depending on size) and raspberries I had about 1/2 pound of raspberries left so I cut up about 1/2.
10. Cut up more plums and put them in a blender or food processor and the raspberries. I like to use the blender since mine has measurements on side. You will need about 4 to 4 1/2 cups more fruit to add to the 2 cups of cut up fruit. I used the chop setting on my blender.
11. Pour all of the fruit into a very large pot (once it starts to boil you will get blops of fruit juice all around if user a smaller pot).
12. Mix a box of pectin with 1/4 cup sugar, then pour that along with the lemon juice and water into the pot and turn on high. Stirring occasionally to prevent burning. You want the mixture to come to a boil – this takes about 5 – 10 minutes.
13. Place the lids into a small pot of water, cover and bring to a boil. Once the water boils, turn the burner off and keep the lid on.
14. Turn the bath water on high so that it is ready when you have the jars filled.
15. Since my kitchen is very small and I really only have one counter top to use – I am pretty good about cleaning up as I go. While the mixture is coming to a boil I wash all the items used so far and then set the jars out on an old dish cloth, so they are ready to be filled.
16. Once the mixture is a rolling boil, where stirring it will not get rid of the bubbles, add the remaining sugar.
17. It will start to thicken. Take the spoon out of the freezer and fill it about 1/2 way. Let it cool to room temperature – taste and if the thickness is what you want – it is done.
19. Place a funnel over a jar and using a ladle, ladle in the jam mixture into the jar to about 1/4 inch from the top. Continue this until all jars are full. Place the tops on and then put the ring on and tighten.
20. Place the jars into the boiling water. After about 7 minutes you can start taking them out – using a jar grip. Place them on the dish towel and then listen for the popping – this is the jars sealing. If one does not seal turn it upside down and let it stand there for about 5 minutes turn over and it should have sealed. If one does not seal that is the one you will place in the refrigerator after it has cooled and use it tomorrow morning on your toast. The jars should keep for about 12 months.
Today is peach and zucchini. It is raining, the temperature is cool – so no big deal to do some canning and baking – not heating up the house at all. Need to get back to the kitchen!