I'm very blessed to have a thoughtful neighbor with plum trees. My kids, well, my whole family's favorite jelly is Red Plum Jelly. There's no better jelly for peanut butter sandwiches than red plum. ;D
Well last plum season, my dear neighbor brought of over a bag of fresh picked red plums. They weren't quite ripe enough to work with, but it was necessary to get them off the tree early before the squirrels got to them. All I needed was a little patience and place to lay them out for a couple of days.
Here's a photo of what they looked liked right off the tree.
Here's what they looked like 2 days later.
It's amazing how different they look, isn't it? Now, I was ready to get bizz-A in the kitchen.
HERE'S ALL IT TAKES TO MAKE RED PLUM JELLY
To makes 4 pints
- 5 1/2 cups plum juice (about 5 pounds plums)
- 1 package powdered pectin
- 7 cups sugar
To Extract the Juice from the Plums
Wash and removes seeds. Cut up fruit and slightly crush it. Add 1/2 cup water for each quart of prepared fruit in a large saucepan. Cover and simmer fruit until soft. Strain fruit through several layers of cheesecloth to extract juice. Juice can be used fresh or frozen for later use.
To Make the Jelly
Combine plum juice and powdered pectin in a large pot. Bring to a boil over high heat, stirring frequently. Add sugar and keep stirring until the sugar is dissolved. Return to a boil. Boil hard for 1 minute, stirring constantly to keep the liquid from boiling over and out of the pot. Remove from heat. Stir gently to settle foam. Ladle hot jelly into hot jars, leaving 1/4-inch headspace. Adjust the two-piece caps. Process 10 minutes in a boiling-water canner. Allow the jars to cool for 24 hours. Check to make sure you got a good seal. Properly sealed jelly will last one year in a cool, dark place.
I just want to say something to all those veteran canners out there. I know that in the photo above, I do not have my jelly to the 1/4-inch headspace mark. At the time, I wasn't thinking of entering my jelly in any contests. I was just making jelly for my family. But I confess, when it came time for our local county fair, I was sorry I didn't get the jelly to the mark. I had my clarity and fruit set spot on, but I knew the jar wasn't full enough to earn a blue ribbon.